by Mary Jo
A few days ago, the Mayhem Consultant and I watched a movie we both loved: The Finest Hours. Based on the book by the same name by Michael J. Tougias and Casey Sherman), it's the true story of an insanely brave Coast Guard rescue that took place in a vicious nor'easter storm that took place off Cape Cod in 1952. (Released in January 2016, the movie didn't make much impact, but it deserves to be seen.)
The storm was so violent that it broke two tanker ships in half near Cape Cod. Both were cheaply built WWII vessels that should have been retired after the war, but weren't. One Coast Guard rescue team went out for the SS Fort Mercer and managed to save a number of the crew. Then it was discovered that a second tanker, the SS Pendleton, had also broken in half nearby. The front half of the ship sank immediately, taking the captain, the radios, and most of the officers.