Kathy Bergren Smith's forthcoming book tells the story of the wreck of the Levin J. Marvel, the Chesapeake Bay's worst maritime tragedy in the modern era, in whih 14 people died.
She revisits the August, 1955 day when a pleasant voyage from Cambridge to Annapolis turned deadly as Hurricane Connie swept down. Twenty-seven people struggled for survival as the captain’s efforts to save his passengers, crew and ship failed. As the storm raged, heroic citizens from the town of North Beach risked their lives to rescue survivors of the shipwreck. In the aftermath, the moral consequences of the captain’s deadly gamble were weighed and sentence passed.The backstory recalls the early days of passenger cruising on the Chesapeake, when old workboats refitted for new jobsand reviews regulations inspired by the Marvel’s loss.This story is a legendary maritime tragedy, fascinating to all who enjoy or study the Bay, boats or maritime history. Smith constructs her tale from the eyewitness accounts of survivors and rescuers, a miraculously recovered diary, newspaper coverage and trial records. Readers can:
• Return to the early days of passenger cruising on the Chesapeake, when old workboats
refitted for new jobs.
• Revisit the August, l 95S day when a pleasant voyage from Cambridge to Annapolis turned tragic as a storm swept down.
• Witness the captain's struggle to save his passengers, crew and ship.
• Reimagine the tragic drama as 27 souls struggled for survival against a rising hurricane.
• Hear from heroic rescuers from the town of North Beach who risked their lives in the drama.
• Join with the judge in weighing the moral consequences of the captain's deadly gamble.
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