Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea
Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea
Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea
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Price: $3.64 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Random House
Page Count: 320
Format: epub
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1400065240
ISBN-13: 9781400065240
User Rating: 5.0000 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea free


Frank Delaney free


Crippled by two monstrous waves during a 1951 North Atlantic hurricane, the freighter Flying Enterprise was left wallowing on its side and looking as if it would sink at any minute. The subsequent rescue, in mountainous seas, of 10 passengers and 40 crew by lifeboats from responding ships was indeed harrowing—and it's over by page 92 of this overblown maritime-distress yarn. The rest of the book is about the Enterprise's captain, Kurt Carlsen, who insisted on staying aboard to await a tugboat to tow the floundering ship to harbor. Carlsen certainly went beyond the call of duty, but heroism is measured by the stakes involved, which in this case were neither lives nor justice but merely the ship owner's investment. Delaney embellishes the tale with glances at Carlsen's family's anxiety, soggy reminiscences of his own family following the story on the radio and fulsome tributes to the Danish skipper's flinty Nordic resolve (which are rather undercut by the knowledge that Carlsen could have transferred at any time to one of the ships babysitting the hulk). Carlsen's story generated a lot of breathless press hoopla at the time, and it still has the feel of a trumped-up media sensation. Photos not seen by PW. (July 12)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. *Starred Review* Best-selling popular historian Delaney ( Ireland, 2005) turns his attention to one of the great sea stories of the twentieth century, that of Captain Kurt Carlsen and the Flying Enterprise. On Christmas Day 1951, the World War II Liberty ship Flying Enterprise began splitting apart in a North Atlantic gale, and her cargo of pig iron shifted. Captain Carlsen saw to the safe abandonment of passengers and crew, then remained aboard to help with salvage efforts. He remained aboard, accompanied only by a young radioman who leaped aboard from a rescue ship, until the Flying Enterprise was about to sink under him. Although he may not have displayed the most flawless seamanship in the loading of the pig iron, a worldwide media blitz made him an international hero. It is possible that he was guarding some secret, valuable cargo, and recent dives have revealed that some portion of the wreck had been removed in the interim. Any secret remains unproven, and Delaney's digression to compare Carlsen with his father seems rather unnecessary; yet this remains a tale certain to enthrall anyone interested in those who go down to the sea in ships. Indeed, it may be the most surefire nautical crowd-pleaser since Gary Kinder's Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea (1998). Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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| 5 out of 5 Stars!


As a sailor and someone who has great respect for the sea I have recommended this book to my Friends and also given away copies to family, whom I would like to read this book and get the experience though the book.

The sea can be Cruel and wonderful at different times, I love the Ocean but at the same time Respect it for what it can do. The book leaves you wondering how things could have been done differently and perhaps there was other reasons for what took place, the book leaves you thinking, which is good, I can highly recommend this book.

Hans Andersen.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


The world has not long remembered Captain Henrik Kurt Carlsen, but in 1952 he was deservedly one of the most famous men in the world, "The Man of the Year" according to Life magazine and plenty of other listmakers. Frank Delaney, an Irish writer, was nine years old at the time, and one of the connections he had with his difficult father while growing up in Ireland was sharing the world's fascination with Carlsen's peril at sea. Delaney remembers his father uncharacteristically summoning the family to the radio: "There is an incident happening at sea." An incident, indeed, and one that stuck with Delaney for years, finally flowering into the grand account _Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea_ (Random House). Delaney's personal interest in the story, as part of his own family's lore, is told in episodes through the book, illustrating how all the world over people were waiting to hear of the fate of Carlsen as he clung to his sinking vessel, so it helps us understand what a sensation the story was at the time. Delaney's book brings the sensation back for our own time.

For the voyage of _Flying Enterprise_ at the end of 1951, she had picked up passengers and cargo in various European docks, and was headed to the United States. The master of the ship was Captain Carlsen, a 37-year-old Danish-born American who had two decades of seagoing experience, including 43 Atlantic crossings. He was an impeccable sailor and captain. He had no pretense; everyone who knew him said that he was exactly the sort of straight-arrow he seemed to be. The ship had the ill fortune to be hit not by one but two rogue waves, the first cracking the hull and the second giving it a sixty degree list which shifted the cargo so that she could not right herself. Eventually there were ships that came to the rescue, and although one passenger died in the transfer, all the rest of the crew and passengers jumped, often heroically, into the raging and frigid waters to be dragged to safety. Carlsen ordered everyone off, including those that volunteered to continue to try to save the ship, and then began a solitary stay on the vessel, attempting to find food or a dry place in which to wedge mattresses so he could catch some sleep. A seagoing hero in peril was a great story, and the press ran with it, ensuring that even Delaney's isolated family knew of "Stay-Put Carlsen" or "Captain Courageous." There were those who thought there must be some hidden motive to keep Carlsen aboard in such atrocious conditions, but the truth is, as the title of the book implies, simple: Carlsen knew his duty, he loved his ship, and until there was no hope, he was not leaving.

This was the biggest one-man heroism story since Lindbergh. He was honored on his return to England, and when he got to New York, he was given a ticker tape parade. He refused to cash in on his fame; even while he was awaiting rescue, a beer tycoon had arranged for a packet to be dropped to him offering him $30,000 to endorse a particular brew. He declined an appearance on _The Ed Sullivan Show_. He was quickly put back at work for his shipping line, and was a hero to all, except for himself. For one thing, he never understood why people would get so worked up over a man who was simply carrying out his duty; for another, he felt a deep personal shame that he had become a captain who had lost a ship. It is a true touch of tragedy within a spellbinding tale of a hero pitted against the vicious sea.

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


The Christian Science Monitor said something like - "Simple Courage made The Perfect Storm look like a paddle in a duck pond". No kidding. This is, perhaps, the most exciting non-fiction book I've ever read. What more can I say? It's exciting, exhilerating, ferocious, frightening, breathtaking -- and ultimately, heartwarming and life affirming.

I've been sitting up tonight trying to think about whether I would have had the courage to stick to my guns and do everything in my power to bring a damaged ship to port in the worst storm in history, and here's what I think: it's more than bringing in a ship - the central theme here is whether a man will honor his promise and his word.

Obviously Captain Carlsen does this, and along the way his example seems to inspire other people to behave with great courage. From his boss to his crew and passengers, to the captains and crews of the rescue ships and an incredible sailor who jumped from a tug to join him on board this `sinking ship' - there is so much courage jammed into these pages, you cannot help but ask yourself if you would be up for the task.

In the end, we read that Carlsen's reason for staying on board is as much about love as duty - but it's very clear that simply doing what's right can actually be heroic.

I can't type anymore - I actually have tears in my eyes.

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