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

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  341 ratings  ·  49 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

(showing 1-30 of 662)
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Becky
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
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Pamela
After turning the final page of this captivating true account of nautical disaster/survival, I felt as if I too had been tossed about by gale-force winds and boiling 40ft waves; washed overboard, miraculously located, at night no less, thanks to heroic actions of the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy along with the Captain and crew of the Sakura Express. Absolutely phenomenal!

“Imagine taking two coconuts out on a plane and dropping them in the middle of the ocean. Then flying back to land. Wait twenty-f
...more
Doreen
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
Carol
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
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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.
Steve
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
Pbwritr
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!
Cori McGraw
Riveting.

I picked this up as an audiobook from the local library for a long car trip, and I found myself at times driving an extra lap around the block, or taking the "long way" route give because I couldn't bear to arrive at my destination without hearing a few minutes more of what happens next in this book.

I love nonfiction, as I find these tales of coping with and overcoming adversity tremendously inspiring. I'm telling you, listen to this tale of being lost at sea on the drive over the gym,
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Nancy Glaz
awesome! I'm not a sailor, but this is an incredible story. a must read
Jim
No, I think I shall not take any smaller sailing craft on any voyages. An interesting and horrifying account of two crews fighting against incredible odds to survive a huge storm, and the heroics of Coast Guard and other ships to come to their assistance. The experience of one man who floated amongst huge waves for a few days is amazing too. You can't but wonder if you to would have the will power to survive such an ordeal. The writing was decent, if not a bit repetitive, and the book was overal ...more
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
Judy Churchill
Another edge of your seat, thrilling true story of human courage and endurance. I would go a step further and say it includes decency and character. Again this author did extensive research from many points of view to get the facts right. The story flows seamlessly. Somehow I feel better knowing these brave, rescuers are out there.
Ashley
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
D.L. Thomas
A great story of maritime survival! This is one of those stories that leaves you in awe, both because of the amazing tenacity of the human will to survive, as well as the awesome power and indifference of Mother Nature.
Kathy
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.
Lucy
ok, I'm convinced. I won't go sailing far out in the Atlantic during a killer storm. great suspense. too much nautical detail for me, but that's just a minor quibble
Scott Davis
Scariest book I've ever read. Makes me feel very lucky I never encountered any significant storms while sailing.
Alice Eckles
I don't know why I love these kind of stories! I'm going to read another one of his right away.
Karen
Compelling! Absolutely love these kinds of stories.
Donn
Gripping tale- could not put it down.
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.
Jordan
An exhilarating and heart-wrenching true story! One of the best read I've had in a long time.
Carly
Well told, fantastical true story.
Lori
This is a good sailing adventure story...quite harrowing(and technical) at times!
Laura
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!
Kristen
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.
Cathy
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.
Marcia
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- :>)
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Adventure is the theme that runs through most of my books, from outdoors titles (The Connecticut River from Source to Sea, Exploring the Hidden Charles) to fiction (Until I Have No Country) to nonfiction sea rescues (Overboard! A Storm Too Soon, Rescue of the Bounty).
One of my current adventures is waiting to see if Disney will begin filming a movie-length version of the Coast Guard rescue book Th
...more
More about Michael Tougias...
The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard's Most Daring Sea Rescue Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Disaster, Survival and an Incredible Rescue Rescue of the Bounty: Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy

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