Oceans and Seas

the work of author Michael Krieger

Part 69: Unlucky Swimmers – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 69: Unlucky Swimmers – All the Men In the Sea

Unlucky One group of unlucky swimmers had drifted far to the east, al­most 18 miles from where the 269 had gone down. Tim Noble, O. P. Chauvin, and the seven Mexican crewmen who were tied together wondered if they were ever going to be rescued. They felt very much alone, and they were. The three rescue vessels, if they could be seen at all, were just distant lights visible only briefly from wave...

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Part 68: Shooting Into the Air – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 68: Shooting Into the Air – All the Men In the Sea

Lee Rail Into the Sea The Ducker was rolling heavily, and each time her lee rail went into the sea, one or two of the men would grab lines holding tractor tires along the vessel’s side and go shooting into the air standing on the inside of the tires as the tug rolled back onto a crest. Soon it was Gustavo’s turn. He latched onto a line just above a tire and zoomed skyward. Before he...

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Part 67: Clinging to Life – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 67: Clinging to Life – All the Men In the Sea

Life Ring Gustavo Zaldivar, the storekeeper, floated in the waves with a group of swimmers. Someone had a 30-inch-diameter life ring, and three men were clinging to it. Another person had a piece of hawser, which had been looped through the life ring so that they could stay together. Others joined them. Earlier that day on the 269 when Gustavo and El Padre had been released from the bucket...

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Part 66: So Weak – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 66: So Weak – All the Men In the Sea

Back of the Pants The Mexican galley hand eagerly brought himself aboard with a line that was thrown to him, but Kevin was so weak he couldn’t even grasp the line. Then Mitch and Phil were grabbing him by the back of the pants. With a mighty heave they flung Kevin on deck. Still Kevin couldn’t move. He lay there helplessly. Over the loudspeaker Captain Robert shouted, “Get that...

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Part 65: Next Wave – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 65: Next Wave – All the Men In the Sea

Still Visible Kevin glanced over his shoulder, looking for the next wave. Only the tip of the 269‘s bow and her crane were still visible above the sea. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a monster wave sweeping toward him. Just as it engulfed him, the water exploded, and like magic, a life raft mushroomed up next to him, roughly shoving him out of its way. The raft canis­ters were fitted...

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Part 64: Holding On – All the Men In the Sea

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Part 64: Holding On – All the Men In the Sea

Hours Passed As the swimmers came alongside holding on to the Carolina, the divers would toss out life rings to them. Then, with other guys holding on to them, they would pull a swimmer on deck. Sometimes two divers would be grabbing two swimmers at once. At other times the men in the water were able to latch onto a tire, but as the hours passed, those still waterborne had been battling the...

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