Riveting...breathtaking...Tougias and Campbell build tension slowly and methodically...a sound strategy that pays off when they reach the storm itself. Then, the book becomes a white-knuckled, tragic adventure experienced by recognizable and sympathetic figures.-- "Richmond Times-Dispatch"
Tougias and Campbell's well researched and very personal effort details the doubts and questions as the ship gets underway, takes you aboard as the exhausted crew struggled to keep it afloat, then into the raging sea as the soggy survivors feverishly clambered into the bouncing rafts, and onto the tossing aircraft as the Coast Guard hoisted the sailors from the maelstrom below.-- "Florida Times-Union"
A book that succeeds both as a high-seas adventure and as a psychological portrait of Bounty's ill-fated captain, Robin Walbridge...a gripping account.-- "Day (New London, Connecticut)"
Tougias and Campbell superbly re-create the disastrous voyage, providing just the right amount of detail to bring every character involved in this dramatic tale to life, from Bounty captain Robin Walbridge and his shipmates to the brave Coast Guard rescue swimmers. A thrilling and perfectly paced book, Rescue of the Bounty is filled with good intentions but bad decisions, tall-ship history and current usage, and the roar and taste of the storm-whipped ocean.-- "Booklist"
Tougias and Campbell review the ship's fifty-year history, sketch the backgrounds of the sailors aboard, and offer an excruciating moment-by-moment look of the four-day voyage that killed one crew member and the captain. Relying primarily on sworn testimony from the Coast Guard's formal investigation, the authors identify a number of factors that contributed to the disaster...Notwithstanding [Walbridge's] huge miscalculation, the authors offer a surprisingly sympathetic portrait of the captain, crediting his compassionate manner and the respect and loyalty he inspired. Finally, they devote a thrilling portion of their narrative to the courageous Coast Guard rescue and the almost incredible efforts of the pilots, hoist crews, and swimmers who headed straight into Hurricane Sandy. A taut recounting of a needless maritime tragedy.-- "Kirkus Reviews"
On Thursday, October 25, 2012, Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail Bounty from New London, Connecticut, to St. Petersburg, Florida. Walbridge knew that a hurricane was forecast, yet he was determined to sail. The captain told the crew that anyone could leave the ship before it sailed. No one took the captain up on his offer.
Four days into the voyage, Superstorm Sandy made an almost direct hit on the ship. A few hours later, the ship suddenly overturned ninety miles off the North Carolina coast in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic,” sending the crew tumbling into an ocean filled with towering thirty-foot waves. The coast guard then launched one of the most complex and massive rescues in its history.
In the uproar heard across American media in the days following, a single question persisted: Why did the captain decide to sail? Through hundreds of hours of interviews with the crew members and the coast guard, Michael J. Tougias and Douglas A. Campbell create an in-depth portrait of the enigmatic Captain Walbridge, his motivations, and what truly occurred aboard Bounty during those terrifying days at sea. “A white-knuckled, tragic adventure” (Richmond Times-Dispatch), Rescue of the Bounty is an unforgettable tale about the brutality of nature and the human will to survive.