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Format: Paperback

“Two Tankers Down” is the third book about the T-2 tanker disasters of February 1952, and the only one that delves into the break-up and rescue of the crew of the Fort Mercer. Robert Frump (who wrote “Until the Sea Shall Free Them” about another T-2 disaster in 1983) has done a magnificent job of bringing together all the known facts about the Pendleton rescue and some new information heretofore unknown. “Two Tankers Down” is a great contribution to the literature of marine safety and maritime rescues. Anyone who loves the sea will appreciate this gripping tale.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

While the rescues of the crews of the Pendleton and Fort Mercer are the main focus of the book – it’s about more than that. The book isn’t simply a retelling of the events surrounding the rescue – which the author does a good job of. The book is also a look at the life of Bernie Webber the coxswain of the CG-36500 who displayed outstanding seamanship during the rescue and with the assistance of his crew managed to save the lives of 32 men that day. He went out in conditions that exceeded the limits of his motor lifeboat, packed aboard many more survivors than his boat was rated to carry – and brought them all back to safety.

The story could have begun and ended with the Pendleton and the Fort Mercer – but it didn’t. There was more to Bernie Webber than just this rescue. This rescue had a profound impact on Bernie Webber’s career – and the way the senior CG leadership treated him in the following years affected his opinions of the service for years to come.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

Since I am retired Coast Guard and held a Merchant Marine license, I found the basic story quite interesting. I was not aware of the scope of the problem of T-2 tankers spontaneously breaking up. The authors view of the inter workings of the Coast Guard’s organization were more or less on target given the era of the tale, and the subjective nature of such observations.

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I know someone who was intimately involved with this story. It is a wonderful story of some very under-appreciated men and women in the United States Coast Guard, who are often called upon to do the near impossible with almost nothing.

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