On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend
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On the Edge of Survival: A Shipwreck, a Raging Storm, and the Harrowing Alaskan Rescue That Became a Legend

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  22 reviews
From the acclaimed author whose beloved books inspired the hit television show, The Deadliest Catch, comes a thrilling true adventure tale in the Alaskan seas

A Malaysian cargo ship on its way from Seattle, Washington to China ran aground off the coast of western Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on December 8, 2004 during a brutal storm, leading to one of the most incredible Coas...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by St. Martin's Press (first published September 15th 2010)
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A fascinating edge of your seat rescue account that is extremely well written. Kudos to the author for a superior job using descriptive language to maintain the tightrope suspense throughout and make you feel a part of the action. You can almost feel the icy cold water, swirling snow, and looming cliffs. A++

He also provides just enough technical detail and definition so a reader without experience with boats or helicopters can visualize exactly what is happening without getting overly complicat...more
Seth Pierce
The rescue story is incredible, however the writing isn't. That isn't to say it is terrible, but many times I found an awkward sentence, or cliche, that took the energy out of the narrative. That being said, any story featuring waves large enough to knock helicopters out of the sky is worth a read. I do agree also with some other reviewers, that the author stretched this too much, I think the book could have been half the size and been much better. The crew featured in this book is outstanding a...more
Quick, exciting read by the same guy who developed the series The Deadliest Catch. In December 2004, a cargo ship--the Selendang Aye--stalls and in rough seas off the cost of Alaska. The US Coast Guard scrambles to off load the crew of 18, but rogue wave crashes against the foundering ship and the spray takes out one of the HH-J60 helicopters with its crew of 3 and 10 passengers. All three crew members are plucked from the icy water by a second, waiting helicopter, HH-65B. But the captain and on...more
Rusty Vaughan
If you have been to sea, have known the water in any way, you will read cover to cover very quickly and miss the excitement when it is over.
As much as I wanted to like this book, it didn't happen. It was a chore to finish. There were two things that made it difficult to like. First, Spike kept rehashing how dramatic the storm was from each of the 10 major characters viewpoint, which didn't add anything. It quickly became "Yea, yeah, I know the storm is scary." And then unfortunately his descriptions of each character left them flat on the paper, they didn't spring to life. I had to try and memorize a name with a job duty because he...more
Dana Beveridge
A very good listen. Great multi character narrative.
I actually liked the drama that played out in this real life rescue story set on the Alaskan coastline. However, I felt that there simply wasn't enough material for a whole book and that the author had to do some stretching to make it long enough. It would have been better in a compilation of dramatic Coast Guard rescues. I felt like there was a lot of repetition and rehashing of the same sequences. Those men were real heroes that night and the conclusion was a page turner.
Chris Ross
A truly riveting book! I grew up in a military (Navy) family and have been around planes all of my life and I loved this book. The sequence of events that had to happen for all things in this story is just incredible. There was some serious bad luck over this event. That 3 CG men that survived the crash of their helicopter is amazing in and of itself. This book should be on the list of the great survival books.
This is a very interesting rescue story about a cargo ship that is caught in an Alaskan storm out in the Aleutians. The Coast Guard guys are portrayed as very brave and competent. The crew on the cargo ship are less then cooperative, especially the captain, which endangers the life of his crew and the rescuers.
This wasn't quite as "on the edge" survival as I was thinking it was going to be. The story basically goes over a very heroic rescue out in the open seas of Alaska. It was definitely geared towards "boating" and there was a lot of technical language, but overall, the rescue truly is heroic and amazing.
Tommy Owens
Spike Walker doesn't disappoint with this harrowing tale. I literally could not put it down and read it in a single evening. My only regret is that I bought the Kindle edition. I'd really like to share this book with my fellow seafarers.
I had a hard time getting into this book. It used a lot of vocabulary that I was not familiar with and that made it hard to follow the story. But by the time they started lifting people off the boat I was hooked and had to finish. Amazing story!
I liked this. The beginning seemed to have a lot of background info that I didn't feel was needed and made it a little slow but part way through it really picked up and was a compelling book.
The story is amazing, the writing, not as amazing. Add to that a less than inspired narration, since I listened to this book, and I can't give it more than 3 stars. Should have been a 5 star story .
An amazing moment in time, but I felt the author missed grabbing the energy and moment. The coast guards were all brave men in an incredible night and day above the wild Bering Sea.
Becky Roper
This was the non-fiction story of a shipwreck off the coast of Alaska and the brave Coast Guard rescuers. It was a page-turner, but had lots more detail than I wanted to read.
Terrific story of rescue under the worst of conditions. Highly recommend this to anyone interested in ships, the seas, true stories of remarkable people.
gives you a new appreciation for the Navy's search and rescue ops
Marvelle Morgan
Such a fascinating rescue but not so well-written.
Martha Randall
A great story - keeps you on the edge of your seat!
Not really interesting.
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