Oceans and Seas

the work of author Michael Krieger

Part 56: Sharks? – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 56: Sharks? – All the Men In the Sea

Human Chain Although Victor and his group, which eventually num­bered twelve men, never saw sharks, they had all they could do to battle the sea. Victor continued, “At times we were spread out and at times we were in a circle, and it all depended, be­cause sometimes as we would ride a wave up and it would tumble over, we would fall with it and it plunged us under­neath. [Then] we broke the...

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Part 55: Break My Neck – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 55: Break My Neck – All the Men In the Sea

Off the Port Bow Victor Diaz, the lead dive tender, who had gone off the port bow, described what happened to him after he dove into the sea. “As I came back up I opened my eyes; it was dark green. And when I actually came up I felt somebody fall di­rectly behind me. At that moment I swam away because I knew if they would fall right on top of me, I would break my neck and I wouldn’t...

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Part 54: Grab Him by the Hair – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 54: Grab Him by the Hair – All the Men In the Sea

Dangling Their timing seemed off, for the next two men also were left dangling, but somehow Lorenzo and the crew were able to bring them aboard. During all this, wave crests were breaking over the John‘s wheelhouse roof and cascading over the after­deck. Somebody would shout a warning and the sailors would grab a stanchion or any handhold they could find to keep from getting washed over...

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Part 53: Drowned in their Midst – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 53: Drowned in their Midst – All the Men In the Sea

Sightless Eyes After the men boarded the Captain John, there was still a crewman left in the raft who had not gotten to his feet. He did not move but stared up with sightless eyes from inside a 4-foot pool of water in the raft’s center. His mouth open, with a look of horror on his face, Angel, the young Mexican radio operator, had drowned in their midst, and no one had even noticed....

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Part 52: Big Wave Exploded – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 52: Big Wave Exploded – All the Men In the Sea

One by One As the Carolina worked her end of the ragged line formed by the three rescue boats, she seemed to be finding just swim­mers, no life rafts. So Zapata dealt with the men one by one, until another big wave exploded into the Carolina. Eulalio went over the side again in a tidal wave of water. The lifeline cut into his ribs, almost tearing him in half, as the next wave slammed him back...

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Part 51: Grab Him by the Hair – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 51: Grab Him by the Hair – All the Men In the Sea

Rescued Men With Eulalio Zapata still by himself on the afterdeck, Richard Cassel tried to bring the Carolina on the lee side of a swimmer so that the man would be swept into them. Sometimes this was on the side where the cargo net hung, and then the swim­mer might be able to climb the net by himself, or at least with Zapata’s help. Just as frequently, however, a man drifted into the port...

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