Books about disaster in the Alaskan fishing industry are common, but titles as good as this one are rare. In March 2008, the factory trawler Alaska Ranger sank in the Bering Sea, in 36-degree water and 20-foot waves. Her distress signal triggered a massive rescue effort, in which the Coast Guard used cutters, helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, rescue swimmers—in short, its whole arsenal—for saving those in peril on the sea. Alaska Warrior, a sister trawler, also ably came to the rescue, and a total of 42 of the Ranger's 47 people were rescued. The author did thorough research and interviewed people involved in every aspect of the rescue, so that the reader has a clear picture of everything from survival suits to the big cutter Munro, and how they were arrayed and skillfully used to snatch people from what would have been certain death 50 years ago. This extraordinary book is accessible to every level of interest in those who go down to the sea in ships and may well keep most of them up all night. --Roland Green
From the Back Cover
Soon after 2:00 a.m. on Easter morning 2008, the fishing trawler Alaska Ranger began taking on water in the middle of the frigid Bering Sea. While the first mate broadcast Mayday calls to a remote Coast Guard station more than eight hundred miles away, the men on the ship’s icy deck scrambled to inflate life rafts and activate beacon lights. By 4:30 a.m., most of the forty-seven crew members were in the water. Many knew that if they weren’t rescued soon, they would drown or freeze to death.
Two Coast Guard helicopter rescue teams were woken up in the middle of the night to save the crew of the Alaska Ranger. Many of the men thought the mission would be routine. They were wrong. The helicopter teams battled snow squalls, enormous swells, and gale-force winds as they tried to fulfill one guiding principle: save as many as possible.
Deadliest Sea is a daring and mesmerizing adventure tale that chronicles the power of nature against man. Veteran journalist Kalee Thompson recounts the harrowing stories of both the rescuers and the rescued while paying tribute to the courage, tenacity, and skill of the dedicated people who risk their lives for the lives of others.
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