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Overboard!: A True Blue-Water Odyssey of Disaster and Survival

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  261 ratings  ·  40 reviews
From masterful storyteller Michael J. Tougias comes a new, heart-stopping true-life tale of maritime disaster, his most thrilling and amazing story yet. In May 2005, Tom Tighe, captain of a forty-five-foot-long sailboat named the Almeisan, and his first mate, Loch Reidy, welcomed three new crewmembers for a five-day voyage from Connecticut across the blue waters of the Gul...more
Hardcover, 212 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Scribner Book Company (first published February 18th 2010)
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Community Reviews

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May 03, 2013 Doreen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Diane, Marisa, Kate, Nick, Matt, Cathy's dad, Sara P., Jan F.
Recommended to Doreen by: met the author at a library presentation
Tougias offers another chilling tale of two separate boats requiring two separate, terrifying rescues.

With his wonderful writing style, I read each word, 'seeing' every second of activity described. I felt intimately acquainted with each storm victim and rescuer through Togias' wonderful explanations and knowledge of storms, boating, the Coast Guard, etc.

With these two amazing stories of danger and courage, there is information that I would never have the opportunity to know, except for reading...more
It's a testament to Michael Tougias's writing that he so well captures the human spirit and resolve for survival in Overboard! : a true bluewater odyssey of disaster and survival. This is a book that I could not put down and yet it is not a book I can say I loved. How do you love a book with tragic results?

Overboard is the story of Captain Tom Tighe and his first mate Loch Reidy, who with three novice crew members set sail aboard the Almeisan for a five-day voyage from Connecticut to Bermuda. O...more
I read this book in two days while camping in Oklahoma. It was very difficult to put down, and that's after an entire winter of reading nothing but natural disaster stories and survival stories.

Tougias expertly covered the emotional turmoil of so many different people; you could tell he spent a great amount of time and care collecting their stories, listening, and understanding. Never did the author seem judgmental, although, in this case it seemed that everyone performed exemplarily. Tougias e...more
Beth Johnston
Kept me on the edge of my seat. I could feel those 50 ft waves as well as each sailor's excitement, fear, despair, joy and sadness.
What a page turner! I was wrapped up in it and wanted to know what happened next. It's one of those books where you say to yourself late at night "okay, one more chapter before I go to bed." Several chapters later, you find yourself saying the same thing and it's a chore to put the book down and call it a night. Michael Tougias is a very good writer. The story in itself is riveting, but his writing style paints the picture and you feel like your right there watching everything happen. You will n...more
Debra Daniels-zeller
If sailing makes you uneasy maybe you better not read this because this is one scary story. I didn't choose this book because like boats, but I do like exciting survival stories and this one was an edge-of-your-seat story. Tom Tighe and first mate Loch Reidy along with three other people attempted to cross the Gulf Stream to Bermuda in a 45-foot sail boat, the Almeisan. Tom, the captain, had made this trip many times, but they left earlier than usual and hit rough weather with huge waves. Tom ev...more
I could not put this book down. Neither could my husband. It's only 200 pages, but these pages pack a wallop in intensity of emotion! Two different sailboats in the midst of the worst hurricane on the East Coast (2005) encounter problems. It is utterly amazing what some people can go through to survive. I thought Loch was a phenomenal individual. READ THE BOOK! My desire for blue-water sailing is now completely nil!
Nancy Glaz
awesome! I'm not a sailor, but this is an incredible story. a must read
Sophie Schiller
"Overboard" is a gut-wrenching account of survival at sea, extreme human endurance, and extraordinary loyalty aboard the "Almeisan", a 45' sailboat heading to Bermuda that encounters the "mother of all tempests". But "Overboard" is so much more than that. It is also an homage to the supreme bravery, courage and self-sacrifice of the "Almeisan's" crew, starting with Captain Tom Tighe, First Mate Loch Reidy and three other souls. Michael Tougias gives a minute-by-minute account of their ordeal, bo...more
This is the true story of the sailboat Almesian's disastrous voyage and the sailors who survived the ordeal. It was an absolute page-turner, and I felt myself actually getting seasick reading certain portions of the book. The writing wasn't anything spectacular, but the tension of the story made up for that. I gave it three stars because I'm feeling stingy and I've read a whole lot this year, but it could easily get four for readability and I may change my mind. This is not the sort of book I'd...more
Oct 14, 2014 Kathy added it
This was a fantastic book! I couldn't put it down. I felt like I was right there in the water struggling to survive with them. It was an incredible story of survival and one that I will think about for a while.
Scott Davis
Scariest book I've ever read. Makes me feel very lucky I never encountered any significant storms while sailing.
Compelling! Absolutely love these kinds of stories.
Pat Lampe
I listened to this book about a storm on the east coast of the United States which sunk two boats in 2005,. It was harrowing. Julie & Chris are now safely back at home after a three-year sail, and so it is safe to read about the ocean once more. And I'm getting older and more forgetful, so if they go again -- I hope I will have forgotten this. But it is a really good story and I recommend the audio version because there is a bit of technical stuff that I might have skipped over had I the opp...more
Hunter Hamilton
A Fantastic Page-Turner!

Michael Tougias has written a truly thrilling book that will keep you turning pages and rooting for the courageous people who found themselves in a nightmarish predicament on the high seas. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy action adventures, thrillers, and especially man v. nature survival stories. I plan to read more from this author.
An exhilarating and heart-wrenching true story! One of the best read I've had in a long time.
Well told, fantastical true story.
I think I would've liked this better if I hadn't read it fresh off of "Endurance" by Alfred Lansing! Needless to say, it paled in comparison. Still enjoyed it, however!
Great, great cautionary tale about disaster and how sailors in particular can't allow the plan to take precedence over good judgment.

The captain of the Almeisan had sailed from Connecticut to Bermuda 49 times. This voyage, his 50th, was to be his last. It was his last, and the Almeisan's last as well. Just a ripping good story, a fast read, and lots of lessons and reminders for sailors.
Amazing story and extremely well written!! Five years ago, five people embarked on, supposedly, a five day cruise from Connecticut to Bermuda. Four days into the journey an enormous storm struck. The events of the following hours are captivating - a tremendous story of the incredible will to survive and the heroic rescue efforts of the Coast Guard and of other vessels in the area.
Mike Tougias puts you right in the heart of the storm in this spellbinding true survival tale at sea. The power of the ocean, and Mother Nature herself can't be overstated. Humans in their little boats are mere bath toys in her hands, just asking for trouble!. A terrific book! (Enhanced listening experience: Summer vacation on Cape Cod- :>)
This is a heart-stopping, true life tale of a 45 foot sailboat that was sailing from Connecticut to Bermuda. Four days into the journey, disaster struck. The author submerges you in the storm and the awesome forces of nature. This is a survival story that ends in both tragedy and triumph. I hope it never happens to me!
Kara Larson
Totally gripping. Read it in a single day, because I could not put it down. Reminiscent of Jon Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" as far as the pacing and making you feel like you were there, in the boat, in the water, gasping for air and struggling to survive. Definitely a book I will tell friends and family about.
Wow. Quite the story. If you like disaster at sea stories, you will like this. There are some amazing people out there!
I don't why I enjoy these kinds of disaster/survival books but I do and this is a good one. It moves along quickly and is well-written and in the end heart-warming.
Such a tense, emotional book! Right after finishing this, the Perfect Storm movie came on and I watched the first half and turned it off. Too scary.
Really made it come alive. Just the idea of the huge seas and the implacable forces at play--no malice involved, the humans were irrelevant to nature.
A harowing experience for all on board. The loss of life yet the resuce of four others. The ocean is vast and powerful. A must read book.
Absolutely amazing story of survival in enormous waves! I've read this book twice and am astounded each time.
Very entertaining book, finally one I couldn't put down. Puts my daily challenges into perspective!
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