Friday, April 16, 2010

Deadly Voyage

Andrew Kantar fielded questions from the audience.
Dennis Hale with the life jacket he was wearing when rescued by the US Coast Guard

Dennis Hale is a survivor. In fact, he is the sole survivor of a Great Lakes shipwreck that occured in 1966. There were 29 men on the Daniel J. Morrel when she encountered hurricane force conditions in November 1966. The storm caused the Morrel to break into 2 pieces. Hale and three shipmates made it to a life raft after being thrown off the boat but after 38 hours adrift, Hale was the only one still alive when they were found by the Coast Guard. I'll write more of this horrific story in the next few days.

The story has been described in a book by Dr. Andrew Kantar called Deadly Voyage. I heard Hale and Kantar speak last night at the Big Rapids Community Library. They will be speaking again on May 6 & May 8 at other Mecosta County Libraries. It was worth the hour drive for me to meet these men and hear a first hand report of the sinking of the Morrel.

I will write a more detailed review of Deadly Voyage in the next few days but I can say it is an excellent accounting of the wreck and its effect of the families of the seamen. I would recommend Deadly Voyage to anyone interested in reading of this Great Lakes tragedy but also as a story of the resiliency of the human spirit.

This video clip shows Dennis Hale answering questions about the wreck. He states the the Morrel should have been at the Soo if she had not be wrecked.

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