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To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSRI, here is a collection of daring rescues filled with drama and danger. From burning ships to shark attacks, sinking trawlers to hallucinating fishermen, these are the stories of man’s constant battle with some of the most dangerous waters on earth. But there is one story in particular that gave rise to the creation of the NSRI...
On 12 April 1966, four fishing boats put out to sea from Stilbaai on South Africa’s southern coast. Soon they were all pulling in fish as fast as they could bait their hooks, and the boats were settling lower in the water. Shortly before sunset, skipper Gerhard Dreyer saw clouds building on the horizon. But the fishing was too good and they ignored the signs. Later that night a gale force wind slammed into them. ‘I told the men to throw everything overboard,’ Gerhard remembers. An hour before midnight, Gerhard headed for deeper water to try and ride out the swells. As dawn broke, they saw for the first time the true extent of the night’s damage: among the flotsam, one man in a lifebuoy. That man was the only crewman from the other three boats to survive the terrible storm. Seventeen men died that night.
Simonstown schoolteacher Patti Price was horrified when she read the news. She began a media campaign and appealed to the president of the Society of Master Mariners. As a direct result of her efforts, the South African Inshore Rescue Service was founded in August 1966 (renamed the National Sea Rescue Institute in 1967). Today, the NSRI has 35 rescue bases and over 1 000 volunteers.
It was a dark and stormy night in 1991 when a magician took over the bridge of the Oceanos, an ageing passenger liner travelling up the Wild Coast.
The captain was nowhere to be found. The ship started taking in water in the auxiliary engine room just a few hours after it had set sail from East London. Panicking, the crew scrambled into the lifeboats, leaving passengers largely to fend for themselves. The ship’s entertainment staff bravely started to calm passengers and coordinated the abandon-ship operation and rescue effort.
The story of this dramatic rescue, which made headlines across the world, is told from the perspective of all the key role players and describes their extraordinary heroism.
Lighthouses have always unsettled and attracted in equal measure, highlighting the triumphs and failures in humanity's battle with the forces of nature. Taking as its heroes the lighthouses themselves, Sentinels of the Sea describes the engineering genius that allowed their construction on even the smallest of rock outcrops and the innovations that made the lights so powerful and reliable. Intricate, elegant architectural plans and elevations, and evocative period drawings and photographs showcase the innovative designs and technologies behind fifty historic lighthouses built around the world from the 17th to the 20th century. R.G. Grant's engaging and authoritative text chronicles the incredible feats of engineering and endurance that brought these iconic, isolated towers into being, the advances in lens technology that made the lights so effective, and the everyday routines of the lighthouse keepers and the heroic rescues that some performed. Packed with extraordinary stories of human endeavour, desperate shipwrecks, builders defying the elements and heroic sea rescues, the book also reveals the isolation and vulnerability of the dedicated lighthouse keepers.
Gedurende die Grensoorlog het die Spesiale Magte se 4 Verkenningsregiment tientalle klandestiene seewaartse operasies saam met die SA Vloot uitgevoer. Van Cabinda in Angola tot Dar es Salaam in Tanzanië het hulle strategiese teikens soos oliedepots, vervoerinfrastruktuur en selfs Russiese skepe aangeval. Die bestaan van 4 Recce is grootliks geheim gehou, ook in die SAW.
Ystervuis uit die see beskryf 50 operasies deur 4 Recce, ander Spesmagte-eenhede en die SA Vloot. Daaronder tel Operasie Kerslig (1981), waartydens ’n operateur dood en ander beseer is in ’n aanval op ’n olieraffinadery in Luanda, en Operasie Argon (1985) toe kaptein Wynand du Toit in Angola gevange geneem is.
Die skrywers, wat self aan etlike van die operasies deelgeneem het, het ook toegang gekry tot uiters geheime dokumente wat intussen gedeklassifiseer is. Hul dramatiese vertellings wys hoe veelsydig en doeltreffend hierdie elite-eenheid was.
Die omvattende boek is ’n moet vir enigeen met ’n belangstelling in die Spesmagte. Dit neem jou na die hart van die aksie, die adrenalien en vrees van seewaartse operasies.
From Cabinda in Angola to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, 4 Reconnaissance Regiment conducted numerous clandestine seaborne raids during the Border War. They attacked strategic targets such as oil facilities, transport infrastructure and even Russian ships. All the while 4 Recce’s existence and capability was largely kept secret, even within the South African Defence Force.
With unparalleled access to previously top secret documents, 50 operations undertaken by 4 Recce, other Special Forces units and the South African Navy are described here in Iron Fist From The Sea. The daunting Operation Kerslig (1981), in which an operator died in a raid on a Luanda oil refinery and others were injured, is retold in spine-tingling detail. The book reveals the versatility and effectiveness of this elite unit and also tells of both the successes and failures of its actions. Sometimes missions go wrong, as in Operation Argon (1985) when Captain Wynand Du Toit was captured. This fascinating work will enthrall anyone with an interest in Special Forces operations.
Iron Fist From The Sea takes you right to the raging surf, to the adrenalin and fear that is seaborne raiding.
This comprehensive overview traces the evolution of modern Mozambique, from its early modern origins in the Indian Ocean trading system and the Portuguese maritime empire to the fifteen-year civil war that followed independence and its continued after-effects.
Though peace was achieved in 1992 through international mediation, Mozambique's remarkable recovery has shown signs of stalling. Malyn Newitt explores the historical roots of Mozambican disunity and hampered development, beginning with the divisive effects of the slave trade, the drawing of colonial frontiers in the 1890s and the lasting particularities of the north, centre and south, inherited from the compartmentalised approach of concession companies. Following the nationalist guerrillas' victory against the Portuguese in 1975, these regional divisions resurfaced in a civil war pitting the south against the north and centre, over attempts at far-reaching socioeconomic change. The settlement of the early 1990s is now under threat from a revived insurgency, and the ghosts of the past remain.
This book seeks to distill this complex history, and to understand why, twenty-five years after the Peace Accord, Mozambicans still remain among the poorest people in the world.
Whether used for transport, adventure, work, or sport, boats have played a vital role in human history and have inspired numerous stories. The 40 boats featured in Notable Boats will gently float you away with tales of bravery, adventure, and the odd moment of near catastrophe. The book skillfully balances intricate and beautiful visuals, attractively styled statistics, and gripping text. As well as everyday crafts such as the canoe and the fishing trawler, there are boats of historic interest, fictional ships, and even celebrities' boats. Each boat will be featured across two spreads, including the aerial view of its deck/interior plan, a color study, and a description of the boat and what it is famous for. The stories cover the globe, with adventurous tales from all the world's waterways. Designed to be dipped in and out of, Notable Boats offers an intimate window into a world of sailing for those whose passion it is-and those whose passion it isn't-alike.
This is a factual account, written in the pace of fiction, of
hundreds of dramatic losses, heroic rescues, and violent adventures
at the stormy meeting place of northern and southern winds and
waters -- the Graveyard of the Atlantic off the Outer Banks of
In the early hours of 15 April 1912, after the majestic liner Titanic had split apart and the 1,500 men, women and children struggled to stay alive in the freezing Atlantic, the sea was alive with the sound of screaming. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, a deathly silence settled over the sea. Yet the echoes of that night reverberated through the lives of each of the 705 survivors. Shadow of the Titanictells the extraordinary stories of some of those who survived. Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night, in effect a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town? Timed to coincide with the 100thanniversary of the sinking, Shadow of the Titanicsheds new light on this enduringly fascinating story, by showing how the disaster continued to shape the lives of a cross-section of passengers who escaped the sinking ship.
When the ship of dreams sank, so did the Edwardian era. In this original and meticulously-researched narrative history, Gareth Russell considers the real story of the Titanic, and the seismic shift of modernity the 1910s have come to mark in the West. Had she survived her first voyage, The Titanic probably would have dated like other ocean liners. Instead, within a week of setting sail on 10th April 1912, the disaster of her sinking had turned her into one of the biggest news stories of the century. Writing in his signature prose, Gareth Russell peers through the portholes of six first-class travellers to immerse us into the Edwardian era while demonstrating how modernity shook up the class system of the age. Lucy Leslie, Countess of Rothes; "son" of the British Empire, Tommy Andrews; captain of the industry John Thayer and his son Jack; Jewish immigrant Ida Straus; and model and movie star Dorothy Gibson. Each subject's unique story offers insights into the established hierarchy during the fin de siecle of pre-war Britain and America, the Titanic's respective spiritual and economic homelands. Through these entwining lives, Russell investigates social class - its mores, its foibles, its accents, its etiquette, its benefits, its casual or intentional cruelties, its potential nobility. Those nuances also invite analyses of the shipping trade, the birth of the movie industry, the aristocracy, the American Gilded Age, the Irish Home Rule crisis, and Jewish-American communities. The Titanic is the vessel in which we can extrapolate lessons on hubris, folly, greed, love, class, magnificent courage and pitiable weakness. She carried thousands of people and, in that way, she still has thousands of stories to tell. Drawing on brand new and unpublished materials, journal entries and film archives from the time, The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World focuses on the symbolism of the Titanic as the floating symbol of Anglo-American success, its clientele an apt illustration of the limitless - technological, financial - possibilities of its time.
If you centre a globe on Kiritimati (Christmas Island), all you see around it is a vast expanse of ocean. Islands of various sizes float in view while glimpses of continents encroach on the fringes, but this is a view dominated by water. The immense stretch of the Pacific Ocean is inhabited by a diverse array of peoples and cultures bound by a common thread: their relationship with the sea. The rich history of the Pacific is explored through specific objects, each one beautifully illustrated, from the earliest human engagement with the Pacific through to the modern day. With entries covering mapping, trade, whaling, flora and fauna, and the myriad vessels used to traverse the ocean, Pacific builds on recent interest in the voyages of James Cook to tell a broader history. This visually stunning publication highlights the importance of an ocean that covers very nearly a third of the surface of the globe, and which has dramatically shaped the world and people around it.
"A classic… historical writing at its best – and at the same time, one of the most chilling books I have aver read."
"Superbly readable… he gives us, in fascinating detail, the stark, bloodstained true story… Philbrick's book is more than a piece of elegantly written maritime history… It is a compelling study of the infinite human meanings of the sea itself."
The sinking of the Nantucket whaleship 'Essex' by an enraged spermwhale far out in the Pacific in November 1820 set in train one of the most dramatic sea stories of all time. Accounts of the unprecedented whale attack inspired Herman Melville's mighty novel 'Moby Dick', but 'In the Heart of the Sea' goes beyond these events to describe what happened when the twenty mixed-race crewmen took to three small boats and what, three months later, the whaleship 'Dauphin', cruising of the coast of South America, discovered when it spotted a tiny boat sailing erratically across the open ocean.
"The approach is unusual and fresh, the book intelligent, probing, scholarly, gripping and satisfying. It sets a new mark for maritime literature, away from the traditional adventure pattern… much of the literary excellence of 'In the Heart' lies in its fine and introspective passages… Philbrick relishes words and language, and skilfully uses them to carry the reader into cubby-holes of darker causes and effects."
The sea has been an endless source of fascination, at once both alluring and mysterious, a place of wonder and terror. The Sea Journal contains first-hand records by a great range of travellers of their encounters with strange creatures and new lands, full of dangers and delights, pleasures and perils. In this remarkable gathering of private journals, log books, letters and diaries, we follow the voyages of intrepid sailors, from the frozen polar wastes to South Seas paradise islands, as they set down their immediate impressions of all they saw. They capture their experiences while at sea, giving us a precious view of the oceans and the creatures that live in them as they were when they were scarcely known and right up to the present day. In a series of biographical portraits, we meet officers and ordinary sailors, cooks and whalers, surgeons and artists, explorers and adventurers. A handful of contemporary mariners provide their thoughts on how art remains integral to their voyaging lives. Often still bearing the traces of their nautical past, the intriguing and enchanting sketches and drawings in this book brilliantly capture the spirit of the oceans and the magic of the sea.
Many historic houses decorating Skip Finley's native Martha's Vineyard were originally built by whaling captains. Whether in his village of Oak Bluffs, on the Island of Nantucket where whaling burgeoned, or New Bedford, which became the City of Light thanks to whaling, these magnificent homes testify to the money that was made from whaling. The triangle connecting Martha's Vineyard to these areas and Eastern Long Island was the Middle East of its day. Whale wealth was astronomical, and endures in the form of land trusts, roads, hotels, docks, businesses, homes, churches and parks. Whaling revenues were invested into railroads and the textile industry. Millions of whales died in the 250 year enterprise, with more than 2,700 ships built for chasing, killing and processing whales. That story is well-told in books, some that have been bestsellers. What hasn't been told is the story of whaling's colorful leaders in an era when the only other option was slavery. Whaling was the first American industry to exhibit any diversity. A man got to be captain not because he was white or well connected, but because he knew how to kill a whale. Along the way he could learn navigation and reading and writing. Whaling presented a tantalizing alternative to mainland life. Working with archival records at whaling museums, in libraries, from private archives and interviews with people whose ancestors were whaling masters, Finley culls stories from the lives of 54 black whaling captains to create a portrait of what life was like for these leaders of color on the high seas. Each time a ship spotted a whale, a group often including the captain would jump into a small boat, row to the whale, and attack it, at times with the captain delivering the killing blow. The first, second or third mate, and boat steerer could eventually have opportunities to move into increasingly responsible roles. Finley explains how this skills-based system propelled captains of color to the helm. Readers will meet an improbable, diverse, engaging cast of characters: slaves and slavers, abolitionists, Quakers, British, killers and cannibals, deserters and gamblers, gold miners, inventors and investors, cooks and crooks, and of course the whales, the latter of whom seemingly had personalities of their own. The book concludes as facts and factions conspire to kill the industry, including wars, weather, bad management, poor judgment, disease, obsolescence and a non-renewable natural resource. Ironically, the end of the Civil War allowed the African Americans who were captains to exit the difficult and dangerous occupation and make room for the Cape Verdean who picked up the mantle, literally to the end of the industry.
Die Suid-Kaapse Agulhas-kus is ongetwyfeld besaai met stories en legendes oor die tientalle skeepsrampe wat hulle aan hierdie gevaarlikste deel van die ganse Suid-Afrikaanse kuslyn afgespeel het.
Met hierdie besonderse boekstawing deur Jeanette Grobbelaar word hierdie boeiende verhale nie net byeengebring nie, maar word dit ook op só ‘n manier aangebied dat jy dié boek eenvoudig nie neer wíl sit nie.
Piracy along American coastlines and in the Caribbean in the late 1600s and early 1700s is often seen today through a colourful set of modern media archetypes. The reality, however, was usually more ugly and frequently lethal. In this book, author Joseph Gibbs goes back to original memoirs, monographs, newspaper articles, and trial records to present a stark picture of piracy in the era of Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts, and Ann Bonny and Mary Read. A prequel to Gibbs well received On the Account: Piracy and the Americas, 17661835, this book similarly presents primary sources chosen for authenticity. The contents are introduced, annotated, and carefully edited for modern readers. They offer a glimpse of piracy far removed from, and often more engaging than, the romanticised version provided by later writers and filmmakers. They describe, for example, the ordeal-filled marches of the Caribbean boucaniers, who were tough enough to eat leather while sacking the cities of the Spanish empire. They also shed light on the pirates tactics at sea and on land; their practice of forcing captives to join them; their often-sadistic cruelty; and their ships articles and the primitive democratic standards they upheld. Enhanced with classic maps and illustrations, The Golden Age offers an unvarnished look at those who sailed and often died under the dreaded black and red flags of the era. Readers will see pirates as they actually were -- in pursuit of prey, in battle, and sometimes on the way to the gallows.
A fascinating insight into an industry that shaped the Yorkshire landscape which will appeal to those interested in the history of the county, Keighley, knitting and our industrial heritage generally. Marriner's wool and patterns have clothed generations of British families, but few people are aware of the fascinating story of this famous company. This well-written, readable account puts the firm under the microscope in a way which contributes greatly to our knowledge and understanding of mill working and management.
The worst storm in history seem from the wheelhouse of a doomed fishing trawler; a mesmerisingly vivid account of a natural hell from a perspective that offers no escape. The 'perfect storm' is a once-in-a-hundred-years combination: a high pressure system from the Great Lakes, running into storm winds over an Atlantic island - Sable Island - and colliding with a weather system from the Caribbean: Hurricane Grace. This is the story of that storm, told through the accounts of individual fishing boats caught up in the maelstrom, their families waiting anxiously for news of their return, the rescue services scrambled to save them. It is the story of the old battle between the fisherman and the sea, between man and Nature, but here Nature is an awesome and capricious power that transforms the surface of the Atlantic into an impossible tumult of water walls and gaping voids, with the capacity to break an oil tanker in two, let alone the 72ft swordfishing boat Andrea Gail with her crew of eight. A typical Hurricane encompasses a million cubic miles of atmosphere and can contain enough energy to, in theory, meet the electric power needs of the UK for a decade. Except that a hurricane will not be controlled. In spare, lyrical prose 'The Perfect Storm' describes what happened when the Andrea Gail looked into the wrathful face of the perfect storm.
In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a nail-biting account of the sinking of the container ship El Faro, the crew of thirty-three who perished onboard, and the destructive forces of globalisation that put the ship in harm's way. On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in one of the worst shipping disasters in decades. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish - until now. Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves - whose conversations were captured by the ship's data recorder - journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers' anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out Captain Michael Davidson's increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America's aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping - a cutthroat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming. A richly reported account of a singular tragedy, Into the Raging Sea takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking crew of El Faro who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.
Published in commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the "Titanic"'s sinking, this book tells the story of that fateful night from an unusual angle: through the many wireless communications sent to and from the land stations and the ships involved as the tragic events unfolded.Drawing on the extensive record of wireless transmissions in the Marconi Archives, "Titanic Calling" recounts this legendary story the way it was first heard, beginning with repeated warnings--just hours before the collision--of several large icebergs unusually far south and alarmingly close to the "Titanic"'s course. The story follows senior operator Jack Phillips as he sends distress messages to nearby ships and shows how these urgent calls for help were received and rapidly relayed across the Atlantic in a desperate attempt to save the lives of the "Titanic"'s passengers and crew. Finally, the distant SS "Virginian" receives the "Titanic"'s final, broken message. The story concludes with the rescue of the fortunate survivors, who radio messages to loved ones from aboard the RMS "Carpathia "while safely on their way to New York. Illustrated throughout with photographs of the messages and including full transcripts of original material, the book also features an introduction to the development of maritime wireless communications and a discussion of the Marconi Archives's "Titanic "collection. The forced brevity of the messages lends the narrative a startling sense of immediacy and brings to life to the voices of the individuals involved.
The familiar story of the RMS Titanic--from her tragic 10-second encounter with an iceberg to her descent to the bottom of the ocean some three hours later, taking with her more than 1,500 lives--still looms large in the popular imagination. Daniel Butler, a researcher and archivist, worked on this book for 30 years, intensively compiling facts not only about the event, but also about the characters who played an important role, from the actions of Captain Smith and his crew to the inescapable fate of the third-class passengers. He also offers the startling revelation of a nearby ship which ignored the Titanic's distress call because the shipmates were afraid to awaken their captain. Unsinkable explores every facet of the Titanic's history, from its conception to a modern-day researcher's attempts to salvage the ship. The author presents a contemporary view of the crew and the passengers aboard, creating a better understanding of the time and the social psyche that played a role in the disaster. Also of note is Butler's enlistment of a clinical psychologist to analyze Captain Smith's mental state as the drama unfolded before him. Butler's passionate yet balanced narrative permits readers to conclude for themselves who or what was ultimately responsible for sinking the unsinkable ship.
In the tradition of Dava Sobel's 'Longitude' comes sailing expert David Barrie's compelling and dramatic tale of invention and discovery - an eloquent elegy to one of the most important navigational instruments ever created, and the daring mariners who used it to explore, conquer, and map the world. This is the dramatic story of an instrument that changed history. Built around David Barrie's own transatlantic passage using the very same navigational tools as Captain Cook, Sextant tells how one of the most vital navigational instruments was invented and used - and why the golden age of celestial navigation has now come to an end. From Cook, Bligh and Vancouver to Bougainville, La Perouse, Flinders and FitzRoy, Barrie recounts the fortunes of the explorers who risked their lives in charting the Pacific, as well as the intrepid adventures of Slocum, Shackleton and Worsley. A heady mix of history, science and adventure, this elegy to a lost technology is infused with the wonder of discovery and the sublimity of the cosmos.
At dawn on 27 April 1789 Fletcher Christian, master's mate on HMS Bounty, took a coconut to quench his thirst from the supply on the quarterdeck. This seemingly insignificant act resulted in mutiny, chaos and a chain of events that leads right up to the present day. With a story driven by hazardous and extraordinary sea voyages and a cast that includes the Bounty mutineers, an eccentric lesbian aristocrat, Pitcairn Island sex offenders and the narrator's ancient mother, this sparkling and original book weaves together fact and fiction, history and autobiography, humour and danger in inimitable style.
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