All the Men in the Sea

All the Men in the Sea

The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Book - 2002
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Simon and Schuster
One of the most exciting sea rescues of the twentieth century occurred during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico in 1995. Ever since, lawsuits have made it almost impossible to find out the complete story of what happened. Now Michael Krieger tells the heroic truth of this astonishing drama. All the Men in the Sea begins in a cloud of silt peppered with 400-pound groupers 160 feet below the surface at the bottom of the Mexican Gulf where two divers are about to complete their work on a section of pipeline leading from the offshore oil field to the Yucatan Peninsula. The divers had to finish their section of pipeline so that the diving company could get their $27 million payment for the project. The company was behind schedule, but when Hurricane Roxanne approached, the divers had to return to the barge on the surface and its decompression chamber. Any mishap that might force them to leave this chamber prematurely would result in every blood vessel in their bodies popping like a champagne cork. Hundreds of workers lived on the barge, but the divers were the elite. It was the diver supervisor who told the barge's captain that company officials back in Louisiana had decided that instead of going in to shore for safe harbor, the barge and everyone on it would ride out the hurricane under tow by the three tugboats standing by. It was a fateful decision. At first the hurricane seemed to pass by, but when it made a U-turn and came back, the massive towlines connecting the tugs and the barge broke in steep 30-foot seas and 90-mile-an-hour winds. More than two hundred men abandoned ship into the raging watery catastrophe, none of them with any real hope of surviving. There was no one there to help them. Everyone knew tugboats couldn't rescue men in seas like that... As the sea crashed over them, the tugboat captains turned their vessels sideways to the massive, relentless waves, risking capsize and certain death. Those in the water who managed to hang on to wind-blasted, wave-tumbled life rafts were hauled over the side with no more than a second to lose before being sucked into the propellers. Hour after hour into the night, lone survivors bobbed in the turmoil, waiting for salvation -- and almost every one of them received it, thanks to the modest unsung heroes working the rugged tugboats. Ultimately, All the Men in the Sea is their story on a night of unparalleled bravery and determination.

Publisher: New York : Free Press, [2002]
Copyright Date: ©2002
ISBN: 9780743227087
Branch Call Number: 910.9164 KRIEG
Characteristics: 222 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm


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