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The Finest Hours (Young Readers Edition): The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  2,418 Ratings  ·  386 Reviews
On the night of February 18, 1952,during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Codwere torn in half by the force of the storm.This middle-grade adaptation of an adult nonfiction booktells thestory of a harrowing Coast Guard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (first published 2007)
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Aprilleigh The children's editions reduced the number of individuals directly discussed in the book and it removed the sections detailing things like how the oil…moreThe children's editions reduced the number of individuals directly discussed in the book and it removed the sections detailing things like how the oil tankers were constructed.(less)
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♥ Sandi
Mar 10, 2016 ♥ Sandi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1-have
Four separate Coast Guard lifeboats descend on 2 oil tankers in the North Atlantic Sea which have broken in two due to poor craftsmanship during World War II. Both pieces of the tanker Pendleton and both pieces of the Fort Mercer have crew on board. Depending on the broken section, some have radio contact, some have heat and lights, others are adrift on a ragged portion of a tanker without any means of communication or comfort.
The day was February 12, 1952. There was a nor'eastern blowing snow
Jason FitzGerald
This feels like the type of typical "local lore" story that fills small book shops across the Vacationland of Cape Cod. The authors all mean well - - because they have extraordinary history to tell. This is no exception. The tale of near-simultaneous tanker accidents in the middle of a deadly February Nor'easter is hair raising no matter who is telling it. Admittedly, I tore through it in 2 sessions and enjoyed it very much. When ordinary men do what has to be done at great peril, their heroism ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Suzan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pulled into the drama almost immediately! A great recounting of 3 days in the winter of 1952 when brave coast guardsmen simply "did the job" and rescued dozens from 2 ship wrecks. It was fascinating to read how they were able to pull it off, with little to no technology and in seas that rival the scene of the small fishing boat climbing a tower of water in the perfect storm. Read the book - the pictures at the end cannot do the ordeal justice. Congratulations to local writer Michael Tougia ...more
I actually enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. Tougias does an excellent job of relating the Coast Guard rescue of two tankers which both broke in half during a huge storm. While in audio format, it is a little difficult to keep some of the men straight ( I had to backtrack a few times), it is still an engaging story. I like how Tourgias took it in into the modern era.
Nov 05, 2015 Eddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-read, 2015
If this was a triller novel you might of said this is crazy but it was history. This happen to people and both rescues were just incredible. The Coast Guard. The movie is coming but read this book, I put off reading this, what a mistake.
“O Lord, have mercy, Thy sea is so large, and my boat is so small.” – Breton Fisherman’s Prayer

The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue: one of the finest unpretentious examples honoring uncommon valor in darkest hours of tempest seas and memorializing those who never made shore.

February 18, 1952: Two commercial fuel tankers, the “Pendleton” and the “Fort Mercer”- caught in one of the worst nor’easter storms to hit the eastern seaboard – snapped in half,
Apr 25, 2013 Doreen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sara, Diane, Kate, Nick, Matt
Recommended to Doreen by: saw it at the library
In February 1952, three low pressure systems combined with a system from New Jersey to create a storm like never before. The system stalled over Nantucket, wreaking havoc on those unfortunate enough to be on the sea. Not one, but two ships, the 'Pendleton' and the 'Fort Mercer', had each split as a result of powerful waves and weakened hulls. The fates of the crews depended upon the actions of the Coast Guard.

The story covers the history of Chatham, dating back to the Monomoyick Native Americans
Andrea Cox
by Andrea Renee Cox

What an amazing story! The Finest Hours recounts the true story of the most daring sea rescue in US Coast Guard history. This book completely blew me away with how two large tankers split in half during a huge winter storm, and the heroic rescue efforts that were made during horrible weather conditions. A must-read!

Thank you to the US Coast Guardsmen who put their lives on the line during that rescue mission, and countless others throughout the decades since. Your work does no
Gabriela Paige
Feb 02, 2016 Gabriela Paige rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an amazing (almost unreal) true rescue story. Who knew boats split in half and that cold water can kill people so fast?
Martin Hill
Mar 01, 2016 Martin Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to confess up front, I'm a bit biased about this book. The Finest Hours is about one of the most dangerous rescue missions in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, and I spent 13 years of active and reserve duty in the Coast Guard. Moreover, this book focuses on the exploits of four men who were members of my part of the Coast Guard—the Boat Force, those Coasties serving in small boats who "have to go out, but don't have to come back."

On February 18, 1952, two WWII-era T2 oil tankers brok
It’s the winter of 1952 and a ferocious Nor’easter is pounding New England with howling winds and seventy-foot seas. Two oil tankers get caught in the violent storm off Cape Cod, its fury splitting the massive ships in two. Back on shore, four young Coast Guardsmen are issued a suicide mission: save the lives of the stranded seamen. Sailing a tiny lifeboat into the teeth of the killer storm, the rescue crew soon loses all navigation. With no idea where the stranded seaman are nor how to get back ...more
I normally love Tougias. I will be the first to admit that he is a great researcher, but only a decent writer. Usually, however, his stories are so fast paced and terrifying (since they're all true) that I just tear through the books. Theyre the sort of book that you read in one day, enthralled on the couch- or in a tent because its pouring outside :D

But this one, this one was scattered for Tougias, who normally weaves multiple storylines in much more coherently. I found the story to be jumping
Roger Weston
Oct 30, 2014 Roger Weston rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing story about Liberty ships, which are known to break in half in heavy seas. I’ve been at sea in a fierce Alaskan storm where the ship was hitting two waves at once, causing massive structural strain to the point where I could hear the creepy sounds of flexing steal. In a World War Two era ship like the one I was on the chance of it breaking in half was real. It’s a scary place to be. The Finest Hours tells the story of when two of these ships were violently torn apart during one stormy ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Kara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The event itself when, in 1952, a blizzard at sea lead to an everything-has-gone-wrong moment, and the dramatic, heroic, harrowing rescue by the U.S. Guard, is fascinating reading to see find out what ordinary humans can do when they push themselves against impossible odds.

the writing itself was a bit choppy (no pun intended) as the authors jump in time back and forth from the night itself to the larger context of the boats, the industry, the Coast Guard, the environmental history of the area, a
Phillip III
Jan 17, 2016 Phillip III rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shipping companies put profits before the safety of the men on the vessels. The T2 Tankers were made with inferior materials, and welded instead of riveted. These ships were KNOWN to split in two.

Wait, what?

That's one of the most unreal facts I learned from reading The Finest Hours. While the main focus in this particular story is about 2 different T2 Tankers splitting in two during a storm in New England in 1952, (this is at nearly the exact same time, close to within hours of each other, thes
Oct 14, 2015 Barclay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-bookshelf
“The Finest Hours” Review

Daring, heroic, disaster, excitement, adrenaline and terror all describe “The Finest Hours”. “The Finest Hours” is an amazing story of a treacherous sea rescue mission, taking place off the coast of Cape Cod during a howling Nor'easter. This adrenaline filled book by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman is a must read for anyone who is looking for an amazing survival story.

Just off the coast of Cape Cod an intense Nor’easter hit turning the seas into a living nightmare f
A Reader's Heaven
For our 2016 Reading Challenge, this week I had to read a book that was going to be a film in 2016. So, I did some searching and, after avoiding some of the expected ones (The Girl on the Train, Me Before You, The 5th Wave, Allegiant), I discovered this book on all the lists of books-to-film for this year. And I thought to myself that this would be a completely different read for me. I don't usually read books set on or around the ocean - just the thought of it makes me seasick - but I thought t ...more
May 09, 2015 Sherri rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-non-fiction
Teens looking for an action-packed novel that puts them in the middle of the dangerous situations, will love this true tale of heroism and survival.

In 1952, during one of the most treacherous winter storms on record, the U.S. Coast Guard set out to try to rescue sailors who were stranded when not one, but two, separate oil tankers were literally wrenched into half by the stormy seas that were producing 70 foot waves.

These waters off of Cape Cod are one of the most dangerous places on the sea and
I had watched the trailer for the movie, which goes by the same title, before I knew that it was based upon a true story. When I first flipped through this book, I noted that it read factually, much like a news article (unlike the more narrative format of Erik Larson's accounts of historical events). Cursorily, it did not seem possible for the book to capture the adrenaline-fueled drama of a high seas rescue under frigid conditions and monstrous waves. Even when reading the details of what the v ...more
Nancy Silk
Feb 16, 2015 Nancy Silk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"An Awesome Historic Rescue At Sea"

On February 18, 1952 at the Chatham Lifeboat Station on Massachusetts' Cape Cod, Boatswain's Mate First Class Bernie Webber is watching a growing storm intensify as a midwinter nor'easter is stalled over New England. He is 24 years old but had 10 years experience first serving in the U.S. Maritime Service during World War II, and now in the United States Coast Guard. The waters off of Cape Cod are the most dangerous, often called the Graveyard of the Atlantic.
♥ Marlene♥
Okay this is supposed to be another most daring see rescue and that is probably true. The other book I read about the great work of the coast guards was my beloved Frozen in Time An Epic Story of Survival and a Modern Quest for Lost Heroes of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff

It is quite intriguing to realise what scary work the coast guards have to do sometimes. You always hear talk about the navy or the air force but less so over the coast guards so I like that this book shows their bravery.
Have read about 1/5th so far and in the beginning you get a lot of names which is not good for my brains but gladl
May 19, 2016 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
This book was another airport discovery -- a gem of a true story that made me glad I was reading it AFTER my Christmas cruise and not before!

In the winter of 1952, a fierce storm in the Atlantic snapped two massive oil tankers into pieces, leaving the crews of both ships at the mercy of the unforgiving sea. This is the true story of the Coast Guard's attempts to rescue these men with a 4 man crew and a 36 foot lifeboat. DID YOU READ THAT? 4 men, a 36' boat, 70' seas, and a New England nor'easte
Dec 18, 2012 Sameera rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Finest Hours by Michael J. Tougias, Casey Sherman is about a rescue mission out at sea. The coast guard had an urgent situation where they were informed that a tanker has split into half. To add to their dismay, there was a second tanker as well that split in half however, the coast guard was now aware of this immediately. I picked up the book thinking it would be fast paced although I did not exactly feel this way while reading it. Being a girl, I could not really relate to the main theme o ...more
May 04, 2010 Pancha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, history
The book focuses on one storm in 1952 near Chatham, MA, but also includes flashbacks to other storms and history of some of the main players.. All that flashing around made the narration seem disjointed.
D.L. Thomas
Jan 05, 2015 D.L. Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an incredible story! For some reason it was a slow read for me, but the story itself was great. I love all books with any sort of nautical theme and this one certainly did not disappoint. My hat is off to all the men and women who risk their lives to keep our oceans safe!
Cape Fisherman
Oct 11, 2012 Cape Fisherman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Tougias has an uncanny ability to fastidiously research every single facet of events then recount them in an interesting, suspenseful manner. The Finest Hours is just another example. If you love the ocean and heroic stories, pick this book up!
Gene Sweeney
Aug 10, 2016 Gene Sweeney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. True story about sea rescues by our Coast Guard with skill only well trained people have. Pure bravery in life and death situations. Looking forward to seeing the movie.
Dec 26, 2015 Cassie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great quick read about a daring rescue of two sinking ships. Not overly detailed or expansive, which kept it from getting 5 stars.
Shannon McDermott
A well-written story of extreme danger met with courage, self-sacrifice, and perseverance. A few painfully sad moments are mixed with the best of human nature.
Jan 29, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it
Wonderful, real-life story of Coast Guard rescues!
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ACPL Online Book ...: The Finest Hours 1 5 May 20, 2016 12:48PM  
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Michael J. Tougias is an award winning author and co-author of 24 books.

Among his bestsellers are The Finest Hours (Disney Motion Pictures' version will open in 45 countries in January 2016), Fatal Forecast, Overboard, King Philip's War, and There's A Porcupine In My Outhouse: The Vermont Misadventures of a Mountain Man Wannabe.

Tougias lectures across the country on each of his book topics. He al
More about Michael J. Tougias...

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