Movie about coast guard rescue off cape cod

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movie about coast guard rescue off cape cod

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guards Most Daring Sea Rescue by Michael J. Tougias

In the winter of 1952, New England was battered by the most brutal noreaster in years. As the weather wreaked havoc on land, the freezing Atlantic became a wind-whipped zone of peril.

In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer, found themselves in the same horrifying predicament. Built with dirty steel, and not prepared to withstand such ferocious seas, both tankers split in two, leaving the dozens of men on board utterly at the Atlantics mercy.

The Finest Hours is the gripping, true story of the valiant attempt to rescue the souls huddling inside the broken halves of the two ships. Coast Guard cutters raced to the aid of those on the Fort Mercer, and when it became apparent that the halves of the Pendleton were in danger of capsizing, the Guard sent out two thirty-six-foot lifeboats as well. These wooden boats, manned by only four seamen, were dwarfed by the enormous seventy-foot seas. As the tiny rescue vessels set out from the coast of Cape Cod, the men aboard were all fully aware that they were embarking on what could easily become a suicide mission.

The spellbinding tale is overflowing with breathtaking scenes that sear themselves into the minds eye, as boats capsize, bows and sterns crash into one another, and men hurl themselves into the raging sea in their terrifying battle for survival.

Not all of the eighty-four men caught at sea in the midst of that brutal storm survived, but considering the odds, its a miracle--and a testament to their bravery--that any came home to tell their tales at all.
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Published 08.12.2018

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When real-life stories are turned into books, and those books are turned into movies, there's always a chance that the original tale could get butchered in the process.
Michael J. Tougias

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Tougias and Casey Sherman. The two plan to marry on April 16, but in accordance with Coast Guard regulations, Bernie must seek permission from the station's commander, Although it is really just a formality Daniel Cluff. Livesey volunteer to join Bernie on the rescue mission. Meanwhile, the Pendleton ' s engineer, Ray Sybert, as the surviving senior officer, organizes the surviving seamen to steer the sinking stern of the tanker onto a submerged reef , where it can lodge until rescuers arrive. When Miriam hears that Bernie is leading the rescue effort, she, like a number of townspeople, thinks this is a suicide mission. Few people in Chatham trust Cluff, since he is not from the area and does not know its treacherous weather. Miriam drives to the station, demanding that Cluff call Bernie back.

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With some exceptions for the sake of dramatic tension and concise storytelling, the script largely sticks to its source material, Michael J. The tanker had sustained a three-way fracture the previous year, and despite a failure to repair it, the boat still passed inspection in January , the month before the storm. It would later be confirmed that Captain John J. Fitzgerald and seven crewmen had gone down with the bow. Chief Engineer Raymond L. Sybert, played by Affleck, became the de facto captain of the stern.

One of the broken ships, the Pendleton, drifted perilously close to the shoals off Chatham, Mass. The captain and seven others in the bow section were lost, but the 33 sailors trapped aft maintained electric power for a while and were even able to navigate after a fashion until the hull began flooding and drifted so close to shore that people could glimpse it from the beach. All the available cutters were busy trying to rescue the other tanker, so as darkness fell the Coast Guard sent a foot wooden motor lifeboat operated by just four young crewmen. That the little boat, with the utilitarian name CG CG for Coast Guard, 36 for its length and for a serial number , made it out to the Pendleton, let alone back with all but one of the 33 stranded sailors, is still a source of wonder to naval historians, who consider this the greatest small-boat rescue ever. Visibility was poor, with snow driving almost horizontally, and waves cresting at close to 70 feet. Crossing the Chatham shoal, the CG36 rolled over twice, and the compass and windshield were smashed. Several times, the engine stalled, and the youngest crewman, Andy Fitzgerald, had to crawl into its compartment and reprime it, severely burning himself.

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