The gripping account of three extraordinary 2007 maritime rescues near the treacherous waters of the Gulf Stream.
When JP de Lutz, Rudy Snel and Ben Tye set sail from Florida on the Sean Seamour II, they intended to cross the Atlantic to the Azores, then Gibraltar and finally, Saint-Tropez. The first 48 hours were better than anything the men could have ever expected, but after a few days, the weather suddenly began to change. Two otherwise small and harmless weather systems joined forces "to form one super cell that deepened so rapidly that no meteorologist could have predicted its power.” The winds, which forecasters had predicted would top out at 35 knots, increased to more than 80, and the sea became like "the hands of a raging giant" as it tossed and shook the trio's 44-foot sailboat. The force of the waves, which sometimes reached 80 feet in height, gradually ripped the boat apart. Injured and in shock, the men escaped onto a small life raft while an emergency-radio beacon that got swept overboard miraculously sent out a distress call. The Coast Guard Command Center in Portsmouth, Va., received their signal, as well as those from two other ships nearby. A fourth ship went down before help could arrive. Teams of rescue-helicopter pilots and swimmers flew to the scenes of each disaster. By depicting the event from the perspective of both the rescued and the rescuers and focusing only on key moments and details, Tougias (Overboard!: A True Blue-water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival, 2010, etc.) creates a suspenseful, tautly rendered story that leaves readers breathless but well-satisfied.
Heart-pounding action for the avid armchair adventurer.