Author Michael Tougias, "The Finest Hours" to Speak at Southern Vermont College

February 29, 2016

Author Michael Tougias, coauthor of the book and now major motion picture about one of the greatest sea rescues ever, will give an inspirational talk at Southern Vermont College (SVC) on Tuesday, April 5. His presentation, based on the book he coauthored with Casey Sherman, “The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue,” will be in the Everett Mansion Theatre at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception and book-signing in the Burgdorff Gallery. This program is co-sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, and the event is free and open to the public.

Tougias’ dramatic tale chronicles the heroism and fight for survival during the February 1952 maritime event, which began when a “ferocious nor’easter” split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass. Tougias will show slides of the storm, the sinking boat, the rescues, the victims, the survivors, and the heroes to tell the story of this historic adventure. “I like to transport the audience into the heart of the storm so that they ask themselves ‘what would I have done.’ …the viewer can visually relive the adventure,” Tougias said. “This event was – and still is – the greatest and most daring sea rescue ever performed by the Coast Guard, and it happened right here off the New England coast.” In January, the Disney Corporation released a movie based on the book, starring actors Chris Pine and Casey Affleck.

Recently, Tougias released two new books from Simon and Schuster: “Rescue of the Bounty” and “A Storm Too Soon: A True Story of Disaster, Survival, and an Incredible Rescue.” He is the author and coauthor of 24 books including “Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea,” called “breathtaking … a marvelous and terrifying tale” by the Los Angeles Times. His book “Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do During the Blizzard of ’78” received an Editor’s Choice Selection from the American Library Association as one of the top books of the year.

More information on Tougias is available on his Web site: For additional information on the event at SVC, contact Reference Librarian Andrea Robare at 802-447-6311 or