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Into the Raging Sea

Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm, and the Sinking of the El Faro
Narrated by: Erin Bennett
Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (219 ratings)
Regular price: $30.79
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Publisher's Summary

On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in 35 years. 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 24 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 cut-throat 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 men and women who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.

©2018 Rachel Slade (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

A Perfect Storm for a new generation, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a masterful account of the El Faro's sinking.” (Ben Mezrich, best-selling author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook)

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Wish I Could've Intervened to Prevent This Tragedy

Fascinating and gripping story of an unnecessary and preventable tragedy! Well researched to include the detailed accounts from the voice bridge voice recorders and background information and stories about many of the key characters. As an oceanographer, a former ship's captain, and maritime academy graduate, I couldn't help but want to intervene to prevent the unfolding tragedy. It's one of those rare occasions where we are left hoping the crew would mutiny to turn the ship around why there was still time. Thoughtful discussion about the current and former status of our maritime industry. Definitely a great story and listen. The narrator did a good job throughout. Highly recommended to anyway connected with or interested in maritime history or adventures.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Structure needs work

The book was okay (Audible rates 2 stars as 'it's okay' so I'll use that). My problem was that the author got into the habit of stopping the main narrative of the book, the sinking of the SS El Faro, to go on tangents. To be fair, these tangents mostly involved information relevant to the topic of the book, the Merchant Marine, the Coast Guard, weather predictions etc. However, they were put in at awkward places and only disrupted the narrative instead of being helpful asides, which is what I think the author was going for. Some of these where fairly long and it can be easy to lose track if you're not paying attention. In short, while the book was informative, it could have done a better job of presenting that information in a more streamlined fashion.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great read; much research

Whenever I saw that a book was written on this shipwreck, I recalled the tv interview of the officer in command of locating the ship with the tow fish sonar. I remember that he was talking about how the wheelhouse or bridge was totally separated from the ship in an attempt to describe how much power was in this hurricane and he got choked up. This is a high ranking officer who was part of a tragedy that included dozens of deaths, grieving families, first responders who risk their lives, corrupt business practices, and other stress factors. When he compared the force of the hurricane against an obsolete ship at sea, he was overwhelmed. The research and homework done by the author is down right impressive. No one knows more about this incident than Slade. Well done!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Horrifying; must read

I have a son at Maine Maritime, which is a first class college of Marine arts and sciences. He is in the Regiment of Midshipmen, learning the engineering side of the nautical business. He could have been on his first voyage learning about steam propulsion. I am very proud of him and losing him, particularly to something as senseless as this incident, would kill me. Coastal Maine has been deeply hurt by this. I am a relative newcomer but I know people directly involved in this tragedy. Aside from the gripping narrative, the book raises the question of why this could happen and how we insure it never happens again. I am asking my son to read or listen to this and hope he will change his mind and do so. If your son or daughter wants to live on the oceans, let them make a decision based on reality. “Moby Dick” was reality in its time, and this book serves the purpose now. And for those of us who hate getting wet, let’s reflect on the low cost stuff we buy in the store every day. What does it REALLY cost?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Captivating read!

Nothing like a good ocean rescue story, a tragedy of a mad captain going down with his ship, or an expose of corporate greed and political stupidity. This has all of the above. It’s even better than The Perfect Storm by John Krakauer because so little of the dialogue is conjectural.
Just listen!
Thanks

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book

Very good investigation by the writer. I recommend reading this book to find out about the El Faro.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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astounding!

I lived in Florida when this hurricane developed. I could never understand why this ship drove directly into a storm. Now I understand more. Thank you for writing the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Well-written, engaging, heartfelt, and informative

This book was fantastic! Almost completely gripping from start to finish with very few areas that didn't totally grasp my attention. What an amazing story, with lots of interesting information on tracking storms and the shipping industry. The narrator did a great job, but that's not hard to do with a book like this. This is how every non-fiction book should be written - storytelling with short spurts of factual/explanatory information. I have a very hard time staying invested in an audiobook if all it is doing is throwing fact after fact at me without any storytelling. This book did a great job of painting the picture of such an amazing and tragic story, with glimpses into the lives of the different key players, and also peppering the story with all the facts. Loved it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Tragedy in Vivid Detail

Well researched and written this book tells how ignorance, pride, commercial pressure, traditions discipline at sea, and the failure to outfit the El Faro with covered life rafts culminates in tragedy. This outcome could have been avoided. This pattern of failure will not be unfamiliar to anyone forced to work for someone ill equipped to handle the job. At sea, and in a hurricane, El Fargo’s destiny was sealed with every small misstep and decision by the captain and the corporation that failed the sailors tasked with delivering her cargo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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excellent account

well written and researched. I appreciated learning about the back story regarding some of the factors that lead to the tragedy, as well as meeting many of the people caught up in it.