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Log In. Toggle navigation MENU. Email Address. Heart-pounding action for the avid armchair adventurer. Review Posted Online: Dec. Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. Email address:. Please provide an email address. Categories of Interest: Select All.

Current Affairs. Historical Fiction. The pilots wonder if they have a realistic chance of saving the sailors clinging to the broken life raft, and if they will be able to even retrieve their own rescue swimmer from the towering seas. Once they commit to the rescue, they find themselves in almost as much trouble as the survivors, facing one life-and-death moment after the next.

Also caught in the storm are three other boats, each one in a Mayday situation.

A Storm Too Soon (Young Readers Edition)

Of the ten people on these boats, only six will ever see land again. Spellbinding, harrowing, and meticulously researched, A Storm Too Soon is a vivid account about the powerful collision between the forces of nature and the human will to survive. Author Michael J. Tougias, known for his fast-paced writing style and character-driven stories, tells this true saga in the present tense to give the reader a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat immediacy.

A Storm Too Soon is Tougias at his masterful best and a heart-pounding narrative of survival, the power of the human spirit, and one of the most incredible rescues ever attempted. In the course of the voyage they encountered a storm that caused the ocean liner to pitch and roll, making just about everyone on board seasick. But not Rudy. He was out on the top deck in the pelting rain having the time of his life, awed by the raging sea around him. Rudy is now sixty-two years old and recently retired from a teaching career in the public schools.

He finally has the time to live out his dream of returning to the sea.

He owns his own sailboat and often sails the Ottawa River, but he has also mastered piloting small aircraft and parachuting. He has made more than six hundred parachute jumps.


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He would have to pull his reserve parachute, and was already thinking ahead to the considerable effort it would take to repack it. He landed safely. He was capable of standing watch and had never been motion-sick in his life. He explained that he wanted to go on the voyage to learn about blue-water sailing and because it would be an entirely new experience.

A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Disaster, Survival and an Incredible…

When the plane touches down in Jacksonville, Florida, Rudy disembarks and follows the crowd down to baggage claim. The two men shake hands and then head outside. The warm, humid air embraces Rudy, a welcome change from the cold of Ottawa. It is late April, the temperature is in the mid-eighties, and the brilliant sunshine causes Rudy to squint. Johns River. Rudy likes what he sees. The Beneteau sailboat has a center cockpit protected by a hard dodger rigid windshield , a single mast directly in front of the cockpit, with twin guardrails surrounding the white vessel. During inclement weather, the cockpit can be completely enclosed with canvas curtains and windows.

Jean Pierre introduces the thirty-one-year-old sailor to Rudy. Ben is British, with a short, stocky build and a shaved head. He began his career in the tourism industry, but he soon turned his interest to the sea, first teaching inshore sailing on small vessels, and then progressing to yacht deliveries. He has sailed from Europe to the United States, and on this trip he will reverse course.

Reserved by nature, Ben tends to take time before opening up, but that night at dinner, he already feels comfortable and is more than satisfied that the threesome will make a good crew. He is impressed that JP has spared no expense in equipping the boat and is taking his time readying it for the crossing. In his quiet manner, JP patiently explains the intricacies of his vessel, and Ben senses that this is a man who never gets rattled. He interviewed each applicant, narrowing them down to two crew members, relying on his instincts to determine who would be the best fit.

He was more than sure that Rudy and Ben were the right men for the job. JP selected May as the optimal time of year for an eastbound crossing of the Atlantic, primarily because it would put them ahead of hurricane season. The voyage is not scheduled for another few days because the Sean Seamour II was in storage for two and a half years, and needs a complete overhaul, cleaning, and provisioning. Some of the equipment was removed and stored in an air-conditioned warehouse.

Now that equipment needs to be inspected, replaced if necessary, and secured in its proper position aboard the boat.

Michael J. Tougias - Wikipedia

As they start taking apart the inside of the boat and checking equipment, JP realizes that time and climate have done their share of damage. They order a new wind sensor, cable replacements for the mast, autopilot hydraulic pump, new fuel filters, and a new battery bank. The fuel tank is cleaned and a custom-made auxiliary tiller packed in case of emergency.

New life jackets and flares are stowed.

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JP replaces the navigation and electronics by installing the latest MaxSea weather routing software, which will enable him to receive detailed wind data several days in advance, allowing him to adjust course accordingly. A backup computer with navigation and satellite telephone software is also on board and in working order. The preparation introduces Ben and Rudy to the inner workings of the boat as they replace lines, clean equipment, and practice using the pumps.


  • A Storm Too Soon eBook by Michael J. Tougias | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster UK.
  • A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Disaster, Survival () by Michael J. Tougias?
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  • The life raft and GPIRB global position indicating radio beacon, which can send a signal to the Coast Guard, pinpointing the location of an emergency went out for recertification, and the entire crew reviews their operation before securing the two pieces of safety equipment. The GPIRB is one step advanced from the traditional EPIRB emergency position indicating radio beacon because it has an integrated GPS that gives the receiver, the Coast Guard, a faster location fix and does not require the receiver to perform any complex calculations.

    Although it is a somewhat redundant piece of equipment, JP has tested its eleven-year-old batteries and the unit works, so he decides to keep it on board. JP reviews the heavy-weather contingencies with the crew, making sure they understand exactly what needs to be dogged down in a storm. They examine the location and operation of all safety equipment.


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    • One person will be on watch at all times, and they will all wear safety harnesses with tethers clipped to the boat at night and in heavy weather. As one the miraculously rescued victims torn in-extremis from the wrath of un-forecasted, post-named ST Storm Andrea, I have hesitated to provide my so obviously biased opinion of the book. Commander Nevada Smith who led his crew into this unforeseen maelstrom has opened the path on Amazon so I will continue on goodreads. If you look at the photo of our raft on the side of the mountain of water it is hard to imagine, but to put this incredible 70 foot wave in perspective consider that seas genera As one the miraculously rescued victims torn in-extremis from the wrath of un-forecasted, post-named ST Storm Andrea, I have hesitated to provide my so obviously biased opinion of the book.

      If you look at the photo of our raft on the side of the mountain of water it is hard to imagine, but to put this incredible 70 foot wave in perspective consider that seas generated by Hurricane Grace in , storm that led to book and subsequent movie "A Perfect Storm", had averaged waves of 37 to 50 feet high and rogue waves hitting feet. Sub Tropical Storm Andrea that brought about our demise had waves that averaged 70 feet with rogues waves much higher!

      It is five going on six years since a series of miracles enabled us to relate our ordeal. Not the least of these miracles was the engagement in a totally unforeseen situation of this United States Coast Guard crew, four men who went beyond the call of duty to accomplish one of the most daring USCG rescues. The honors bestowed to them from two countries understate their feat, their commitment. Having read most of his books, bias aside this one is particularly riveting.

      You can find more photos on www. View 2 comments. My older son, who prefers non-fiction to fiction and who likes stories of resilience, picked up A Storm Too Soon: A Remarkable True Survival Story in 80 Foot Seas during a recent library trip and has been obsessively reading and re-reading it. The book was a quick read for an adult, and clearly though dryly recounts the events of the unexpected storm and subsequent rescue.

      Customer Reviews

      I think my son liked the book in part because the introduction made it clear that all of the principals in the story survived view spoiler [ though at least one of the other boats mentioned as being in distress during the same storm was never found hide spoiler ]. So while there was tension in the moment, the level of suspense was low. Unfortunately my library system doesn't have the adult version, or else I'd hand it to him to try.

      A Storm Too Soon, a true survival story, is one of the best non-fiction books that I have ever read. They were slammed by multiple waves over 80 feet, sinking their boat, the Sean Seamour II. JP was severely injured and was almost unconscious. Th A Storm Too Soon, a true survival story, is one of the best non-fiction books that I have ever read.

      The warm water of the gulf stream was helpful, but within several hours, they could get hypothermia. And, they had no way of signaling the helicopter other than a few flares, which were quite unpredictable in the very strong winds. The Coast Guard crew aboard an HH Jayhawk rescue helicopter had to not only locate the tiny orange raft in knot winds but lift two sailors and an unconscious captain to safety. I think A Storm Too Soon is a very good read. It is very informational and has many interesting facts. Thumbs up to Michael J. He definitely knew what he was talking about.