The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue Media Tie-In Edition, Kindle Edition
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- Length: 236 pages
- Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
- Page Flip: Enabled
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This edition is for young readers, but is perfectly suitable for adults as well: the interview with the authors at the end clarifies what was removed from this version (largely technical information on the construction methods used in building oil tankers, etc.) As it is this version is eminently readable and thoroughly engrossing. Buy whichever version you prefer, but don't miss out on this incredible and incredibly well written tale of the sea.
On February 18, 1952, two WWII-era T2 oil tankers broke in half during a vicious nor'easter, leaving the surviving crewmembers trapped in the floating remains of the ships. While multiple Coast Guard vessels took part in rescuing all the survivors, The Finest Hours focuses mainly on the efforts of four young Coasties who battled the storm-tortured sea in a small 36-foot lifeboat to rescue 31 men trapped on the hulk of the tanker Pendleton.
Authors Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman do an admirable job of describing the torment of the Coast Guard crew as they fought the monstrous waves battering their small, open-cockpit boat, leaving the men near hypothermic as finally neared the wreckage of the Pendleton. Even more miraculous than the fact they managed to save 31 members of the Pendleton's crew is that the Coasties managed to make it back to shore in their heavily loaded lifeboat. The rescue was evidence of masterful seamanship and courage, and all four crewmen rightfully received the Gold Lifesaving Medal, the Coast Guard's highest award for valor.
As I said, I may be bias about this book. However, like many Coasties, I've spent many hours in small boats hammered by foul weather. I am thankful someone has finally recognized the courage that typifies the men and women of the United States Coast Guard