On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend

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From the acclaimed author whose beloved books inspired the hit television show, The Deadliest Catch, comes a thrilling true adventure tale in the Alaskan seas

A Malaysian cargo ship on its way from Seattle, Washington to China ran aground off the coast of western Alaska's Aleutian Islands on December 8, 2004 during a brutal storm, leading to one of the most incredible Coast Guard rescue missions of all time.

Two Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopters lifted off immediately from Air Station Kodiak during the driving storm in an effort to rescue the ship's eighteen crew members before it broke apart and sank in the freezing waters. Nine of the crew were lifted from the ship and dropped aboard a nearby Coast Guard cutter. But during attempts to save the last eight crew members, one of the Jayhawks was engulfed by a rogue wave that broke over the bow of the ship. When its engines flamed out from ingesting water, the Jayhawk crashed into the sea. The seven crew members from the ship who had been hoisted into the aircraft, along with the chopper's three-man crew, plunged into the bitterly cold ocean where hypothermia began to set in immediately.

Interviewing all the surviving participants of the disaster and given access to documents and photos, acclaimed author Spike Walker has once again crafted a white-knuckle read of survival and death in the unforgiving Alaskan waters.

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About the author

SPIKE WALKER spent more than ten seasons aboard some of the most successful crab boats in the Alaskan fleet, and rode out one of the worst storms in Alaska's history. He is the author of Working on the Edge, Nights of Ice and Coming Back Alive. Spike lives in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.

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Additional Information

Publisher
St. Martin's Press
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Published on
Sep 28, 2010
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781429989039
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Natural Disasters
Transportation / Ships & Shipbuilding / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The moment they fell into the water the waves caught them and dashed them violently against the rocks, and the survivors on shore could perceive the unfortunate creatures...struggling amidst the waves, and one by one sinking under them.' (Hereford Times, 28 January 1854) ??The wrecking of the RMS Tayleur made headlines nearly 60 years before the Titanic. Both were run by the White Star Line, both were heralded as the most splendid ships of their time – and both sank in tragic circumstances on their maiden voyages. ??On 19 January 1854 the Tayleur, a large merchant vessel, left Liverpool for Australia; packed with hopeful emigrants, her hold stuffed with cargo. On the 160th anniversary of the disaster, Gill Hoffs reveals new theories behind the disaster and tells the stories of the passengers and crew on the ill-fated vessel: ??Captain John Noble, record breaking hero of the Gold Rush era. ??Ship surgeon Robert Hannay Cunningham and his young family, on their way to a new life among the prospectors of Tent City. ??Samuel Carby, ex-convict, returning to the gold fields with his new wife – and a fortune sewn into her corsets. ??But the ship's revolutionary iron hull prevented its compasses from working. Lost in the Irish Sea, a storm swept the Tayleur and the 650 people aboard towards a cliff, studded with rocks 'black as death'. What happened next shocked the world.??As featured in the Daily Mail, Yorkshire Post, Manchester Evening News, Hereford Times, Liverpool Echo, The Press & Journal, Dundee Courier, Fife Herald, Discover Your History, Your Family Tree, the Warrington Guardian and on BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Merseyside, RTE Radio, Radio Warrington, Kingdom FM.
From masterful storyteller Michael J. Tougias comes a new, heart-stopping true-life tale of maritime disaster, his most thrilling and amazing story yet.

In May 2005, Tom Tighe, captain of a forty-five-foot-long sailboat named the Almeisan, and his first mate, Loch Reidy, welcomed three new crewmembers for a five-day voyage from Connecticut across the blue waters of the Gulf Stream to sun-drenched Bermuda. The new crew included forty-six-year-old Kathy Gilchrist, seventy-year-old Ron Burd, and thirty-four-year-old Chris Ferrer. Although Tighe had made the trip forty-eight times, with Reidy accompanying him on twenty of those voyages, the rest of the crew had joined to learn more about offshore sailing.

Four days into the voyage, an enormous storm struck, sweeping two of the crew into the towering sea. The remaining crewmembers managed to stay aboard the vessel as it was slowly torn apart by the rampaging ocean. Overboard! follows the simultaneous desperate struggles of both those still on the boat and those fighting for their lives in the sea.

The Coast Guard, alerted to the Almeisan’s distress, rushed to the storm-tossed scene. Their ensuing search and rescue mission proved so spectacularly difficult and dangerous that it was later selected—from among thousands of incidents—as the Guard’s search and rescue case of the year. Highly trained helicopter pilots and rescue swimmers alike found themselves in almost as much trouble as those trapped by the ferocious ocean.

By turns tragic, thrilling, and deeply inspiring, Overboard! is a riveting, fast-paced story of death and survival at sea—amazing, unforgettable, and all true.
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