U.S. Naval Institute Reprints Maritime Classic of Coast Guard Rescue

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"Until the Sea Shall Free Them," an account of the sinking of the SS Marine Electric in 1983 and the rescue of some of its crew, is back in print after Blue Jacket press and the Naval Institute rolled press on a second printing. The book is used by maritime academies and inspection instructors to teach the reasons for maritime safety.

SS Marine Electric

Marine Electric, coal carrier, ex T-2 Tanker

"The deaths of the SS Marine Electric crew and officers helped reform the maritime safety process in the United States"

"Until the Sea Shall Free Them," an account of the sinking of the SS Marine Electric and the survivors who testified and helped reform the US maritime inspection system, goes back on sale this month after collectors bid up copies into the $75 to $125 range.

"I'm very grateful to the U.S. Naval Institute for making the book available at a reasonable price to students and the general public," said maritime writer Robert R. Frump. "While it's great to know collectors place value on out-of-print editions, it feels far better to have the book circulating again."

The book, used by maritime academies and USCG safety instructors, tells the story of how more than 30 men went into the cold waters off Virginia and how only three came back. The three men, lead by Captain Robert M. Cusick, then battled against great odds to reform the industry. They eventually succeeded with the help of Coast Guard Captain Domenic A. Calicchio

Originally published by Doubleday, the hardcover edition has been out of print for several years, and new copies are often listed for more than $100. The paperback edition, out of print for the past six months, had seen collector's editions climb to $75.

In the aftermath of the wreck, inspection systems were tightened, more than 70 old unsafe ships were scrapped and Congress created the now famous USCG Rescue Swimmer service.

Mr. Frump, who is also the author of "Two Tankers Down" and "I Covered the Waterfront," was the maritime writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer when the Marine Electric sank. He and journalist Tim Dwyer wrote a series about the sinking that won the George Polk Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

Both "Until the Sea Shall Free Them" and "Two Tankers Down" have been named to the US Coast Guard suggested reading list for the third year in a row.

"Two Tankers Down" tells the story of the rescue of the crews of two tankers that snake at the same time off Chatham, Cape Cod. Coast Guardsman Bernard C. Webber led what was considered a suicide mission to rescue the men. The T-2 series tankers were the SS Fort Mercer and the SS Pendleton.

Mr. Frump also has written "The Man-eaters of Eden," an investigative examination of human-animal conflict in South Africa where apartheid policies led to generations of lions preying on humans migrating across the park. Those conditions still exist in South Africa and for different reasons in Tanzania. ("Darting the Spirit Lions") (The Man-eaters of Eden Kindle Edition is available for free to Amazon Prime Members.)

A collection of Mr. Frump's general non-fiction is contained in "The Magical Man-eaters of Tanzania and Other Stories." Mr. Frump worked for many years for The Philadelphia Inquirer covering city machine politics and transportation issues. He also was managing editor of The Journal of Commerce, the nation's foremost maritime journal. He has written articles for Men's Journal, Lloyd's List and Africa Geographic among other publications. He also has worked as a senior content specialist and corporate communicator.

"Until the Sea Shall Free Them" was reviewed favorably by The Washington Post, The Boston Globe and The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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