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Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea Paperback


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Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea + The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue + Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (June 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743297040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743297042
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tougias (Ten Hours Until Dawn) narrates this dramatic, pared-down account of what happened to a pair of small fishing boats caught in the path of the devastating November 1980 storm off the coast of Cape Cod. When the storm blew up, the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever—captained by Peter Brown, son of legendarily hard-nosed Bob Brown, owner of The Perfect Storm's Andrea Gail—were fishing for lobster on Georges Bank, a plateau on the Atlantic floor that provides some of the richest fishing in the area, but is also the kind of place where boats have a way of disappearing. Due to a malfunctioning weather buoy, the National Weather Service drastically underestimated the magnitude of the storm that engulfed the two small boats. Seventy-foot waves overturned the Fair Wind, trapping inside the whole crew save for Ernie Banks, who made it into a life raft, while the Sea Fever was barely staying afloat under the watery onslaught. Tougias smartly leavens his spare narrative with similar worst-case scenarios that resulted when other seamen miscalculated the sea's wrathful power. Most astonishing of all is Banks's three-day odyssey of being tossed about like a cork in heaving, freezing seas; as related by Tougias, Banks's calm, reasoned actions in the face of astonishing adversity are practically a how-to lesson in high seas survival skills.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A passionately recounted peril-at-sea adventure...described with excruciating intensity. A blustery seafarer's delight, rendered with gusto." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Tougias spins a marvelous and terrifying yarn....this is a breathtaking book." -- Los Angeles Times

"Toughias's terrifying tale will stun you...leaving you breathless, exhilarated, and finally amazed." -- The Providence Journal

"Deserves a place as a classic survival at sea." -- The Boston Globe

More About the Author

I write on a variety of topics which could roughly be grouped as follows:
TRUE LIFE MARITIME SUVIVAL STORIES: my books include "Overboard!", "Ten Hours Until Dawn", "The Finest Hours" (co-author) and "Fatal Forecast"

HISTORY: "King Philip's War" (co-author), "Quabbin", "The Blizzard of 78"

RIVER BOOKS: "Exporing the Hidden Charles", "River Days: Exploring the Connecticut River from Source to Sea"

HUMOR AND THE OUTDOORS: "There's a Porcupine in My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountainman Wannabe"

I'm not sure what I'll do next. But I'll follow my intuition. And, of course, the topic has to be something I feel passionate about. Thank you for all your support! Michael Tougias

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
This was a very easy book to read and I really enjoyed it.
Bayside Equipment
I was totally enthralled by this true story of 2 fishing boats from Massachusetts caught in a ferocious storm off the Georges Bank.
Kerry O. Burns
The author did a detailed job of interviews and research to tell a spellbinding story of the sea.
Suzanne Collins

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Paper Pen VINE VOICE on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
If you liked "The Perfect Storm," you'll love "Fatal Forecast."

Michael J. Tougias' book is a gripping page-turner about fishermen fighting for their lives amid a severe storm off the New England coast.

Tougias' taut storytelling puts the reader in the middle of the action. Like the best survival stories, you can feel yourself in the characters' place, trying to figure what to do next.

I also like that Tougias includes related stories of fishing boat disasters (and near-disasters).

I do have one small complaint. This book, like many of this type, includes a batch of pictures in the middle. I suppose it's cheaper to print the photos altogether like this rather than insert them at the appropriate place in the story. But in this case, if you look at the pictures (and what reader wouldn't?), some of them give away the ending of the book.

That said, it's still a great story. Allow yourself plenty of time when you pick up "Fatal Forecast" -- it's hard to put down.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By G. Brown on July 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was 17 when the storm occurred and remember it as if it were yesterday. The captain of the Fair Wind was my uncle's nephew and his fiancee is my cousin so he was a very prolific part of our family. This book helped bring closure to so many things for me.

There were also so many things that I never realized about the lobster fishing industry. The research in this book is nothing short of exceptional. I also know personally how professional the author was when he did his research.

Congratulations on a job well done.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kerry O. Burns VINE VOICE on September 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I was totally enthralled by this true story of 2 fishing boats from Massachusetts caught in a ferocious storm off the Georges Bank. A storm as severe as 'the Perfect Storm' exept no on knew this one was coming because of a malfunctioning weather buoy in the Bank. Michael Tougias writes a well-researched almost documentary style epic with no filler. The brave fishermen and heroes of the Coast Guard stand out. The will to survive and what it takes for one man to survive is amazing.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Booge on July 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Fatal Forecast is one of the most riveting books I have ever read. The way Tougias describes the sea and the men that work it, brings you right into the boat with them. His description of the communities and the families of the men that experience the sea are timeless in nature, his story could be 100 years ago, 20 years ago or even tonight, who knows at any given time when an undetected storm batters those that earn their livelihood from the vast expanses of the sea.

This book is a must for anyone who enjoys adventure or the facination of the will to survive. Tougias does justice to those men as well as those who constantly patrol our coasts to help those in need. Anyone spending time around the ocean this summer must read this book!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Gamble on July 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Make some time for yourself because it's going to be very hard to put this down once you start reading! Amazing story and a very well written account. Grab a few tissues and enjoy.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Swensrud on September 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Spellbinding! An amazing true story of a fishing trip that turned into a disaster. Excellent writing and the author weaves multi-tales of many people caught in this non-forcasted storm. Very readable, the book you can't put down!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jory D. Luchsinger on July 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Michael Tougias is exceptionally adept at putting together the histories and events surrounding men and their families that make their living off of the sea. As he did in "Ten Hours Until Dawn", his previous book, Mr. Tougias tells the story in "Fatal Forecast" of men caught in the most violent weather at sea. This fascinating true story of mariners dealing with the worst that nature can offer is a worthy example of the author's ample talent. I would urge anyone that has an interest in the sea to place this remarkable book at the top of their reading list.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. J. Kelly MD on January 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Georges Bank lies about 120 miles east of Cape Cod. It is no place to be in a small boat; especially when the weather turns bad. Wind-driven waves building from the fetch of the Atlantic collide with the shallows beyond the continental shelf and can build to frightening proportions. And weather in the month of November on the Georges Bank can be extreme. Ordinarily, automated buoy data provide the National Weather Service with information that enables relatively accurate forcasting. But in November 1980 the National Data Center's Georges Bank Buoy, located 170 nM east of Hyannis, MA, was not functioning. It had not been for some time. With inadequate data, the National Weather Service issued a benign forecast. Based on this forecast, four deep sea lobster boats headed for the Georges Bank. They did not expect a killer storm packing 100 knot winds and 50-60 foot seas. One boat pitch-poled; it's lone survivor spent 50 frightening and misearable hours in a rubber raft before rescue. Another boat badly damaged by a rogue wave and leaking badly fought on and eventually limped back to port. Brave men and women of the U.S Coastguard, in spite of fatique and grave danger to themselves, doggedly attempted to rescue the crews of these vessels. Fatal Forecast is a story of survival, duty and triumph of the human spirit. The book is well-written and grabs you from the Prologue and does not let go. In fact, I read this book at a single sitting. I could not put it down. When I got to the end I read the Epilogue and even the author's notes. I did not want it to end.
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