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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.
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.
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.
David Abulafia begins with the earliest of seafaring societies - the Polynesians of the Pacific, the possessors of intuitive navigational skills, long before the invention of the compass, who by the first century were trading between their far-flung islands. By the seventh century, trading routes stretched from the coasts of Arabia and Africa to southern China and Japan, bringing together the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific, linking together half the world through the international spice trade. In the Atlantic, centuries before the little kingdom of Portugal carved out its powerful, seaborne colonial empire, many peoples sought new lands across the sea - the Bretons, the Frisians and, most notably, the Vikings, now known to be the first Europeans to reach North America. As Portuguese supremacy dwindled in the late sixteenth century, the Spanish, the Dutch and then the British each successively ruled the waves. Following merchants, explorers, pirates, cartographers and travellers in their quests for spices, gold, ivory, slaves, lands for settlement and knowledge of what lay beyond, David Abulafia has created an extraordinary narrative of humanity and the oceans. Besides its grand narratives, The Boundless Sea explores the lesser known maritime enterprises of Denmark, Sweden, Oman, Sri Vijaya and many others. And today, as plastic refuse covers thousands of square miles of the waters, and once exotic trading cities and outposts are replaced by vast, mechanized container ports, he asks - what next for our oceans and our world?
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 TanzaniŽ 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.
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.
1942. Liverpool. The war isn't going to plan. Distinguished Admiral Sir Max Horton is in the game room on his knees commanding a fleet of toy German U-boats. Behind a curtain his unknown opponent is manoeuvring the toy British battleships. Five times the pair have played the game and five times Horton's U-boats have suffered defeat. Exasperated, he demands to know his enemy. And from behind the curtain steps a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old woman. This is the story of a game of battleships that won the Second World War, and the unlikely heroes of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit - a retired naval captain and eight young Wrens - whose eureka moment cracked the battle of the Atlantic. It features cameos from a war-ravaged Churchill and an exceptional Nazi mastermind submariner, and takes us from the sweaty fug of German U-boat as it torpedoes a British evacuee ship, to the tense atmosphere of the wartime strategy room. The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before. Investigative journalist Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea.
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.
The SS Mendi is a wreck site off the Isle of Wight under the protection of Historic England. Nearly 650 men, mostly from the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLC), lost their lives in February 1917 following a collision in fog as they travelled to serve as labourers on the Western Front, in one of the largest single losses of life during the conflict.
The loss of the SS Mendi occupies a special place in South African military history. Prevented from being trained as fighting troops by their own government, the men of the SANLC hoped that their contribution to the war effort would lead to greater civil rights and economic opportunities in the new white-ruled nation of South Africa after the war. These hopes proved unfounded, and the SS Mendi became a focus of black resistance before and during the apartheid era in South Africa. One hundred years on, the wreck of the SS Mendi is a physical symbol of black South Africans’ long fight for social and political justice and equality and is one of a very select group of historic shipwrecks from which contemporary political and social meaning can be drawn, and whose loss has rippled forward in time to influence later events; a loss that is now an important part of the story of a new ‘rainbow nation’.
The wreck of the SS Mendi is now recognised as one of England’s most important First World War heritage assets and the wreck site is listed under the Protection of Military Remains Act. New archaeological investigation has provided real and direct information about the wreck for the first time.
The loss of the Mendi is used to highlight the story of the SANLC and other labour corps as well as the wider treatment of British imperial subjects in wartime.
Hier is 'n versameling gewaagde reddings vol drama en gevaar, ter viering van die NSRI se 50ste herdenking. Die stories, wat alles dek van brandende skepe tot haai-aanvalle, van sinkende vistreilers tot hallusinerende vissermanne, gaan oor die mens se konstante stryd teen sommige van die gevaarlikste vaarwaters op aarde. Dit sluit die storie in wat tot die stigting van die NSRI gelei het.
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.
'A thrilling celebration of lighthouses' i newspaper An enthralling history of Britain's rock lighthouses, and the people who built and inhabited them Lighthouses are enduring monuments to our relationship with the sea. They encapsulate a romantic vision of solitary homes amongst the waves, but their original purpose was much more noble, conceived as navigational gifts for the safety of all. Still today, we depend upon their guiding lights for the safe passage of ships. Nowhere is this truer than in the rock lighthouses of Great Britain and Ireland: twenty towers built between 1811 and 1904, so-called because they were constructed on desolate, slippery rock formations in the middle of the sea, rising, mirage-like, straight out of the waves, with lights shining at the their summits. Seashaken Houses is a lyrical exploration of these magnificent, isolated sentinels, the ingenuity of those who conceived them, the people who risked their lives building and rebuilding them, those that inhabited their circular rooms, and the ways in which we value emblems of our history in a changing world.
A fascinating journey through more than 5,000 years of seafaring history in this essential guide to the most impressive seafaring tales, explorers, and maritime environments. For more than 5,000 years, the seas have challenged, rewarded, and punished the brave sailors who set forth to explore it. This history of the seas and sailing tells the remarkable story of those individuals - whether they lived to tell the tale themselves or not. From the early Polynesian seafarers and the first full circumnavigations of the globe, to explorers picking their way through the coral reefs of the West Indies, this book tells the compelling story of life at sea that lies behind man's search for new lands, new trade, conquest, and uncharted waters. Charting the great milestones of nautical history from the discovery of America to the establishment of the Royal Navy, the naval history of the American Civil War, the Battle of Midway and modern piracy the book sets all of them in their cultural and historical context. The Conquest of the Ocean is a unique compendium of awe-inspiring tales of epic sea voyages and great feats of seamanship, navigation, endurance, and ingenuity.
Lighthouses have been used as aids to maritime navigation for centuries. They are highly recognisable and beloved features of our coastline and waterways, treasured by communities and captivating visitors. But how many are there and is it really possible to visit them all? The British Lighthouse Trail is the only book of its kind to provide a comprehensive listing of all lighthouses in Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands accompanied by practical advice on how to reach them. The author, an avid pharologist, set off on a quest in 2012 to visit all lighthouses around the British coastline only to find that there were many more lighthouses to be discovered. This comprehensive book is the result of further extensive research and significant travel. Over 600 lighthouses are featured - from the perilous beauty of Shetland's Muckle Flugga Lighthouse to the elegant serenity of Jersey's Corbiere Lighthouse. Complete with helpful maps highlighting the location of every lighthouse in each region and colour photography of a broad selection of our nation's most weird and wonderful aids to navigation throughout, this book is an indispensable guide to visiting and seeing some of our nation's most majestic, historical and isolated buildings. Each listing features a description of the structure, its light characteristic as well as any notable designers. Access information offers the best ways to reach or see each lighthouse, and whether it is possible to explore inside the tower. Nearby or related places of interest, such as other notable aids to navigation and relocated lighthouse optics, are also included. Experience the secluded joy of visiting tidal islands, watch waves lapping against some of the most remote rock structures, and feel the magic of walking in the footsteps of the lighthouse keepers inside the towers. This book will guide you on countless journeys never to be forgotten.
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.
The Egyptian sector of the Red Sea provides scuba divers with their finest opportunity to explore the most outstanding collection of shipwrecks found anywhere in the world. This newly revised edition of "Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea" explores nineteen of the most important and diveable shipwrecks many of which have not appeared before in any book. Additionally, there is a wealth of detail about many of the minor wrecks and a comprehensive list of more than 250 sunken ships in the area. Lavishly illustrated with both historic and up-to-date underwater photographs, each of the most important wrecks is rendered with the highest accuracy by eminent marine-artist Rico Oldfield. The product of nine years of research "Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea" brings to both scuba divers and shipwreck enthusiasts the most comprehensive, accurate and definitive work available.
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 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.
1942. Liverpool. The war isn't going to plan. Distinguished Admiral Sir Max Horton is in the game room on his knees commanding a fleet of toy German U-boats. Behind a curtain his unknown opponent is manoeuvring the toy British battleships. Five times the pair have played the game and five times Horton's U-boats have suffered defeat. Exasperated, he demands to know his enemy. And from behind the curtain steps a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old woman. This is the story of the game of battleships that won the Second World War. It tells the story of the unlikely heroes of the Western Approaches Tactical Unit - a retired naval captain and eight young women - whose eureka moment cracked the battle of the Atlantic. It features cameos from a war-ravaged Churchill and an exceptional Nazi mastermind submariner, and takes us from the sweaty fug of German U-boat U48 as it torpedoes a British evacuee ship, to the tense atmosphere of the wartime strategy room. The story of Operation Raspberry and its unsung heroines has never been told before. Investigative journalist Simon Parkin brings these hidden figures into the light in this gripping tale of war at sea.
"Titanic" delves into the astonishing facts surrounding the tragedy of 1912 and is essential for anyone wishing to separate myth from reality. With a range of trivia including facts about the construction of the vessel deemed to be 'unsinkable', the information is presented in an interesting and engaging way to embrace a wide variety of readers. The book would make the ideal gift for any Titanic fan, or those interested in the history of the ship. The "Amazing And Extraordinary Facts" series presents interesting, surprising and little-known facts and stories about a wide range of topics which are guaranteed to inform, absorb and entertain in equal measure.
The story behind the major motion picture from Disney-starring Chris Pine, Eric Bana, and Casey Affleck-written by a recognized master of the genre-"a blockbuster account of tragedy at sea". It's the winter of 1952 and a ferocious Nor'easter is pounding New England with howling winds and seventy-foot seas. Two oil tankers get caught in the violent storm off Cape Cod, its fury splitting the massive ships in two. Back on shore are four young Coast Guardsmen who are given a suicide mission. They must save the lives of the seamen left stranded in the killer storm, and they have to do it in a tiny lifeboat. The crew is led by Bernie Webber, who has to rely on prayer and the courage of his three crewmembers to pull off the impossible. As Webber and his crew sail into the teeth of the storm, each man comes to the realization that he may not come back alive. They've lost all navigation and have no idea where the stranded seaman are, and have no idea how to get back home. Whether by sheer luck or divine intervention, the crew stumbles upon the wounded ship in the darkness. More than thirty men appear at the railings of the SS Pendleton, all hoping to be saved. Once again, Webber and his crew face a daunting challenge. How can they rescue all these men with their tiny lifeboat? Dripping with suspense and high-stakes human drama, The Finest Hours has incredible and astonishing true-to-life heroism and action-packed rescue scenes. This "marvelous and terrifying yarn" (Los Angeles Times) "deserves a place as a classic of survival at sea".
No other ship in history has attracted so much attention, stirred up such powerful emotion, or accumulated as many legends and myths as Titanic. "Unsinkable" is a fresh look at this incredible story, one that centers on the people who built the ship, crewed her, and sailed on her. It follows the great ship as she grows on the ways at Harland & Wolff in Belfast, sails from Southampton toward her unexpected rendezvous with an iceberg, then slowly sinks into the North Atlantic, forever shattering the optimistic complacency of her era. The story doesn't end there, however, for the tale continues through the high drama of the U.S. Senate investigation and the British Board of Trade inquiry, then introduces the "mystery ship" Californian, whose officers watched Titanic sink and did nothing for fear of being subjected to their sleeping captain's wrath. The narrative then carries on with the recovery of many of Titanic's dead and their interment at Halifax, Nova Scotia, through the discovery of the wreck in 1985, and finally to the abortive 1996 expedition to raise a section of her rusted hull.
Looking back at the lives and sailing careers of some of our lifetime's finest yachtsmen, this collection of eleven original, moving accounts is just as much a celebration of the good - tales of hope, achievement and courageous spirit - as it is an account of their tragic final voyages. Included are world-renowned racers, like Eric Tabarly and Rob James, highly experienced cruisers and adventurers, like Peter Tangvald and Bill Tilman, and the notoriously ill-prepared Donald Crowhurst, as well as other famous and some less well-known sailors. Starting with the sad loss of Frank Davison and Reliance in 1949, the book concludes with the amazing last voyage of Philip Walwyn in 2015 - crossing the Atlantic single-handed in his 12 Metre yacht Kate. All of the men and women described were friends with or known to the author, Nicholas Gray, who himself competed in several short-handed long distance races, where he met and raced against many of these fascinating characters.Peppered with photographs showcasing the sailors and their yachts, this is a refreshing look at those who have helped to shape this sport's history, honouring their lives and accomplishments before detailing their tragic last voyages.
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