During the height of the blizzard of 1978, the tanker
Global Hope floundered on the shoals off the Massachusetts coast. The Coast Guard dispatched a patrol boat, but was soon in as much trouble as the tanker. Then pilot boat captain Frank Quirk, hearing of the Coast Guard's troubles on his radio, decided to act. He gathered his crew of four, readied his 49-foot steel boat, the
Can Do, and entered the maelstrom of the blizzard that was to become known as the "Storm of the Century".
Encountering one of the most monstrous seas ever recorded, Quirk struggled through the night to keep his boat from being driven to the depths of the sea, maintaining contact with a local ham-radio operator through his hand-held battery-powered radio. We know that the Can Do stayed afloat past three a.m. Then there was silence.
"Tougias balances human and technical detail to create the best book of its kind since Sebastian Jungier's
The Perfect Storm." (
"Tougias delivers a well researched, vividly written tale of brave men overwhelmed by the awesome forces of nature. An absorbing account." ( Publishers Weekly)
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