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Lost at Sea

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  23 reviews
On the morning of February 3, 1983, the Americus and Altair, two state-of-the-art crabbing vessels, idled at the dock in their home port of Anacortes, Washington. On deck, the fourteen crewmen--fathers, sons, brothers and friends who'd known one another all their lives--prepared for the ten-day trip to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. From this rough-and-tumble seaport the men would ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published July 20th 1999 by The Dial Press (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 220)
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Don Weidinger
flowers in the water were unlucky, Anacortes to Dutch Harbor, maytag affect, chute risks, 4K deep water, knock ice from doors, experimenting as it takes a lifetime to learn fishing, Ash Wednesday, other boats down Fly Boy, cross tanking, Bering Sea only bachelors should be allowed to fish here losing 15-20/year, Arctic Dreamer capsized with survival suits retain 6 hours, trim configurations with cross tank and lots of pots, hard to starboard turn—evasive, cut power and no turn to stabilize, wave ...more
Leslie Mesmer
Although this book gets technical on explaining things, it does a real good job on explaining how the fishing industry has evolved and what motivates the fishing comunity.
This book starts by telling of 2 sister ships from the same company and fitted almost the same both disappeared in the same time frame shortly after leaving port.
On Jan. 3 1983, the Americus and the Altair sailed out in the early morning. Eleven days later the Americus was found in calm waters, overturned and drifting with n
...more
Sandra Strange
This book details the difficult life of NorthWestern US fishermen (think Alaska and Seattle), victims and villains of the ecological disaster shaping up in our seas because the demand for fish far exceeds the world's ability to supply that demand. The title refers to the tragedy of inadequate vessels braving horrendous storms so that men can follow their traditional way of making a living: commercial fishing, and ending with both vessel and fishermen "lost at sea." The book is not what I expecte ...more
Katie Turkelson
I couldn't believe this was on our boat when we were sailing in the Med. but I was so glad it was. It really was an interesting and well written book. Reading it on the water was a great way to put everything into context and I was shocked at how much I enjoyed it.
Jon
This book deals with the loss of 2 ships from a crab fishing fleet. If you are a fan of "Deadliest Catch" on Discovery, this book will be of interest to you. The author does a good job of investigating what caused these ships to sink, and chronicles the investigation and safety measures that result from the coast guard's findings. A lot of this deals with the aftermath, so if you're looking for high sea adventures, that's only covered in the beginning of the book. The author gets bonus points fo ...more
Tina Rentzis
Fantastic book. One of my favorites. Non-fiction. A must read.
Elynn
Although this deals with the loss of fishing boats at sea, the majority of the book deals with the after effects: the investigation and changing of policies. Although not "gripping danger on the seas" novel, it was a fascinating look at how industries (in this case the crab and fishing industries) are shaped by booming markets. It deals with the dangers of uncontrolled growth. It is amazing to me to realize how recent some of the safety standards we take for granted today came into existence.
Julie
Mar 03, 2008 Julie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Northwesterners, fishermen, former petty officers in the Coast Guard
Could have been really good; it is a scary story. Since there were no survivors, everyone is left to speculate what the final moments were like (which, all told, could be creepier than what it was actually like). The last portion of the book is all the bureaucratic mess of trying to set some sort of standard for the commercial fishing industry. The magnitude of this loss ended up being overshadowed by legal nonsense...perhaps that's the point.
Jackie
Dillon, Patrick. 1998. Lost at sea : an American tragedy. Simon & Schuster, New York. Purchased at Watermark book store. $14.95 ISBN: 0-684-86909-8
Gripping account of the lose of 2 crab boats from Anacortes in 1983. Lots of local history and information about fishing boat construction. Also, related is the long fight to improve fishing conditions in Congress.
Judah Martin
While I found only about 35 percent of this book to be as exhilarating a read as promised by the critical acclaim it's received, I was impressed at Dillon's thorough research. His writing style was unfortunately dry but I think he was nevertheless able to present the facts in a way that encouraged the reader to care about how the disaster affected the Anacortes community.
Justin
Tragic story with a well researched presentation on the effects of losing these ships and men. It highlights individual and family loss, local fishing industry impacts, political responses and action, and a community's response. However, it moved quickly away from a great read and into a safety regulation debate and a tedious second half of a book.
Miriam
Engaging and informative with a well concocted narrative. Provided me with knowledge of an oft glimpsed but ill-studied world right in front of me.
msleighm
Before "The Perfect Storm", before "America's Deadliest Catch", there was "Lost at Sea"; complete with a John Grishamesque Senate hearing sequence.
Elizabeth
interesting because it is local (Anacortes) and I have heard of some of the people, and boats mentioned
David Quinn
I enjoyed this book mostly because it was so well written. Just a very enjoyable reading experience.
Ray
Worked in AK as a Fisheries Observer. Very good read - brought back memories (good and bad). Good Book
Pete
great story that intertwines history with the unknown fate of two fishing boats
Noah
If you're a fan of Deadliest Catch, you'll probably dig this.
Vickie
This was an amazing book and so very eye-opening.
Michelle
Nonfiction a la Deadliest Catch.
Jack
Terrific story, efficiently told.
Chris
Aug 18, 2010 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
(recommended by C. Williams, coworker)
Roger Singh
Good book, very sad story.
Nathan
Nathan marked it as to-read
Dec 24, 2014
Kirsty
Kirsty marked it as to-read
Dec 20, 2014
Amber
Amber marked it as to-read
Dec 15, 2014
Todd
Todd added it
Nov 29, 2014
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