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Lost at Sea

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  32 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)
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Gavin
Nov 05, 2015 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To start things off, the main idea of Lost at Sea is that two sister ships set sail out of the small town of Anacortes. The Americus and the Altair, two highly-prized vessels, pulled out to sea, aiming for a fortunate crab season. 11 days later, the hull of the Americus was found drifting in the sea, with no evidence of any distress signal. The sister ship Altair would never be found. With the main focus of the story out of the way, let’s talk about the book cover. The cover is very intriguing ...more
Carol
Jan 02, 2015 Carol rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Could have been really good; it is a scary and sad 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. I have several takes on the book. Really did ...more
Don Weidinger
Jan 12, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Diego Quijano
Aug 01, 2016 Diego Quijano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un ensayo periodístico sobre el hundimiento de dos barcos pesqueros en el mar de Bering. Excelente balance entre la historia de las personas, el análisis de la situación y los cambios en políticas públicas. Sobre todo, hay que reconocer que el autor reconoció el problema de incentivos causado por una temporada pesquera cada vez más chica y con más competencia que obligaba a los pescadores a salir aún en condiciones de alto riesgo y con barcos sobrecargados. La solución estaba no solo en el tema ...more
Nancy
Jul 25, 2016 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that makes the case for government regulation! The book begins with the loss of two ships and all of the crews in 1983. These ships had been proudly built and carried some of the best safety gear at the time. To no avail. Young men from Anacortes, WA, died far too often when they signed up to crew on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea. The struggle to pass safety regulations is told in the last part of the book. It's a long and arduous struggle.
Leslie Mesmer
Sep 04, 2012 Leslie Mesmer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2014 Katie Turkelson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melita SA
Jul 18, 2016 Melita SA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book! You don't need to be knowledgeable in fishing, or boats, or maritime law to follow this gripping story. It's a definite page turner, and it paints a picture of the turning of the tides in the American fishing industry.

I would definitely recommend this book, to anyone.
Paula Lyle
Nov 27, 2015 Paula Lyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Francis Barcott was my uncle, so this was personal. It is hard to believe that anyone would do this for a living. A sobering look at an extremely dangerous life.
Len Roberto
Aug 07, 2015 Len Roberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why anyone would want to work on a commercial fishing boat in the Bering Sea is beyond me...eye-opening story of the loss of 2 fishing vessels in 1983.
Jon
Jan 02, 2009 Jon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Frank Brennan
Feb 13, 2016 Frank Brennan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've watched the Deadliest Catch, this non-fiction work will give you an appreciation for just how deadly the work was before the government finally stepped and put down stringent safety requirements on the boats. It's clear that lobbyists and special interests considering the fishing fleets around the USA fiefdoms -- and treated their workers as expendable.

This is the story of the loss of two hi-end boats on the same day; the investigation into what happened; and the battle by survivors t
...more
Tina Rentzis
Aug 05, 2014 Tina Rentzis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. One of my favorites. Non-fiction. A must read.
Tom Nolan
paperback 6x9
Elynn
Jul 28, 2008 Elynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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 liked it  ·  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
Jan 04, 2009 Jackie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 23, 2009 Justin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2013 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 29, 2012 msleighm rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Before "The Perfect Storm", before "America's Deadliest Catch", there was "Lost at Sea"; complete with a John Grishamesque Senate hearing sequence.
Elizabeth
Apr 15, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting because it is local (Anacortes) and I have heard of some of the people, and boats mentioned
David Quinn
Feb 26, 2011 David Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book mostly because it was so well written. Just a very enjoyable reading experience.
Ray
Aug 13, 2012 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Worked in AK as a Fisheries Observer. Very good read - brought back memories (good and bad). Good Book
Pete
Jan 31, 2008 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
great story that intertwines history with the unknown fate of two fishing boats
Noah
Apr 06, 2007 Noah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're a fan of Deadliest Catch, you'll probably dig this.
Vickie
Aug 08, 2011 Vickie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was an amazing book and so very eye-opening.
Michelle
Nonfiction a la Deadliest Catch.
Jack
May 08, 2008 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Terrific story, efficiently told.
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