In the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea is a nail-biting account 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 on board, 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 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 men and women who paid the ultimate price in the name of profit.
''A Perfect Storm for a new generation, Into the Raging Sea is a masterful page-turning account of the El Faro's sinking, one that leaves you profoundly moved by the crew's dedication and grit, and infuriated at the disturbing conditions that led to this tragedy.'' --Ben Mezrich, bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook
''Rachel Slade mashes up The Perfect Storm with a suspenseful, page-turning thriller, cutting through the corporate double-speak to shine a light on how it was that thirty-three men and women sailed into Hurricane Joaquin. Superbly written, this deserves a place on the bookshelf of modern maritime classics.'' --Robert Frump, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Until the Sea Shall Free Them: Life, Death, and Survival in the Merchant Marine
''An extraordinary piece of reporting. I tore through it like a novel.'' --John Konrad, author of Fire on the Horizon: The Untold Story of the Gulf Oil Disaster
''With gripping prose and edge-of-the-seat momentum, Rachel Slade takes the reader aboard the final, fatal voyage of El Faro. Into the Raging Sea imparts a profound message about the power of nature and the fallibility of human judgement even in our digitized era.'' --Peter Stark, author of Astoria: Astor and Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire A Tale of Ambition and Survival on the Early American Frontier
''Bracing ... a story as old as seafaring itself. This minute-by-minute account illustrates in chilling detail exactly what happens when the near-infinite might of the ocean plows broadside into the hubris of men.'' --Brantley Hargrove, author of The Man Who Caught the Storm: The Life of Legendary Tornado Chaser Tim Samaras
''Rachel Slade's Into the Raging Sea made me miss my subway stop and cancel at least one appointment. It's a gripping, moving account of a nautical tragedy, told with equal parts verve, gusto, and compassion. Don't miss it.'' --Sarah Weinman, author of The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World
Rachel Slade is a Boston-based journalist, writer, and editor. She was a staff writer at Boston magazine for ten years, and her writing earned her a City and Regional Magazine Award in civic journalism. She splits her time between Brookline, Massachusetts, and Rockport, Maine.