Into the Storm by Tristram Korten
Random House Publishing Group: 4/24/18
eBook review copy; 288 pages
Into the Storm: Two Ships, a Deadly Hurricane, and an Epic Battle for Survival by
Tristram Korten is a very highly recommended nonfiction account of two
doomed ships and a harrowing Coast Guard search-and-rescue
An informative slow paced beginning sets the groundwork for the story.
Korten opens up with an introduction to the brave, highly trained
members of the Coast Guard on duty who would be pivotal in the search
and rescue operations and a description of the two ships and their
captains. The true story happened in late September/early October of
2015 when Hurricane Joaquin raged across the Caribbean. A pair of cargo
vessels were in the path of this destructive storm. Captain Michael
Davidson's ship was the El Faro, a 790-foot American behemoth with a crew of thirty-three, and Captain Renelo Gelera ship was the Minouche,
a 230-foot freighter with a dozen sailors aboard.
After the ships
leave port and the storm develops and subsequently changes course, the
pace becomes more frantic. The Coast Guard was informed that the Minouche was
taking on water on the night of October 1. They worked in the dark through the raging storm, with rescue swimmer Ben
Cournia in the sea loading survivors into the helicopter rescue basket. They manged to save the crew of the Minouche. The rescue mission for the El Faro was not successful and became the largest U.S. maritime disaster in decades.
This is an extremely well-researched and well-written account of the
events during Hurricane Joaquin and the heroic efforts of the Coast
Guard in their search and rescue mission. A tension filled nail biter
that is a true life thriller. Into the Storm includes maps,
notes, and an index. (Korten's online GQ article about the hurricane
includes photos of the men involved and visual information that may be
included in the book but wasn't in my review copy.)
My review copy was courtesy of Random House Publishing Group.