June 27, 7 pm: Michael Tougias, combo program: “The Finest Hours” and “So Close to Home”

michael-tougiasNY Times bestselling Author Michael Tougias will appear at the Falmouth Museums on the Green on Tuesday, June 27 at 7 pm. . He will give a two part multi-media presentation.  The first part covers his new book So Close To Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During WWII.  The second part of the program features his bestseller The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue.  The Disney Corporation has made a movie based on the book, starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck.  The program is suitable for all ages.

michael-tougias-2 For The Finest Hours, Tougias will use slides of the storm, the sinking oil tankers, the rescues, the victims, the survivors and the heroes to tell the story of this historic event which took place in February of 1952.  He will describe the harrowing attempts to rescue the seamen, especially focusing on four young Coast Guardsmen who must overcome insurmountable odds to save the lives of 32 crewmen stranded aboard the stern of the Pendleton. Standing between the men and their mission were towering waves that reached 70 feet, blinding snow, and one of the most dangerous shoals in the world, the dreaded Chatham Bar. The waters along the outer arm of Cape Cod are called “the graveyard of the Atlantic” for good reason, yet this rescue defies all odds.

Tougias says, “This event was–and still is– the greatest and most daring sea rescue ever performed by the Coast Guard, and it happened right here off the New England coast.  I felt this episode of heroism and tragedy needed to be told in its entirety because it’s an important piece of overlooked history.

   For So Close To Home, Tougias will also tell the story through a series of slides.  Thismichael-tougias-1 event happened in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942 when a Uboat sank a ship carrying the Downs family.  Tougias describes the family’s incredible fight for survival adrift at sea, but also includes the story of the daring Uboat commander who patrolled the Gulf, even going into the mouth of the Mississippi River. A book signing will follow the program.

            “I enjoy doing these programs,” says Tougias, “because I like to transport the audience into the heart of the storm so that they ask themselves ‘what would I have done.’  I don’t like to do author readings because I think they are boring, but with a slide presentation, the viewer can visually relive the adventure.”

Michael Tougias is the author and coauthor of 24 books including Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea, which the Los Angeles Times called “breathtaking…a marvelous and terrifying tale.” Tougias’ previous book Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do During the Blizzard of ‘78 received an Editor’s Choice Selection from the American Library Association which selected it as one of the top books of the year.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

May 8: Lecture: Michael Tougias, author of “A Storm Too Soon”

  • Wednesday, May 8th, 7:00 pm: Lecture:  Michael Tougias, author of “A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Survival and a Remarkable Rescue

In honor of Maritime History Month, the Society presents the true tale of an amazing 2007 Coast Guard rescue in the Atlantic, and how those rescued, as well as the rescuers themselves, battled the elements to simply not allow lives to perish. This is the tale of the one of the largest and most intense rescues in Coast Guard history.