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Fatal Forecast

by Michael J. Tougias

A true story of catastrophe and survival at sea,Fatal Forecast is a spellbinding moment-by-moment account of seventy-two hours in the lives of eight young fishermen, some of whom would never set foot on dry land again. On the morning of November 21, 1980, two small Massachusetts lobster boats set out for Georges Bank, a bountiful but perilous fishing ground 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. The National Weather Service had forecast typical fall weather, and the young, rugged crewmen aboard the Sea Fever and the Fair Wind had made dozens of similar trips that season. They had no reason to expect that this trip would be any different. But the only weather buoy on Georges Bank was malfunctioning, and the National Weather Service had failed to share this fact with the fishermen who dependedon its forecasts. As the two small boats headed out to sea, a colossal storm was brewing to the southeast, a furious maelstrom the National Weather Service did not accurately locate until the boats were already caught in the storm's grip,trapped in the treacherous waters of Georges Bank. Battered by sixty-foot waves and hurricane-force winds, the crews of the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever(captained by Peter Brown, whose father owned t he Andrea Gail of Perfect Storm fame) struggled heroically to keep their vessels afloat. But the storm soon severely crippled one boat and overturned the other, trapping its crew inside. Meticulously researched and vividly told,Fatal Forecast is first and foremost a tale of miraculous survival. Most amazing is the story of Ernie Hazzard, who managed to crawl inside a tiny inflatable life raft and then spentmore than fifty terrifying hours adrift on the stormy open sea. By turns tragic,thrilling, and inspiring, Ernie's story deserves a place among the greatestsurvival tales ever told. Equally riveting are the stories of the brave men and women from the Coast Guardand the crew of a nearby fishing boat who imperiled their own lives that day inorder to save the lives of others. As gripping and harrowing asThe Perfect Storm- but with a miracle ending -Fatal Forecastis an unforgettable true story about the collision of two spectacular forces: the brutality of nature and the human willto survive.

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue

by Casey Sherman Michael J. Tougias

The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. Coast Guard cutters raced to the aid of those on the Fort Mercer, and when it became apparent that the halves of the Pendleton were in danger of capsizing, the Guard sent out two thirty-six-foot lifeboats as well. These wooden boats, manned by only four seamen, were dwarfed by the enormous seventy-foot seas. As the tiny rescue vessels set out from the coast of Cape Cod, the men aboard were all fully aware that they were embarking on what could easily become a suicide mission.

Overboard!

by Michael J. Tougias

From masterful storyteller Michael J. Tougias comes a new, heart-stopping true-life tale of maritime disaster, his most thrilling and amazing story yet. In May 2005, Tom Tighe, captain of a forty-five-foot-long sailboat named the Almeisan, and his first mate, Loch Reidy, welcomed three new crewmembers for a five-day voyage from Connecticut across the blue waters of the Gulf Stream to sun-drenched Bermuda. The new crew included forty-six-year-old Kathy Gilchrist, seventy-year-old Ron Burd, and thirty-four-year-old Chris Ferrer. Although Tighe had made the trip forty-eight times, with Reidy accompanying him on twenty of those voyages, the rest of the crew had joined to learn more about offshore sailing. Four days into the voyage, an enormous storm struck, sweeping two of the crew into the towering sea. The remaining crewmembers managed to stay aboard the vessel as it was slowly torn apart by the rampaging ocean. Overboard! follows the simultaneous desperate struggles of both those still on the boat and those fighting for their lives in the sea. The Coast Guard, alerted to the Almeisan's distress, rushed to the storm-tossed scene. Their ensuing search and rescue mission proved so spectacularly difficult and dangerous that it was later selected--from among thousands of incidents--as the Guard's search and rescue case of the year. Highly trained helicopter pilots and rescue swimmers alike found themselves in almost as much trouble as those trapped by the ferocious ocean. By turns tragic, thrilling, and deeply inspiring, Overboard! is a riveting, fast-paced story of death and survival at sea--amazing, unforgettable, and all true.

Rescue of the Bounty

by Michael J. Tougias Douglas A. Campbell

The harrowing story of the sinking and rescue of Bounty--the tall ship used in the classic 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty--which was caught in the path of Hurricane Sandy with sixteen aboard On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail Bounty from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Walbridge was well aware that a hurricane was forecast to travel north from the Caribbean toward the eastern seaboard. Yet the captain was determined to sail. As he explained to his crew of fifteen: a ship is always safer at sea than in port. He intended to sail "around the hurricane" and told the crew that anyone who did not want to come on the voyage could leave the ship--there would be no hard feelings. As fate would have it, no one took the captain up on his offer. Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on Bounty. The vessel's failing pumps could not keep up with the incoming water. The ship began to lose power as it was beaten and rocked by hurricane winds that spanned eight hundred miles. A few hours later, in the dark of night, the ship suddenly overturned ninety miles off the North Carolina coast in the "Graveyard of the Atlantic," sending the crew tumbling into an ocean filled with towering thirty-foot waves. The coast guard then launched one of the most complex and massive rescues in its history, flying two Jayhawk helicopter crews into the hurricane and lowering rescue swimmers into the raging seas again and again, despite the danger to their own lives. In the uproar heard across American media in the days following, a single question persisted: Why did the captain decide to sail? Through hundreds of hours of interviews with the crew members, their families, and the coast guard, the masterful duo of Michael J. Tougias and Douglas A. Campbell creates an in-depth portrait of the enigmatic Captain Walbridge, his motivations, and what truly occurred aboard Bounty during those terrifying days at sea. Dripping with suspense and vivid high-stakes drama, Rescue of the Bounty is an unforgettable tale about the brutality of nature and the human will to survive.

A Storm Too Soon

by Michael J. Tougias

FROM MASTERFUL STORYTELLER MICHAEL J. TOUGIAS COMES A NEW, HEART-STOPPING TRUE-LIFE TALE OF MARITIME DISASTER, SURVIVAL, AND DARING RESCUE, HIS MOST THRILLING AND AMAZING STORY YET. Seventy-foot waves batter a torn life raft 250 miles out to sea in one of the world's most dangerous places, the Gulf Stream. Hanging on to the raft are three men, a Canadian, a Brit, and their captain, JP de Lutz, a dual citizen of America and France. Their capsized forty-seven-foot sailboat has filled with water and disappeared below the tempestuous sea. The giant waves repeatedly toss the men out of their tiny vessel, and JP, with nine broken ribs, is hypothermic and on the verge of death. The captain, however, is a remarkably tough character, having survived a brutal boyhood, and now he must rely on the same inner strength to outlast the storm. Trying to reach these survivors before it's too late are four brave Coast Guardsmen battling hurricane- force winds in their Jayhawk helicopter. They know the waves will be extreme, but when they arrive they are astounded to find that the monstrous seas have waves reaching eighty feet. Lowering the wind-whipped helicopter to drop a rescue swimmer into such chaos will be extremely dangerous. The pilots wonder if they have a realistic chance of saving the sailors clinging to the broken life raft, and if they will be able to even retrieve their own rescue swimmer from the towering seas. Once they commit to the rescue, they find themselves in almost as much trouble as the survivors, facing one life-and-death moment after the next. Also caught in the storm are three other boats, each one in a Mayday situation. Of the ten people on these boats, only six will ever see land again. Spellbinding, harrowing, and meticulously researched, A Storm Too Soon is a vivid account about the powerful collision between the forces of nature and the human will to survive. Author Michael J. Tougias, known for his fast-paced writing style and character-driven stories, tells this true saga in the present tense to give the reader a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat immediacy. A Storm Too Soon is Tougias at his masterful best and a heart-pounding narrative of survival, the power of the human spirit, and one of the most incredible rescues ever attempted.

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