The bad thing about insomnia that goes on and on and on, is that obviously, you can’t sleep and get (and stay) exhausted… But in trying to find the silver lining, you sure can plow through a lot of books when you are consistently awake at 3 in the morning!
Lost at Sea, by Patrick Dillon, is the true story of an American tragedy. On Valentine’s Day 1983, two crab boats from the same company in Anacortes, Washington, were lost in the Bering Sea. The hull of one of the boats was discovered completely overturned, floating in the ocean, before soon sinking below the water forever. No trace of the other was ever found. There were scant clues available about why both boats could possibly have been lost on the same day, in seas that had not yet turned stormy.
Lost at Sea explores the sinking of both boats, and the subsequent investigation to determine the truth behind the mystery. You might expect it to be a rather dry read, as it goes quite into depth on the subsequent investigation and Coast Guard hearing to determine the cause of the sinkings. Dillon also details the Congressional process, negotiations and hearings that occurred over the course of the next several years to enact more stringent safety regulations into the commercial fishing industry. However, he manages to tell the interweave the stark facts and statistics with the stories of the men who died aboard these boats, as well as the stories of the families they left behind. The result is a powerful read.
If you have ever been to the Anacortes waterfront, you have seen the Fisherman’s Memorial with these 14 mens’ names inscribed on it. After reading this book, I felt that I knew more of their story.