And the trial of Captain Cowardice continues: Costa Concordia passengers testify

http://digitaljournal.com/news/world/costa-concordia-chaos-survivors-testify-at-schettino-trial/article/383931

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Will disbanding the S. Korean Coast Guard secure more safety on our seas?

The South Korean president believes it will. I’m not sure “disbanding” is what’s appropriate. Punishing the CG members who saved only the captain and crew, ignoring please from the students, would be most appropriate. Of course, a better trained CG is essential, but only if safety is taught along with dignity, morality, and competence.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/19/world/asia/south-korean-president-vows-to-disband-coast-guard-over-ferry-sinking.html?emc=edit_na_20140518&nlid=53456140&_r=0

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The Kon Tiki: Beating the impossible odds of survival at sea!

http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/big/0428.html#article

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S. Korea’s ferry boat tragedy is only one of many other tragedies!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/world/asia/as-ferry-toll-rises-hand-wringing-over-tendency-to-overlook-safety-in-south-korea.html?emc=edit_th_20140423&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=53456140&_r=0

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Sea Captains in history: what is the rule of the sea?

Informative article about courageous and cowardly captains: http://www.npr.org/2014/04/18/304541866/captains-uncourageous-abandoning-ship-long-seen-as-a-crime

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Excerpt: I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s

The eastbound ship was approaching quickly. The officers realized that this was a fast-moving ship and traveling in an unassigned lane.

Officer Giannini felt to make sure that his gold crucifix pendant was in place. He noticed that his palms were sweaty but told himself, We are still a safe distance away. If the other vessel maintains its course, all will be fine.

The oncoming ship was now three and a half miles away.

“How close will she pass?” the captain asked.

“About one mile to starboard,” Giannini replied, nervous but still not alarmed.

The captain turned to the helmsman and gave an order. “Steer four degrees to port.”

It was 11:00. With each passing moment, the officers strained to sight the oncoming ship visually. They knew that radar was still not as precise as their own eyes, but the dense fog was robbing them of this advantage.

“Why don’t we hear her?” Giannini asked the captain. “Why doesn’t she whistle?”

The captain was now silent, perhaps focusing on his intuition, as there was not much time to discuss details or even strategy. He recalled watching American movies where the Indian chief, on horseback, sat perfectly still, as if calling upon all of his senses to decide when to raise his arrow and signal attack. Was this to be his unwanted battle?

As Officer Giannini aimed his binoculars out into the eerie night, an unbelievable sight met him head-on: the mast lights of the silent approaching ship were now visible and showing the port-side red light instead of the expected green.

“She is turning! She is turning!” Giannini exclaimed with a blood-curdling cry. “She is showing the red light. She is coming toward us!”

“I see her,” the captain said faintly, his stare fixed rigidly on the other ship racing toward him at full speed.

Incredibly and inexplicably, the other ship was seconds from striking the Andrea Doria at full speed. Captain Calamai knew that he had to act instantly. He knew that in extreme situations, he had a choice to turn in whatever way he deemed wise.

“Hard left!” he shouted, the loudest he’d ever shouted in his life, as he faced his helmsman.

Would his liner respond in time to clear the collision? he wondered, his heart pounding hard enough to feel the beats in his head.

For several seconds, the captain stood immobilized. Officer Franchini realized this but knew that they had to signal their immediate left turn. He asked, “The two whistles?”

The captain nodded.

“The engines?” Franchini was suggesting that they should be shut down to lessen the blow.

“No! Don’t touch the engines! We need all the speed!” It was the captain’s intention to outrace the vessel that was about to broadside his.

At 11:10, the stunned officers of the pristine Italian liner saw a raging foe rip through a curtain of fog on the night water of the Atlantic. The captain clenched his teeth, awaiting the inevitable: the ramming of the Doria’s starboard side.

God, let my passengers be saved! he said in a brief, silent prayer.

The men on the bridge and the lookout in the crow’s nest braced themselves, helpless to save their prized liner. They watched in complete horror as a surreal, unidentified bow punctured the Doria’s double hull. Screeches, groans, and crashes echoed for miles on the Atlantic. Sputtering sparks sprang from the friction of the massive crash. The calm silence of the night was transformed into a cacophony accompanied by grotesque fireworks.

Ten minutes later, the captain was able to identify his offender as it noisily withdrew from the Doria’s entrails and he could read the name, STOCKHOLM.

“Dear God!” Officer Franchini exclaimed as he saw the mass of twisted steel that looked like the jaws of a monster, once the bow of the Stockholm.

As for the Andrea Doria, it now listed heavily, moaning mournfully and almost immobile.

Captain Calamai grabbed the railing…

 

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Survivors of the Titanic: The Untold Stories

It is hard to believe that it has been a hundred years since the Titanic set sail on her maiden voyage. By now everyone has heard of the tragedy that happened during the ship’s journey. People across the world have been mesmerized by the stories of those who have survived. People from all walks of life have become fascinating parts of history for future generations. Thanks to Hollywood, we now have movies that capture what may have happened during the ship’s final hours. Though we know about the rich and famous, what about those who are rarely talked about. Since there were only slightly mare than 700 survivors, it is time that we heard other sides of the story.

 

Charles Joughin

Charles has proven that surviving on whiskey can help keep your insides warm. You can actually see his character portrayed in several adaptations of the tragedy as a fun loving drunk who clung on to a railing for dear life. Though he may have been shown as always having fun, Joughin was actually on the ship as a baker and had signed on to work the ship since its delivery in Belfast. As chief baker, Charles was in charge of watching over other bakers who worked under him. When the ship hit the iceberg he immediately took action and got his crew up to the life boats, providing each of them with bread. Through his efforts, he is also known for helping women and children understand the severity of the situation and getting them on life boats. Charles stayed aboard the ship until it began to sink. Once he was in the water he had to survive for almost three hours in the freezing cold until he was rescued. Many attribute the fact that he stayed on the ship and enjoyed whiskey as the reason for him being able to survive the cold for as long as he did.

Margaret Devaney

Margaret was in her late teens when she boarded the ship with a few of her girlfriends. Margaret was leaving Ireland to meet up with her family that was already in New York. While they were on the ship the girls were unaware of what was happening around them until another passenger alerted them that they need to get their lifejackets and head up to the deck. If you have seen Titanic then you probably remember that some of the gates were locked, stranding passengers on their class levels. Through this tragedy, the girls were still able to find themselves to a ladder that lead to a deck. After one of her friends got seasickness, Margaret decided to continue on alone. Up on the deck she was shoved into a boat. Once aboard the boat, there were issues getting the boat loose. Luckily, Margaret had a pocket knife and they were able to use it to get the life boat free.

Dr. Washington Dodge

When he set sail on the Titanic, Dr. Washington Dodge was an affluent banker who was just returning from a European vacation with his wife and son. On the night of the accident the doctor and his wife were walking on the deck when they noticed the swift change in temperature. Later that night they were awaken when the ship hit the iceberg. After seeing that nothing seemed amiss they decided to stay in their room. After a while there was still an air of nervousness that could not be shaken. This time when they emerged from their room they noticed a different picture. People were pushing to get on the life boats and the doctor rushed his family along. Once his wife and child were securely on a boat, Dodge was allowed to get on a boat because of his class. After surviving the sinking vessel, tragedy struck the Dodge family again when Dr. Washington attempted to kill himself in 1919.

Jennie Hansen

There are just some people who bad luck tends to find, and Jennie Hansen is one of those people. Prior to embarking on the Titanic, Jennie was in a hotel fire, almost died in the elevator, and was found unconscious due to gas fumes. Jennie knew in her gut that something bad would happen when she and her husband took the voyage aboard the ship. After the ship hit the iceberg, Jennie’s husband was insistent that she board the life boats and live to tell their story. Both her husband and his brother never made it off the perishing ship. Following the trauma, Jennie recovered in New York where it was discovered that she was no longer able to shed tears. She subsequently suffered from horrific nightmares about the accident.

For more boating stories, insurance, travel tips:

http://www.boatinsurance.org/survivors-of-the-titanic-the-untold-stories/

 

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Librarians: Has your Titanic collection been run aground by patron demand? A new publication will help keep your inventory afloat

Has your Titanic collection been run aground by patron demand? You can keep your inventory afloat by adding an up-close and personal account written by a shipwreck survivor.

Dear librarian,

Among a deluge of requests to carry new publications, you are undoubtedly seeking a good rationale to develop your collection. I hope this letter will be of assistance in making a decision.

The seed for my 2nd publication came when my friend Bill Garzke came to Michigan to collaborate on our annual presentation at U of M’s School of Naval Architecture. Bill is the national chairman of marine forensics for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in DC who appointed me to be a fellow member. Bill, a distinguished author on the Titanic and other shipwrecks expressed his concern in the future of marine forensics. “Do you know that the average age of a naval architect is 43 years old and inching upward? We need to change this!”

Promising to do what I could, I came up with the idea of a novel, I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s. It is written expressly to inspire a new generation of marine scientists, while educating and entertaining the reader. The ultimate goal is preventing another shipwreck like the one I survived.

Bill later invited me to launch my book at the First International Marine Forensics Symposium in DC. My local release took place at Mariners Church in Detroit on April 15 in honor of the Titanic’s 100th anniversary.

For more concise details, take a look below  and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you and good luck with all your acquisitions.

 

~~~~

I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s

The novel’s distinctive features:

· Featured in author interviews on WWJ, and cited in the NY Times, WGN, WLW, CBS, WXYZ, WJIMA, WDIV, WDYM, and the Italian Tribune in April, 2012. http://www.pierettesimpson.com/press/costa-will concordia/

· Received Honorable Mention from the San Francisco Book Festival for general excellence, the author’s ability to tell a good story, potential to reach a wider audience.  (Teenage category)

· Received a positive Kirkus Review (see below)

·       Written by an Andrea Doria shipwreck survivor, and published author on the topic. (Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescue in History)

·       Book reviewed by the chairman of national marine forensics for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

·       Edited by two naval architects for scientific accuracy

·       Appropriate for use in science, history, andimmigration classes

·       Written to inspire future generation of marine scientists.

·       Appropriate for readers ages nine through adult

·       Based on real events and characters

·       Website will have instructional support materials: www.IWasShipwreckedontheAndreaDoria.com

·       The author is a professional speaker and available for presentations: http://www.pierettesimpson.com/speaking-events/

Facts in Brief

Publication date: April 5 and 15th, 2012 (national and local releases)

List Price: $9.99*and $6.97 for print and digital versions respectively

Specs: 8.5” x 5.5″, 231 pages

ISBN: 98507760–0–0 for print and 9780985077617 for digital version

LCCN: 2012931871

Wholesale Orders: Ingram, Lightning Source

Publisher: Brio Publications

Includes photos, diagrams, map, and drawings

Contact: Pierette Simpson, 248 349-8557, Pierette@pierettesimpson.com for ordering information/questions

Websites: www.IWasShipwreckedontheAndreaDoria and www.pierettesimpson.com

*Buy two or more from the author and pay only $7.00 after the first copy.

Book Description

I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s

A novel by Pierette Domenica Simpson

On July 25, 1956, after nine days of blissful travel, passengers on the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria are hurled into a struggle for survival. As the murky fog lifts on the black Atlantic, the sea becomes a mirror in which passengers stare at death in the face. Their destinies are literally suspended on a rope—and in the hands of their fellow passengers and crew.

Written by a survivor of the catastrophic Andrea Doria-Stockholm collision, the novel is an up close and personal anatomy of a shipwreck on the Atlantic Ocean on July 25, 1956.

Frightful premonitions, excerpts from Moby Dick, discussions on the Titanic, and a terrible sea storm, prepare the reader for the inevitable. Ultimately, the story is that of the “greatest sea rescue in history”.

 

New Release, currently available from the author

$9.99, plus shipping(discounts for orders over 20)

Contact: Pierette@pierettesimpson.com

248-349-8557

Praise:

“Simpson’s telling is a well-paced account of the ship’s decline and the families the catastrophe affected. Her female perspective helps mold a heartily compelling tale…A pleasant voyage for anyone seeking a personal history of the ocean liner.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This story could only be told through the sensibilities of a survivor. It’s so compelling that it could be made into a movie. Yet, Ms. Simpson took measures to preserve scientific, engineering, and historical accuracy.”—William H. Garzke, Jr. Chairman of the Marine Forensics Committee, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

A fascinating and cinematic novel about one of history’s greatest maritime rescues.  Author and survivor, PieretteSimpson, reconstructs a suspenseful path to the actual collision that is beyond haunting— it’s chilling! Yet, through 9-year-old Piera and her grandparents we relive a story of courage and survival. A book sure to inspire young readers toward maritime science.”—Ruta Sepetys, New York Times bestselling author of Between Shades of Gray

Love the book- awesome.  I just couldn’t put it down and kept on reading. Love the chapter set up between different viewpoints. My kids will read it. I am going to ask about putting a copy inNovi Middle School library—Tammy Latham, engineer, academic mentor, mother of three: 12, 14, 16.

About the Author:

Ms. Simpson became the first shipwreck survivor to give a complete human and scientific account of her own shipwreck with her book, Alive the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Rescued in History. The author is a member of the national marine forensics committee of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The chairman of marine forensics endorsed her first publication for shipwreck research.

 

Ms. Simpson frequently speaks about shipwreck survival to local and international groups, including a keynote speech at the ALA National Conference, Chicago, 2010.She has been featured in the New York Times, CBS Sunday Morning, WGN TV and radio, WXYZ and CBS.

For the author’s media interviews: http://www.pierettesimpson.com/press/.

 

By the same author, award-winning and best-selling:

ALIVE ON THE ANDREA DORIA!THE GREATEST SEA RESCUE IN HISTORY

Featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood

www.pierettesimpson.com

 

On July 25, 1956, the catastrophic ramming of the Stockholm into Italy’s crown jewel, the luxury liner Andrea Doria, sent shock waves around the world.

The author/survivor sensitively and scientifically recreates the human and scientific details of her shipwreck—which could have been another Titanic.

ISBN: 978 –1– 60037–460–9 (Paperback)

978-1-60037-655-9 (audio CD)

978 –1–60037–461—6 (Hardcover)

Available thru Ingram, Baker and Taylor

Praise:

At the ALA annual conference, I had the wonderful opportunity of hearing Pierette Simpson relate firsthand the story of the collision, rescue and sinking of the Andrea Doria in 1956. Both her story and her presentation had me enthralled!

 

The heart of the story reveals personal details of immigration, survival, and overcoming hardships. The technical explanationsshow the importance of historical research and documentation: Ms. Simpson’s new data vindicated the Andrea Doria crew and an entire maritime industry, thereby bringing clarity and justice to this most controversial sea disaster.

I believe that her book, Alive on the Andrea Doria! The Greatest Sea Recue in History belongs on the shelves of every library – public, academic, and high school. — Sally Garner Reed, Executive Director ALTAFF, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

 

“Finally, a riveting first-hand account of the sinking of the Andrea Doria. Pierette Simpson’s heartfelt, engaging prose and her insight make the reader marvel at the depth of her research and her knack for expressinghuman emotion with the written word.  A real pleasure to read!”  —Kevin McMurray: diver, New York Times journalist, author of Dark Descent and Deep Descent

I am recommending that anyone investigating a ship loss should read your book. This is just how good it   is, Pierette. I particularly was impressed on how you selectively followed up on some of the survivors and showed just how this tragedy affected them in their laterlives….Those who have read it agree that it    is a very good factual account of what happened. — William Garzke, chairman of the Marine Forensics Panel SD-7, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.

There are few people in the world I regret never having met.This author is,        in many ways, a kindred spirit and one I would like to meet. Perhaps one day! …     Rarely, if ever, have I read such a complete account of the loss of any single     ship and we students of shipwreck should be grateful that such a complete     and honest account was finally published. Ned Middleton, British professional underwater photo- journalist, author, retired sea captain

Scheduled for nationwide release on the 50th anniversary of the tragedy is a     survivor’s tale that is the ultimate page-turner. Alive on the Andrea Doria! reads like a real-life version of the suspense-packed novel/film The Poseidon     Adventure. Switch Poseidon’s locations, era and give fictitious characters     real names and you have the makings of a first-class read from cover to cover.  —Sea Classics, Maritime Journal

“Befitting the fiftieth anniversary of the collision, this book details with     irrefutable scientific evidence what caused the tragedy, challenging all     previous theories. This thrilling tale of survival and intrigue follows the     unjust fate of Captain Calamai so that we realize how the twisted bow     of the damaged Stockholm symbolizes the twist of fate that befell Calamai     and the Italian maritime industry. Alive on the Andrea Doria! will set the     historical record straight at last. —Germaine Strobel, Andrea Doria survivor

Testimonials for Audio CD Book:

Pierette’s poignant narration of a nine-year-old girl surviving a catastrophe is even more compelling than reading her words on the pages of her book– and that’s saying a lot! Her expressive voice invokes vivid memories of my personal experience on that terrible night. I’m honored to be included in her books.

—Mike Stoller, of Leiber & Stoller, legendary songwriters, co-author of the book, Hound Dog

 

I have listened to the audio book with great admiration. It is very difficult for a survivor of a ship sinking to recount that experience later in life—whether in the printed word or orally. Pierette is to be congratulated for recounting not only her experience but, extraordinarily, that of other survivors. The listener is treated to words done in the native tongue of the survivor. Having been a language teacher has greatly assisted the author inthis endeavor; we are treated to the Andrea Doria and Ile de France pronounced correctly in their native tongue. Emotions of the individuals are also captured and clearly felt. Pierette Simpson has created a masterpiece in recounting a tragic episode in history.—William Garzke, national chairman, marine forensics panel, Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

The CD was a delight to listen to. I felt transported back in time onto the Andrea Doria. Pierette Simpson’s use of actual survivor voices made the stories more believable than reading them in print. I especially enjoyed the author’s replication of her childhood voice, and that of her grandmother’s in broken English, complete with an Italian accent. It authenticated the journey back to the past.—Marjorie Nanian, attorney and assistant professor of political science, Schoolcraft College, MI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! wins Honorable Mention at San Francisco Book Festival

I’m very excited: my new novel won Honorable Mention in the  San Francisco International Book Festival yesterday!  The congratulatory letter  indicated it was a tough competition with entries from around the globe. I entered I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s in the Teenage Category hoping to increase reading among teens.
The judging was based upon: 1) General excellence and the author’s passion for telling a good story.2) The potential of the work to reach a wider audience.

Available in print and e-book versions on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

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I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s–excerpt

From somewhere I heard, “Don’t be chicken! Get your suit on!” It was Patrick beckoning me, if not daring me. He’s nine, too. Why can’t I be as brave as he is? Now I felt really shy, especially since we were always needing someone to translate for us between English and Italian. Nonna led us to some chairs near Patrick’s family.

Patrick’s slender, energetic-looking mother extended her hand as she shaded her face. “I’m Germina Marino, and this is my daughter, Darlene,” she said. The teenage girl gave a smile that matched the warmth of her chestnut hair. Mrs. Marino seemed friendly and outgoing and immediately put us at ease. “And that’s my impatient son, Patrick.” She looked at me recoiling in the huge chair, then added, “Don’t let him rush you, bella. He’s got to be doing something all the time. Just can’t stay still.”

I was momentarily relieved—until I heard an unidentifiable animal noise, accompanied by a big splash that got us all. It was that wild boy. We wiped the water off ourselves and listened to Mrs. Marino tell one of the funniest stories we’d ever heard.

“Since I’m a ‘war bride’—I married an American soldier—my family in Italy invited me and the children for a visit. Four weeks ago, when the Doria was about to leave dock, my son was nowhere to be found. My husband even came onto the boat to search for him. An officer announced his name on the ship loudspeaker. That devil was busy climbing up to the funnel; he opened the windows and kept banging on it so he could wave to people on shore. When he finally heard his name, he didn’t know where to report. A crew member took him by the arm and made him face his father and the captain. If the captain hadn’t been there, that boy would have gotten a good licking!”

We all laughed, knowing that she was embellishing the story, but we wanted to hear more. Nonna was holding her stomach and wiping tears from her eyes as Patrick’s mother continued.

“But the ship had already left the dock, so my husband had to ride back to shore in a tugboat. All of this just added to the humiliation of getting a pizza slice dropped on his new suit while he was waving good-bye from shore earlier. I hope I can get that son of mine back to New York safe!”

I couldn’t remember the last time Nonna laughed. Certainly  not on the way to Genoa (the port of  departure).

 

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