A Hero Dies The last living crew member, Knut Heyerdahl, of Kon Tiki just passed away. In April 1947, a group of people made a raft, called Kon Tiki, and sailed from Peru across the Pacific Ocean. The goal was to prove that people from South America crossed the ocean to get to Polynesia. The design of Kon Tiki was based on a raft made by the Conquistadores. That was quite a risk these men took to prove their point.