Tougias Brings 'Rescue of the Bounty' to Life in July

Michael J. Tougias
Michael J. Tougias

Michael J. Tougias, co-author of "Rescue of the Bounty," will give a dramatic visual presentation about this event at the Westborough Public Library on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 7 p.m. as part of the Literary Elements adult summer reading program.  

The tall ship Bounty, featured in the Marlon Brando movie Mutiny on the Bounty, sank during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  The captain and a crewmember perished in the accident but the Coast Guard performed harrowing helicopter rescues to save the other fourteen sailors.  Tougias will use slides of the storm, the survivors, and the rescue to make this “an edge-of-your seat” visual program.   

The story begins on October 25, 2012, when Captain Robin Walbridge made the fateful decision to sail the HMS Bounty from New London, Connecticut to St. Petersburg, Florida.  Walbridge was well aware that a hurricane was forecast to come up the Eastern seaboard.  He explained to his crew of 15 that the ship would fare better at sea than at port, and that he thought he could sail “around the hurricane.”  He told the crew that anyone who did not want to come on the voyage could leave the ship and there would be no hard feelings.  No one took the captain up on his offer, and this decision would have fatal consequences.

“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.’  It’s like watching a movie with the author giving behind the scene details.” Tougias says that besides focusing on the voyage and the disaster he will recount the heroic rescue attempts by Coast Guard rescue swimmers and pilots. A book signing will follow the program, and the presentation is suitable for all ages.

Tougias, known for his fast paced writing style and character-driven stories, has written several true survival thrillers, including The Finest Hours, which is currently being made into a major motion picture by the Disney Corporation.  His other sea saga’s, include Overboard!, Fatal Forecast, A Storm Too Soon, and Ten Hours Until Dawn, which was selected by the American Library Association as an Editor’s Choice, “One of the best books of the Year.” On a lighter note, the author penned the award-winning memoir There’s A Porcupine In My Outhouse: Misadventures of a Mountain-man Wannabe. 

Visit michaeltougias.com for more information. Tougias is one of New England’s top speakers, giving over 70 presentations per year.


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