Into The Raging Sea

"The harrowing true story of the sinking of the American container ship El Faro, the crew of thirty-three who perished onboard, and the destructive forces of globalization that put the ship in harm’s way

On October 1, 2015, Hurricane Joaquin barreled into the Bermuda Triangle and swallowed the container ship El Faro whole, resulting in the worst American shipping disaster in thirty-five years. No one could fathom how a vessel equipped with satellite communications, a sophisticated navigation system, and cutting-edge weather forecasting could suddenly vanish—until now.

Relying on hundreds of exclusive interviews with family members and maritime experts, as well as the words of the crew members themselves—whose conversations were captured by the ship’s data recorder—journalist Rachel Slade unravels the mystery of the sinking of El Faro. As she recounts the final twenty-four hours onboard, Slade vividly depicts the officers’ anguish and fear as they struggled to carry out their captain’s increasingly bizarre commands, which, they knew, would steer them straight into the eye of the storm. Taking a hard look at America’s aging merchant marine fleet, Slade also reveals the truth about modern shipping—a cutthroat industry plagued by razor-thin profits and ever more violent hurricanes fueled by global warming.

A richly reported account of a singular tragedy, Into the Raging Sea takes us into the heart of an age-old American industry, casting new light on the hardworking crew of El Faro who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit."

Written by part-time Rockport resident, journalist Rachel Slade

Note: the sinking of the El Faro, as well as other maritime tragedies, has brought about important legislation including the Maritime Safety Act of 2018. Please visit the author Rachel Slade's page to learn more about the bill and how to advocate for greater safety on our seas. Of the 33 who died aboard the El Faro, four were from Maine. May they all rest in peace.

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