Coast Guard Professional Reading List Includes Two Books by Maritime Writer Robert Frump

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"Until the Sea Shall Free Them," an account of the wreck of the SS Marine Electric, and "Two Tankers Down," an account of the wrecks of the SS Pendleton and SS Fort Mercer, have been included on the Coast Guard's list for its officers and enlisted men.

The Coast Guard has included two maritime books by author Robert R. Frump in its 2011 professional reading list.

The list, created each year to provide senior leaders with meaningful insights and instruction, is on the web at:

Of "Until the Sea Shall Free Them," the listing states:

Until the Sea Shall Free Them: by Robert Frump 2002. Frump captures both the cruel sea and the determination of a group of dedicated individuals who worked together trying to fix a converted World War II vessel riddled with problems that had not been addressed by its owner. Until the Sea Shall Free Them recounts in compelling detail the wreck of the Marine Electric and the legal drama that unfolded in its wake—a lawsuit that led to vital reforms in the laws regarding the safety of ships. (Vice Admiral Brice-O’Hara’s choice)

Of "Two Tankers Down," the listing states:

Two Tankers Down: The Greatest Small-Boat Rescue in U.S. Coast Guard History: by Robert Frump 2008. Off the coast of Cape Cod in 1950, a February blizzard tore not one but two oil tankers in half. This is the suspenseful true story of a U.S. Coast Guard captain and his small crew who were called out to rescue the tanker crews without a cutter or chopper or a sea plane. But Captain Bernie Weber knew well the infamous Coast Guard motto: “You have to go out. You don’t have to come back.” He took a small boat and crew out in 60-foot waves and rescued 30 men. Webber’s subsequent gold medal for valor is still revered within the U.S. Coast Guard, and this thrilling first-ever narrative is a gripping adventure story for fans of The Perfect Storm and The Hungry Ocean. (910.9163 F944)

"This is a great honor to have two books on the list," said Mr. Frump. "Both books point out some great things about the Coast Guard, but at times both books notably criticize the Coast Guard. This list shows me that they are indeed a learning organization -- one of the best we have."

Mr. Frump was a maritime writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1980 to 1986, where he covered the overhaul of the SS Saratoga air craft carrier, the Delaware River port wars, mutiny, tug boats, and oil tankers.

A collection of his magazine and newspaper articles was released this Spring by Race Point Productions. Available via Kindle download, "I Covered the Waterfront" includes stories on the Marine Electric, the Webber rescue, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, the aircraft carrier overhaul and the Coast Guard.


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Robert Frump
Robert R. Frump
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