The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guards Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. TougiasIn the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal noreaster 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 Atlantics 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 minds 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, its a miracle--and a testament to their bravery--that any came home to tell their tales at all.
Against All Odds: The Bernie Webber Story
In fact-checking The Finest Hours movie, we learned that the ship, which had been traveling from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Boston, Massachusetts, broke apart too quickly and the equipment to send out a distress call was lost. Right up to that time we had no warning anything was wrong" The Southeast Missourian.
Michael J. Tougias
The Finest Hours (2016)
The remarkable true story behind The Finest Hours , as told by the two surviving members of the Coast Guard's most daring rescue. The Finest Hours brings to life the most daring rescue in the history of the U. On Feb. Incredibly, it was the second tanker ripped apart that day, and the most experienced seamen at the station had already been dispatched to help with the first distress call. Bernie Webber, played by Chris Pine in the film, was the best coxswain left at Chatham, and was asked to assemble a crew of volunteers to attempt a rescue.
On the one hand, the rescue sequences are marvellously staged and truly gripping, but the parts set on shore are weirdly faithful to a clean-cut, PG-rated, overly nostalgic idea of that derives more from movies of the period than from contemporary reality. On shore, meanwhile, we have Coast Guard captain Chris Pine — recently engaged to be married, and with some recent Lord Jim-type failure to compensate for — instructed to head out to sea with a small craft and crew of four and rescue the men aboard the tanker. First Pine must make it over a vicious offshore berm, a genuine white-knuckle sequence that kills his comms, leaving him unable to locate his target. Meanwhile, ashore, his fiancee Holliday Grainger waits at Coast Guard HQ with a nerve-wracked gallery of wizened old salts and other wives. The rescue material makes the movie, with some bone-chilling, ice-bound Joseph Conrad sequences, even though most of them are CGI-based. But the onshore scenes seem designed to recall in ways reminiscent of the most virginal, conservative pictures of that era.
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Kill Bill: Vol. Sign in. Can Julia Louis-Dreyfus make history once again? Watch now. A recounting of a New England whaling ship's sinking by a giant whale in , an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.
Tougias and Casey Sherman. The two plan to marry on April 16, but in accordance with Coast Guard regulations, Bernie must seek permission from the station's commander, Although it is really just a formality Daniel Cluff. Livesey volunteer to join Bernie on the rescue mission. Meanwhile, the Pendleton ' s engineer, Ray Sybert, as the surviving senior officer, organizes the surviving seamen to steer the sinking stern of the tanker onto a submerged reef , where it can lodge until rescuers arrive. When Miriam hears that Bernie is leading the rescue effort, she, like a number of townspeople, thinks this is a suicide mission.
When real-life stories are turned into books, and those books are turned into movies, there's always a chance that the original tale could get butchered in the process. Michael J. Tougias, who spent years researching and writing the definitive account of the Coast Guard's greatest small-boat rescue, says that the movie got it right. I've seen it three times now and I liked it more each time. It was the winter of and a hurricane-force storm was barreling toward New England. Off the south coast of Cape Cod, the oil tanker SS Fort Mercer split in two, so the majority of the region's cutters and air assets went to help.