WINNER OF THE MAINE LITERARY AWARD FOR NON FICTION
A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
ONE OF JANET MASLIN’S MUST-READ BOOKS OF THE SUMMER
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR'S CHOICE
ONE OF OUTSIDE MAGAZINE’S BEST BOOKS OF THE SUMMER
ONE OF AMAZON'S BEST NONFICTION BOOKS OF THE YEAR SO FAR
“A powerful and affecting story, beautifully handled by Slade, a journalist who clearly knows ships and the sea.”—Douglas Preston, New York Times Book Review
“A Perfect Storm for a new generation.”
—Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
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 Captain Michael Davidson’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 cut-throat 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 men and women who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.
An excellent work of research, journalism and clear writing style. Explanations of hurricane formation and behavior, ship construction and performance and the human element in sailing were very informative. One suggestion: a map of the ship’s route keyed to critical times and the location of the storm and its eye would have most welcome. Jim Lyons, Denver, CO45
Ms Slade and her publisher knew the first titilating book to the trough about this tragedy would sell big. As a published author and maritime Academy grad who spent years on merchant ships and an insider to the troubles at Saltchuck, I see her writing as mediocre and her research misses the real reason for this tragedy. She spends a great deal of time giving her views on race relations ( generally not a problem on ships) and other social topics and misses the real heart of this story...the big corporate problem of profit before safety at the parent Saltchuk. Wait for a better researched book to find out what really happened15
A very engrossing read. Didn’t know anything about this actual event, so reading about it and learning about the maritime industry (what an absolutely criminal mess) made me furious and sad. As long as rich ship owners exist, we will continue to see these preventable tragedies happen. I just hope authors like this one continue to tell the world about them.55
Could not put it down: insightful, thoroughly researched and eminently readable factual presentation of the causes, including hubris, of the sinking of El Faro and loss of its crew. Also, a good overview of maritime law, history and current fault lines that should be a must-read for anyone in the shipping industry. Makes one appreciate the sacrifices so many make to give us all the goods we really take for granted. Bravo!55
Poignant, riveting, jaw dropping, outrageous, and oh so sad! A beautifully written piece on a preventable tragedy, I could not put it down. Steve Mathews Nashville TN55
This is a compelling story written by someone who really understand the maritime industry. The “but” is there is too much extraneous information which interrupts the flow of the story. After reading the book I was angry at the captain, the shipping company and the Coast Guard.55