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Publisher's Summary

A Malaysian cargo ship on its way from Seattle, Washington, to China ran aground off the coast of western Alaska's Aleutian Islands on December 8, 2004, during a brutal storm, leading to one of the most incredible Coast Guard rescue missions of all time.

Two Coast Guard Jayhawk helicopters lifted off immediately from Air Station Kodiak during the driving storm, in an effort to rescue the ship's 18 crew members before it broke apart and sank in the freezing waters. Nine of the crew were lifted from the ship and dropped aboard a nearby Coast Guard cutter. But during attempts to save the last eight crew members, one of the Jayhawks was engulfed by a rogue wave that broke over the bow of the ship. When its engines flamed out from ingesting water, the Jayhawk crashed into the sea. The seven crew members from the ship who had been hoisted into the aircraft, along with the chopper's three-man crew, plunged into the bitterly cold ocean, where hypothermia immediately began to set in.

Interviewing all the surviving participants of the disaster and given access to documents and photos, acclaimed author Spike Walker has once again crafted a white-knuckle book of survival and death in the unforgiving Alaskan waters.

©2010 Spike Walker (P)2010 Tantor

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Kent
  • Fairfield, CA, United States
  • 11-08-10

An absolutely gripping true story…

This is a gripping story of an actual maritime tragedy in the Bering Sea, during the worst possible environmental conditions. I watched the news surrounding this shipwreck happen at the time. It was a situation that had me glued to the reporting. This book fills in the details in a way that draws the reader in and ensures you know the human dimensions of the story. I’ve known two of the main characters in this story; they are accurately portrayed. You will recognize the Coast Guardsmen involved in this event as the real heroes that they are. I strongly recommend this book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Real Tough Guy Stuff

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There is no changing the story; it's non-fiction! :) But the author's take on the events was too one-sided and macho for me. I can see this as a movie with a bunch of buff actors with square jaws and shaved heads.

What does Robertson Dean bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice is very manly, which is perfect for this book. It was a little too macho for me, but some may like it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Engaging story of Coast Guard rescue

Would you listen to On the Edge of Survival again? Why?

The story is told from different viewpoints of the men who participated in the rescue attempt. I think I would enjoy hearing it again, knowing it was a real-life experience.

What did you like best about this story?

I was amazed at how dedicated these men were and in spite of tremendous odds and difficulties were able to rescue so many. It seemed like a miracle that they were able to perform as well as they did.

What about Robertson Dean’s performance did you like?

He read carefully and deliberately so that the many different members could each tell<br/>their own stories. I was able to follow the story despite its many jumps to different<br/>locations.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the Aaron Bean, the rescue swimmer was finally rescued.

Any additional comments?

I was touched by the commitment of these men to save lives and see how their<br/>success and failure touched their lives after the rescue.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • scott
  • MOODUS, CT, United States
  • 08-10-12

Extremely Lackluster Narration

Any additional comments?

While the story itself is compelling it floundered then drowned in an unthusiastic narration. Dean could not achieve any sense of emotional urgency in the dialogue between characters so necessary in a story such as this. The pitch and tone of his voice was almost flat which made for listful listening at best. I trudged through half of it before deciding to abandon ship.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Completely awful

Would you try another book from Spike Walker and/or Robertson Dean?

No.

Would you ever listen to anything by Spike Walker again?

No.

What didn’t you like about Robertson Dean’s performance?

It was flat, with absolutely no inflection. He might as well of been reading a grocery list.

Any additional comments?

This reads just like another teen drama. The characters seem to be only concerned with what they get out of the deal, without any concern for the fact that lives are at stake. As a former EMT, I am ashamed to be associated with people who think like this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • JackMargo
  • St Petersburg, FL, United States
  • 12-06-12

Great Artic Survival and Adventure Story

This would have been a great story if it had been fiction. The fact that it is true and the heroes are real make it even better. Great read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Exciting and well written

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was in awe. Great for listening while walking or exercising or doing routine tasks. He puts you right there in the moment. Fun and heroic

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kevin
  • Danville, KY, United States
  • 09-10-12

Engaging!

Would you listen to On the Edge of Survival again? Why?

Yes. Would still be an adventure. Also, could learn more nautical terms.

What did you like best about this story?

The expertise of the characters.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No.

Any additional comments?

Great adventure. Well told.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Anthony
  • Lincoln Park, MI, United States
  • 04-17-12

Outstanding Listen. worth the time

Where does On the Edge of Survival rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It goes in my heartily recommend file. A gripping story well read as usual by Robertson Dean.

  • Overall

gripping story!

I loved the story and the way it was told. gripping and inspiring from a heroism aspect. I liked the narrator too.