Coming Back Alive

The True Story of the Most Harrowing Search and Rescue Mission Ever Attempted on Alaska's High Seas
Narrated by: Paul Heitsch
Length: 8 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When the fishing vessel La Conte sinks suddenly at night in 100-mile-per-hour winds and record 90-foot seas during a savage storm in January 1998, her five crewmen are left to drift without a life raft in the freezing Alaskan waters and survive as best they can.

One hundred fifty miles away, in Sitka, Alaska, an H-60 Jayhawk helicopter lifts off from America's most remote Coast Guard base in the hopes of tracking down an anonymous Mayday signal. A fisherman's worst nightmare has become a Coast Guard crew's desperate mission. As the crew of the La Conte begin to die one by one, those sworn to watch over them risk everything to pull off the rescue of the century.

Spike Walker's memoir of his years as a deckhand in Alaska, Working on the Edge, was hailed by James A. Michner as "masterful...will become the definitive account of this perilous trade, an addition to the literature of the sea." In Coming Back Alive, Walker has crafted his most devastating book to date. Meticulously researched through hundreds of hours of taped interviews with the survivors, this is the true account of the La Conte's final voyage and the relationship between Alaskan fishermen and the search and rescue crews who risked their lives to save them.

©2001 Spike Walker (P)2018 Tantor

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Outstanding Story and Performance

Spike Walker's weaving of story has gotten so good over the years and his writing brings urgency and heart to the toughest USCG Alaska rescues in history. My hat is off those crews in a huge way. Paul Heitsch's performance is just terrific. He really understands how and when to impart urgency, compassion, machismo, sensitivity and thoughtfulness precisely where it's needed. He brings energy and propulsion, then lets the material breathe like the trough of a passing wave. Really a great narration of an engrossing book.

11 people found this helpful

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unbelievable!! literally, edge of your seat!!

Narrator is so incredibly good. he takes you there, does the voices and it is right on. He is so good, you forget you're listening, it's almost like your watching. the writing and performance are so good. excellent book. I wish there were more volumes by this duo. the narrator is a SAG member, explains the excellent
job portraying several characters.

1 person found this helpful

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I Love real story

Goods story line,kept me want to know how it ended. narrator was easy to listen to. I will look for more,by this author and this narrator.