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Coming back alive : the true story of the most harrowing search and rescue missi
Walker, Spike.
Adult Nonfiction G530.L3 W36 2001

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Walker spends about half of his narrative assembling a cast for his tale of seafaring disaster on the southern Gulf of Alaska fishing grounds: a five-man crew of earnest commercial fishermen; a leaky trawler, La Conte; helicopter crews and surprise! an anomalous winter storm. The January 1998 storm was the worst in the state's history, and La Conte took in water and sank, leaving its crew to the mercy of 100 mph winds and 90-foot seas. Walker (Nights of Ice) ably describes the Coast Guard's heroic rescue of the ship's crew along the rugged Alaskan coast. The episode in which the crew is finally forced to abandon their vessel in 40-degree water, and to stay lashed together long enough for three Coast Guard teams to attempt wind-whipped rescues, is harrowing and suspenseful. Still, too many adverbs slow down the narrative and strain to convey tension. Walker tracked down and interviewed the La Conte's survivors and other participants in the operation, and his portrayal of the fringe existence of commercial fishermen juxtaposes society's typical disdain for them with the loyalty and stoicism of these five men. But he manages only a pat resolution: "[t]he relationship between fishermen and the sea, and the airborne alliance of those sworn to watch over them, continues today all across the vast ocean reaches and tidelands of Alaska." Map not seen by PW. Agents, Rand Koler and Lance Rosen. (Aug. 6) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Each year the U.S. Coast Guard carries out well over 50,000 search-and-rescue operations, but to many people away from the coasts its efforts are little known. This book should change that. It is the story of only one 1998 rescue, but this was arguably "the most harrowing high-seas helicopter rescue" ever carried out and will certainly raise readers' appreciation of the Coast Guard mission. In a story at times reminiscent of Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm (LJ 5/15/97) and Frederic Stonehouse's The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Avery Color Studios, 1998. reprint), the author describes how the Guard rescued the crew of the La Conte despite 70' waves and 100-mph winds in prose so vivid you can practically taste the salt spray. While this is primarily the story of one particular incident, there is substantial coverage of the individuals involved including the fishermen and search-and-rescue crews and of other rescues as well. Highly recommended for all public libraries as well as high school and college libraries where there is interest in marine careers. This book might also interest "reluctant readers." Margaret Rioux, MBL/WHOI Lib., Woods Hole, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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