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The Ship and the Storm
by Jim Carrier
ISBN 007135526X / 9780071355261 / 0-07-135526-X
Publisher International Marine
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In October 1998, a wayward tropical storm blossomed into one of the most powerful hurricanes in modern history. When it finished its devastating course throughout the Caribbean, Hurricane Mitch had killed thousands of people, left hundreds of thousands more homeless, and destroyed whole towns. Journalist Jim Carrier turns up a small but telling incident: the disappearance of a 282-foot schooner called the Fantome. Guided by a young but accomplished English captain and manned by seasoned West Indian sailors, the cruise ship put into port in Belize to discharge its passengers, then set out to sea in an attempt to outrace a storm that, defying expectation, changed its course and in the end sent the Fantome and its crew beneath the waves. All that was terrible enough; added to it was the legal battle that awaited the crew's survivors, one that hung over the disaster "like a poisonous cloud." Following the Fantome's course hour by hour, Carrier covers all aspects of the incident thoroughly and sympathetically. His book makes a compelling companion to Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm as a fine reconstruction of a maritime tragedy, one that does honor to the unfortunate dead. --Gregory McNamee [via]