"Of the 34 men who went into the sea, only three came out."
New York, New York (PRWEB) February 13, 2013
"Until the Sea Shall Free Them," the non-fiction maritime classic about the wreck of the SS Marine Electric on February 12, 1983, has been re-released in audio-book format.
The ship and its crew sank in a storm off the Virginia Coast thirty years ago today. The resulting outcry eventually produced sweeping reforms in a maritime inspection system that had allowed old, worn out World War II ships to remain at sea. Of 34 men who went into the sea, only three survived, one by climbing into a life raft, another by holding onto a life ring, and a third by climbing into a submerged lifeboat.
The Marine Electric was actually a refitted T-2 tanker -- one of hundreds of old, decrepit ships kept at sea to receive government benefits -- a fact detailed in a series published in The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"In the wake of this tragedy, the Coast Guard cracked down on inspections and also created the now famous Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer school," said Robert R. Frump, the author. "I'm very pleased that there is now an audio-book version of the story."
The reforms did not come easily. Robert M. Cusick, the chief mate of the vessel, survived hours in cold seas before he was rescued. He then testified against the ship owners who sought to blame him for the mishap. Captain Cusick returned to sea and eventually retired to New Hampshire where he lives with his wife, Bea.
In the end, the Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation believed Captain Cusick and helped implement the reforms.
The story is available in paper book and Kindle versions on Amazon.com, in addition to the new audio-book format.
It also is on the Coast Guard's annual reading list -- and has been for four years. The review there states:
"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."