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Synopsis

The true story of an incredible disaster and heroic rescue at sea told by two masterful storytellers.

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal nor'easter in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril.

In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament. Built with "dirty steel," and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantic's mercy.

The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. Coast Guard cutters raced to the aid of those on the Fort Mercer, and when it became apparent that the halves of the Pendleton were in danger of capsizing, the Guard sent out two thirty-six-foot lifeboats as well. These wooden boats, manned by only four seamen, were dwarfed by the enormous seventy-foot seas. As the tiny rescue vessels set out from the coast of Cape Cod, the men aboard were all fully aware that they were embarking on what could easily become a suicide mission.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes that sear themselves into the mind's eye, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in their terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the eighty-four men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, it's a miracle—and a testament to their bravery—that any came home to tell their tales at all.

Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman have seamlessly woven together their extensive research and firsthand interviews to create an unforgettable tale of heroism, triumph, and tragedy, one that truly tells of the Coast Guard's finest hours.

Book Reviews

The Finest Hours
Average rating
4.1 / 5
A story of heroism at sea !
July 20th, 2016
The book reveals rescue mission of 2 super tanker accidents taken place off the east coast of massachusettes and biography of the coast guard men after the horrific incident. A great prelude to watching the motion picture recently released.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
A True Adventure of Men and the Sea
February 8th, 2016
The Finest Hours is a great read. Anyone who enjoys a good true life shipwreck drama in the vein of The Perfect Storm, Gales of November or A Night to Remember will find The Finest Hours to utterly thrilling.
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
An Unknown Story
January 26th, 2016
This was for me a completely unknown story from the 1950's. An amazing story to encourage our generations as we face the storms of life.
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1 review

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