Sunday, October 17, 2010

Deadliest Sea by Kalee Thompson

On page 161 of a book that I can only compare to 2003's Left for Dead in terms of 'Disaster/Survival' books, rescue swimmer O'Brien Starr-Hollow informs the reader that "The grass is always greener over the septic tank." This is not a book to begin close to bedtime, if you have any intention of actually going to bed.
Thompson does a wonderful job of recounting the stories of the men (and woman) who found themselves on the Alaska Ranger on Easter morning in 2008 when it began to take on water in the frigid waters of the Bering Sea. She also puts this disaster in its place in the very dangerous history of Alaskan fishing. 
The training needed for Coast Guard rescue (whether swimming or flying) is rigorous: the actual practice described here, that saved more than twenty of the 47 crew members, is almost overwhelming to contemplate. No part of the 'rescue' was easy: from the difficulties the crew had abandoning the ship, to finding the life rafts, boarding the helicopter or being offloaded on one of the rescue trawlers, Thompson imparts several breathless moments. Kaley Thompson's  The Deadliest Sea: The Untold Story Behind the Greatest Rescue in Coast Guard History will appeal to high school readers that enjoy fast-paced books of adventure, survival, sports, and combinations of all three.

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