A Storm Too Soon by Michael J. Tougias, and other harrowing tales of shipwrecks

A Storm Too Soon : a true story of disaster, survival, and an incredible rescue  (Mby Michael J. Tougias

“This is the miraculous rescue story of the crew of the Sean Seamour II, a 44-foot sailboat that capsized and sank during a sub-tropical storm 225 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

The severity of the storm was unpredictable, causing waves upwards of 80 feet and putting the four boats in the area under extreme duress. Captain JP de Lutz, Ben Tye, and Rudy Snel were sailing to Saint-Tropez, France when the brutal storm demolished the boat, leaving them stranded on a life raft with no supplies, certain of their imminent death. JP suffered several broken ribs after being tossed about the boat’s cabin and the escape raft was filled with cold water, inspiring fears of hypothermia. It was up to a Coast Guard crew aboard an HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter to not only find the small raft in the vicious storm, but hoist the three survivors to safety. Recreating this dangerous mission, Tougias deftly switches from heart-pounding details of the rescue to the personal stories of the boat’s crew and those of the rescue team. The result is a well-researched and suspenseful read; some knowledge of sailing is helpful, but Tougias makes the material accessible for landlubbers.” – Publisher Weekly

Disasters at Sea : a visual history of infamous shipwrecks (M
by Liz Mechem

“In This Sweeping Narration of some of the world’s most disastrous shipwrecks, author Liz Mechem takes us to the depths of the ocean floor, where the decaying skeletons of some of the world’s most majestic ships lie. From the infamous sinking of the “unsinkable ship” the Titanic, to the brutal betrayal of those onboard the Medusa, these disasters at sea reveal some of the most heroic, tragic, bewildering, and shameful episodes in maritime history.” – publisher

Age of Heroes : a boy, a prince and the 1797 wreck of La Tribune (M)
by John Dickie

Age of Heroes documents one of Nova Scotia’s greatest sea tales. It comes from the golden age of fighting sail, the so called “age of heroes” which has long drawn audiences to books like Master and Commander and the Horatio Hornblower genre of nautical fiction. France’s La Tribune frigate fell to Britain’s HMS Unicorn after a moonlit sea battle fought off Ireland’s coast. The humbled warship was added to the Royal Navy lists when admirals like John Jervis and Horatio Nelson were defending England’s shores from invasion and her sea lanes from attack by revolutionary France. Tribune was ushered into British service during the turmoil of the Spithead and Nore mutinies, her crew a collection of young English, Irish and Scots eager to fight for King and Country, as well as for their own glory.

Unfortunately, HMS Tribune was mistakenly run aground by her sailing master while entering Halifax Harbour on November 23, 1797. During the attempt to escape from her rocky prison, Tribune was caught in a horrendous storm and ultimately sank at night with the loss of more than 240 souls. Only a thirteen-year old orphan fisher boy from nearby Herring Cove dared to row his tiny skiff into the jaws of the tempest to save British sailors stranded on the wreck. Impressed by his selfless act, Prince Edward, the future father of Queen Victoria who was residing in Halifax at the time, rewarded the young boy for his brave deed. In this true tale of valour, the legend of the hero fisher boy lives on more than two centuries after his part in one of Canada’s most compelling sea stories.” – publisher

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