"Professional Mariner" Magazine Gives Good Review to Cape Cod Coast Guard Rescue Book

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Raymond Brown, a former Coast Guard search and rescue officer, says Bob Frump's book "Two Tankers Down" rescues a forgotten Coast Guard rescue story that should be told forever.

Professional Mariner magazine, the voice of merchant marine officers and executives, published a review this month that praises a new book by Robert R. Frump about a famous Coast Guard rescue off Chatham, Ma., on Cape Cod.

The review, by Raymond J. Brown, a former Coast Guard Captain who worked in search and rescue, states:

"'Two Tankers Down' is an improbable true story of men against the sea. In a fierce nor'easter offshore Cape Cod on Feb. 18, 1952, two tankers broke in half. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 70 of the crew amid deadly dangers. Noted maritime author Bob Frump has rescued this all but forgotten story that should be told as long as men go down to the sea in ships."

Brown said Frump's writing is a plus even though it made him personally uncomfortable reliving his rescue missions at sea.

"Two Tankers Down was not an easy read for this reviewer. I have been involved in rescues in those same dangerous seas and in similar conditions. Frump's simple prose had my stomach tightening as the description of the perils became all too familiar."

The book describes the rescue of crew and officers from the steamships SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer, which split in two in February 1952 in rough waters off Cape Cod. A young Coast Guardsmen, Bernard C. Webber, lead an incredible small boat rescue of the Pendleton's crew, while other Coastguardsmen launched a small Monomoy surf boat to rescue officers off the fractured bow of the Fort Mercer.

"There is no better praise in my book than from a critic who has actually been there and lived the types of rescues I'm writing about," Bob Frump said. "Captain Brown's criticism and compliments mean a lot to me."

Information about the book is at http://www.twotankersdown.com.

The full review is located at:


Bob Frump is a nationally recognized journalist and author who lives in Summit, NJ. His previous maritime book told the story of the wreck of the SS Marine Electric. ("Until the Sea Shall Free Them.") His book Africa, "The Man-eaters of Eden," documented how apartheid created a class of man-eating lions in Kruger National Park.

Others working in the maritime business also have praised the book. Richard Hiscock, a maritime safety expert and former Chatham resident, wrote of Two Tankers Down in an Amazon.com review.

5 stars Two Tankers Down a Great Read, November 26, 2008
By Richard Hiscock" (Fairfax, VA) -

"Two Tankers Down" is the third book about the T-2 tanker disasters of February 1952, and the only one that delves into the break-up and rescue of the crew of the Fort Mercer. Robert Frump (who wrote "Until the Sea Shall Free Them" about another T-2 disaster in 1983) has done a magnificent job of bringing together all the known facts about the Pendleton rescue and some new information heretofore unknown. "Two Tankers Down" is a great contribution to the literature of marine safety and maritime rescues. Anyone who loves the sea will appreciate this gripping tale."


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