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Lost at Sea: an American Tragedy

by Dillon, Patrick

  • ISBN: 9780385314213
  • ISBN10: 0385314213

Lost at Sea: an American Tragedy

by Dillon, Patrick

  • List Price: $23.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Dial Press
  • Publish date: 11/10/1998
  • ISBN: 9780385314213
  • ISBN10: 0385314213
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Description: Nationally acclaimed journalist Patrick Dillon delivers the arresting tragedy of the fourteen men and two state-of-the-art commercial fishing vessels that disappeared without a trace under 4,000 feet of freezing water in the Bering Sea in 1983 -- the worst commercial fishing disaster in American history.

On the morning of February 14, 1983, Captains George Nations and Ron Biernes ordered the lines of their 123-foot crabbing vessels, the Americus and the Altair, cast off from their mooring in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. With them were twelve young sailors eager to earn a full year's pay in just a few weeks, and to tackle the notorious Bering sea aboard one of the most advanced and respected fleets in the Pacific Northwest. For the two captains, this trip was their one chance to rebound from the millions of dollars lost when a fire the previous season destroyed one of the fleet's five vessels. As a result, the two boats were loaded down with as many 700-pound crab pots as possible. Hours after it left, the Americus would be found capsized only thirty miles away from the dock, without a single trace of George Nations or any member of his crew. No trace of the Altair and its crew, not even an upturned hull, would ever be found.

Nationally acclaimed journalist Patrick Dillon traces the investigation of this tragedy, recorded as the worst commercial fishing disaster in the history of the United States. The story begins in Anacortes, Washington, a small fishing village whose fortunes vary with each year's catch; it examines the lives of the families who for generations have lost their sons and husbands -- fishermen who fought off all government attempts at regulations and safety standards -- tothe dangerous Bering Sea. From there, Dillon retraces the slaps of the Coast Guard investigation that lay bare the conclusions that shocked not just the community of Anacortes but the entire fishing industry, and tells the story of the families who rallied together to see the passing of the industry's first comprehensive safety laws.

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