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

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  490 Ratings  ·  57 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
ebook, 224 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Scribner (first published February 18th 2010)
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Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Beth Johnston
Jan 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cori McGraw
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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,
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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!
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Wow. Couldn't put this down (finished in 1 day)! This non-fiction book reads like fiction, and I had to keep asking myself what I would do if it were I in that situation. Don't think for a minute that Mother Nature is not the one in control on the open ocean.
Nancy Glaz
awesome! I'm not a sailor, but this is an incredible story. a must read
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the author's style, it was as hard to put this book down as any fictional thriller. A great read.
J. Danielle Wingler
Awesome narrative of these events that kept the pages turning. Greatly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to others. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.
Sophie Schiller
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-adventure
"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
Apr 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is hard to believe that a collection of coast guard vessels, naval ships and planes and private ships, working together, could find a solitary man washed overboard in a raging storm, but he was found and plucked from the sea, so exhausted he thought he was paralyzed. Also amazing was the fact that he kept the body of his dead friend and the rescuers worked diligently to pull that body from the sea as well. The tenderness of the crew (a civilian vessel from the Philippines) towards the rescued ...more
Pat Lampe
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sailing
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.
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.
Kara Larson
Jul 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Judy Churchill
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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- :>)
David Collier
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very compelled the entire time! Great story of overcoming all odds. The will to survive drives this book from page one all the way to the end. I grew tired with the characters, I sensed their pain and their fears. Tougias did a great job with this book!
D.L. Thomas
May 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely amazing story of survival in enormous waves! I've read this book twice and am astounded each time.
Barbara Bengston
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very exciting true story of survival. Although the author seemed to go into laborious detail while person was overboard, it did not detract from the story.
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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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“A reader once asked me, "Do you only write disaster books?' It was a good question, because my last three offerings could qualify as weather-related disaster books. But it's not the storms or even the ensuing calamity that really interests me so much as the people . . . ordinary people thrust into incredibly difficult situations where they have to rise to the challenge, persevere, and fight against long odds.” 1 likes
“Abandoning a boat to get into a life raft is perhaps the biggest and most difficult decision a captain can make, and choosing what to do all depends upon each individual situation.” 1 likes
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