Thursday, October 20, 2016

Book Review: THE FINEST HOURS - Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman
Scribner Book Company
Non Fiction

Shipping companies put profits before the safety of the men on the vessels. The T2 Tankers were made with inferior materials, and welded instead of riveted. These ships were KNOWN to split in two.

Wait, what?

That's one of the most unreal facts I learned from reading The Finest Hours. While the main focus in this particular story is about 2 different T2 Tankers splitting in two during a storm in New England in 1952, (this is at nearly the exact same time, close to within hours of each other, these two ships split in two).

The book gives countless examples of T2 Tankers cracking in half during storms over the course of decades. The shipping companies knew there was a possibility of it happening, as did the crews that worked on the ships. That is just mind blowing.

In The Fines Hours, however, the primary tale is on the Fort Mercer and the Pendelton. It is February 18, 1952, and a brutal storm is stalled over the Atlantic. During the early hours of the morning, the relentless waves and swells of the sea have severed both ships in half. Crews are split between the bow and stern, (front and back). And now four parts of two ships are in need of rescuing.

The Coast Guard receives the distress calls, and set out to attempt saving men in the midst of a raging hurricane. The water is like ice. The snow is falling. The waves pass over the top decks of the ships.

The action is none stop. The heroics are amazing. The Coast Guard captains, and crews refused giving up, and with small ships (that seemed like something just larger than a rowboat when compared to the size and crew size of the tankers), believed they could do the impossible and rescue those stranded on the different halves of the two ships.

The story is emotional. The rescues daring. I loved every word. And I never, NEVER read non-fiction. I believe that both Micheal J. Touglas and Casey Sherman authored a taut (less than 200 pages) book that deserved to be made into a movie. The movie comes out next weekend. Because of this book, I am going to see it -- although, I can't imagine the big screen matching the words and descriptions painted by these authors, which allowed me to already view the story with my own imagination.

In short, loved it!

Phillip Tomasso,
Author of the Severed Empire Series
Wizard’s Rise

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