- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Morrow (June 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061766291
- ISBN-13: 978-0061766299
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History Hardcover – June 1, 2010
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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, March 23, 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 the beacon lights, which would guide rescuers to them in the water. By 4:30 A.M., the wheelhouse of the Ranger was just barely visible above the sea's surface, and most of the forty-seven crew members were in the water, wearing the red survival suits—a number of them torn or inadequately sized—that were supposed to keep them from freezing to death. Every minute in the twenty-foot swells was a fight for survival. 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 they could. Again and again, the helicopters lowered a rescue swimmer to the ocean's surface to bring the shipwrecked men, some delirious with hypothermia, some almost frozen to death, back to the helicopter and to safety. Before the break of dawn, the Coast Guard had lifted more than twenty men from the freezing waves—more than any other cold-water Coast Guard rescue in history.
Deadliest Sea is a daring and mesmerizing adventure tale that chronicles the power of nature against man, and explores the essence of the fear each man and woman must face when confronted with catastrophe. It also investigates the shocking negligence that leads to the sinking of dozens of ships each year, which could be prevented and makes commercial fishing one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.
With deft writing and technical knowledge, veteran journalist Kalee Thompson recounts the harrowing stories of both the rescuers and the rescued who survived the deadly ordeal in the Bering Sea. Along the way, she pays tribute to the courage, tenacity, and skill of dedicated service people who risk their own lives for the lives of others.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you enjoy the series, "Deadliest Catch", you will enjoy this book a lot. You will gain a better understanding of other fishing which occurs in the bearing sea. The Alaska Ranger was a factory ship which caught, killed and packed the fish all on one boat.
The book also talks about previous disasters and how the US Coast Guard learns from each one and tried to investigate and implement new safety standards in order to save more lives in the future. I believe that the new safety standards of having blinking lights on survival suits for these type of fishing boats is what saved so many lives. The lights should be mandatory on ALL Gumby survival suits for all fishing boats!
I learned so much from this book, it gave me an even greater appreciation than I already had from watching Deadliest Catch, for all the men and women who risk their lives everyday so we can enjoy seafood as well as those in the Coast Guard who work 24/7 to protect them.
I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States. I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman. We are the United States Coast Guard.