Oceans and Seas

the work of author Michael Krieger

Part 39: Gasping – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 39: Gasping – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Ray broke water gasping. He emerged almost under the barge and could feel a current pulling at him, sucking him back beneath the barnacle-covered hull. In desperation he pushed off with his feet and tried to swim away. After about five minutes of furious breast stroking, Ray found that he was getting nowhere. He just couldn’t seem to get away from it. Fi­nally, alternately side stroking...

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Part 38: Dolphin – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 38: Dolphin – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Dolphin As the despairing men began their ascent of a particularly large wave, Lenn glanced up toward the wave’s peak. There, surfacing on the crest as easily as a bird flying through the air—and staring down at them—was a full-grown dolphin. Their eye contact lasted only a few seconds before the raft collapsed in the wave and they were again buried beneath the surface. On the roller-coaster...

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Part 37: Swimming – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 37: Swimming – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Swimming When Lenn Cobb, the senior diver from Alabama, hit the water, he paddled with determination to reach the closest life raft still tethered to the 269, about 200 feet to leeward. After a few minutes of hard swimming, dodging de­bris in the water and fighting a suction that seemed to be pulling him back toward the sinking barge, he reached the raft and hoisted himself aboard. Upside Down...

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Part 36: Under­water – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 36: Under­water – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Underwater As dusk fell upon the hulk of the 269, now mostly under­water, almost everyone had abandoned it. The heliodeck still remained above the waves, which, unrestrained, swept over the remains of the barge. On the heliodeck a small, lonely fig­ure stood by itself. It looked like a part of the barge—a vertical fixture attached to the deck plates rather than anything resem­bling a living...

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Part 35: Jump – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 35: Jump – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

I Don’t Know How to Swim While some of the dive crew waited for an open space into which they could jump, Jim Vines came up to them. Jim was one of the barge foremen. In his late forties, he was heavy and not in the best physical condition. With pleading eyes, he said, “Look, you guys. I don’t know how to swim very well. Can I go with you? Will you all look out for me and help...

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Part 34: Closer and Closer – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 34: Closer and Closer – All the Men In the Sea, The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Survive So Raul waited, along with all the others. He was amid­ships, by the rail on the starboard side. As the 269 settled in the sea the water came closer and closer. The water came right up to him, to his legs, and he retreated higher on the deck, but he could hardly move. He started to feel like he was already dead. And in his mind all he could see was his dead body in the coffin. His...

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