Publisher: Zenith Press; First edition (March 18, 2006) ISBN: 0760320799
During the evening of October 4, 1980, in the Pacific Ocean nearly 330 miles from Valdez, Alaska, a fire engulfed the engine room of the Prinsendam, a Holland America cruise ship carrying 320 passengers, most of them elderly. As the fire raged out of control, the ship’s captain faced the most dire decision of his career: Could he give the order to abandon ship in the face of a typhoon bearing down on the Prinsendam’s position? The story of this disaster at sea, and of the near-miraculous rescue that ensued, is recounted in heart-stopping detail in this powerful book. Drawing on extensive interviews with passengers, crew, and coast guardsmen, combined with exhaustive research, Saving the Prinsendam brings to life the last moments of the doomed cruise ship and the heroic efforts of the Coast Guardsmen who managed to transport every passenger to safety before the Prinsendam rolled and slid bow-first to the bottom on October 11. Told in the hour-by-hour style of Walter Lord's Titanic classic: A Night to Remember, the book recreates the drama of one of the most memorable—and successful—rescue operations ever to be conducted at sea.