Great Lakes Shipwrecks & Survivals
In this breathtaking chronicle of the most spectacular shipwrecks and survivals on the Great Lakes, William Ratigan re-creates vivid scenes of high courage and screaming panic from which no reader can turn away.
Included in this striking catalog of catastrophes and Flying Dutchmen are the magnificent excursion liner Eastland, which capsized at her pier in the Chicago River, drowning 835 people within clutching distance of busy downtown streets; the shipwrecked steel freighter Mataafa, which dumped its crew into freezing waters while the snowbound town of Duluth looked on; the dark Sunday in November 1913 when Lake Huron swallowed eight long ships without a man surviving to tell the tale; and the bitter November of 1958 when the Bradley went down in Lake Michigan during one of the greatest killer storms on the freshwater seas. An entire section is dedicated to the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald -- the most famous maritime loss in modern times -- in Lake Superior in 1975.
Chilling watercolor illustrations, photographs, maps, and news clippings accentuate Ratigan's compelling and dramatic storytelling. Sailors, historians, and general readers alike will be swept away by these unforgettable tales of tragedy and heroism.
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This was my father's last book. Growing up I remember seeing an oar, and other debris from the Carl D. Bradley shipwreck displayed around the house. The significance of them really never dawned on me. Then later when the Edmund Fitzgerald shipwrecked, that story was later added to the book. When the song about it was written and sung by Gordon Lightfoot, he actually came over to our house and sang the song for my mom and dad as he played my grandmothers piano. I could just barely see the pride and joy he was feeling watching this. I had no idea how fortunate I was at the time to experience that. And I was never really able to appreciate what a great writer he was until I matured more as an adult.
My father was a journalist - writer, and a very good one at that. I had a lot to live up to if I was going to even attempt to write a book. It meant a lot to me to write the best possible book that I could in order to make him proud, and pass on as much helpful information to people as possible.
I finally self published mine in 2009. It's 300 pages of text. It has many of my life experiences woven into it. It surprised me how much of your life you share when you write a book. Some of it is very personal, and you don't know the person on the other side finding out all these things about your life. So I have a new found appreciation of what writers must go through. It gives you a whole new perspective when you're the writer and not the reader!