Serpents Coil - A stunning true epic of storm and salvage in mid-Atlantic
by Mowat, Farley
pub. by Ballantine, NY - 1961 LCCN = 62-9543
222p. - - sailing adventure
This is the story of - the Foundation Company, a marine salvage company and the freighter Leicester a WWII Liberty ship. (The story may be compared to the story of the Flying Enterprise described in the book Simple Courage described above.) The main differences are that the Leicester was abandoned by her captain (Hamish Lawson) and crew when they reasonably feared that the ship would turn over and sink, while the captain of the Flying Enterprise stayed aboard, and the Leicester was successfully towed into a port (in Bermuda) by Foundation Josephine. The seagoing tug Foundation Lillian assisted, then was sent across the Atlantic to rescue another ship (a tanker) which lost its propeller. The Leicester, in some ways like the Flying Enterprise got into trouble due to a shift in cargo. Leicester was loaded with gravel ballest which shifted. It also survived 3 hurricanes during the whole ordeal, the last one while it was in port in Bermuda being stabelized before it was finally towed to a shipyard in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, for final repair work. The Leicester eventually returned to service. Its rescue and the underwriters examination of the cause of the ballast shift caused a change in the way Liberty ships were loaded. It solved the mysterious dissappearance of several -Sam- Liberty ships and allowed corrective action to be taken to keep other such ships to be saved from this peril.
Mowat weaves a fast paced tale where the rescue tugs crew and management are the heros.
~ 2008 ~
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