Hardcover 328 pages (December 2004) ISBN 1591146259
Publisher Naval Institute Press 291 Wood Road Annapolis, MA 21402 USA
Although the U.S. Coast Guard enjoys a reputation as the best maritime rescue service in the world, details of its heroic history are not well known. Dennis Noble has corrected this oversight with a book that highlights dramatic rescues over the past century carried out from shore-based Coast Guard stations and aircraft and patrol boats. He writes about a day shortly before Christmas in 1885 when Keeper Benjamin Dailey and his U.S. Life-Saving Service crew rowed five miles in seas almost higher than the length of their boat to pick up shipwrecked sailors and then bring them safely to shore. He also describes a 1918 rescue when a USCG boat crew pulled through burning gas and oil to extricate sailors from a sinking tanker. Among the most memorable is Paul A. Langlois, who during the darkness of a gale swept night, maneuvered his helicopter around rocky pinnacles thrusting higher into the air then the helicopter, to rescue two people from a sailboat. More recent savings are described by the rescuers themselves. But as Noble makes clear, not every rescue is successful and attempts that ended in deaths are included as well. Everyone who enjoys man-against-the-sea stories will appreciate this book. Maritime rescue specialists and historians will be drawn to the author’s overview of the change in equipment and the array of aircraft used by Coast Guard lifesavers. The Author
Dennis L. Noble was in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1957 to 1978, retiring as a Senior Chief Petty Officer after service at shore stations and in polar icebreakers. The author of twelve previous books, he holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History and received the Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Fellow of Maritime History. He lives in Sequim, Washington.
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