Synopses & Reviews
This on-the-spot narrative of the February 1997 loss of three U.S. Coast Guardsmen from the Quillayute River Station during a maritime rescue is both a commemoration and a report of the failure of the Coast Guard's senior leadership to appreciate and support the work of enlisted men and women at often remote and dangerous small-boat stations.
The first in-depth look at a small-boat maritime rescue by the U.S. Coast Guard, this book is also the first to describe the role of those at small-boat rescue stations and of the policy setters at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C. Its author was in the right place at the right time on a night when everything went wrong. From the first alarm to the dramatic helicopter rescue of the crew of a foundering sailboat, from the onshore rescue of the sole survivor of the first dispatched Coast Guard crew to the tragic losses, this man-against-the-sea tale is told largely in the words of the participants and others who were with author Dennis Noble at the station near La Push, Washington, on the night the tragedy unfolded.
Noble also provides an analysis of the state of the Coast Guard, how its current problems have developed, and what effect they have on the service's operations. As the story unfolds, the views of senior enlisted personnel at the station paint a picture of an overworked small-boat rescue force and their feelings toward what they perceive as a distant, and in many cases unaware, officer corps. Noble contrasts these perspectives with those voiced by the investigating commissioned officers and higher-ups at Coast Guard headquarters.
Illustrated with 29 photos and maps, Noble's contribution to the annals of maritime history isa riveting account of extraordinary heroism in the face of regrettable human tragedy.
"Recounts the tragic story of the crew of the U.S. Coast Guard Quillayute River Station, who attempted to rescue the sailors of the sailboat Gale Runner in February 1997. . . . Will give you a greater understanding and respect for what the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard are asked to do and accomplish every day somewhere on the nation's waters."--US Naval Institute Proceedings "Noble's on-the-spot experiences, his professional background and his established maturity as an historical writer make The Rescue of the Gale Runner as gripping an account of rescue efforts as the parallel work of Dennis Smith, retired New York firefighter and historical author who released the evocative Report from Ground Zero."--Peninsula Daily News "From the first alarm through the loss of three Coast Guard lives on the first boat, the dispatch of the second boat, and finally the helicopter rescue of the fishermen, Noble was there. . . . It was the worst loss of life suffered by a Coast Guard small boat station since 1961."--Sequim (Washington) Gazette
About the Author
Dennis L. Noble, a retired U.S. Coast Guard senior chief petty officer, the author of numerous books including Lifeboat Sailors: Disasters, Rescues, and the Perilous Future of the Coast Guard's Small Boat Stations. He was visiting the Quillayute River Station in Washington State when the Gale Runner incident took place.