To Pass the Time During Virus Lockdown, Here are Two Books Free Online: The Wreck of the SS Marine Electric. And the Wreck of the SS El Faro

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Well, it looks as if World War C — fighting the Corona pandemic — will stretch on for awhile. In the interest of maritime safety, I’ve had these two book available at no charge for several months.

But if you’ve not found the time earlier and you need a read about drama at sea, hero rescuers, and astute investigators, you can find all of that here.

Until the Sea Shall Free Them: The Loss of the SS Marine Electric

The Captains of Thor — What Caused the Loss of the SS El Faro in Hurricane Joaquin?

Other Maritime News and Features

Ready or Not, Here She Comes: The USNS Comfort, Near the End of Her Useful Life as a Hospital Ship, Sails Once More into the Breach on President Trump’s Orders

The USNS Comfort, frequently given a pass on safety repairs in the past, is headed once more into the breach with her scheduled maintenance radically shortened, on a mission to fight the Corona Virus and vitally serve as a “photo op” illustrating the nation’s resolve.

Modern Day “Impressment” in the Bouchard Incident
Bouchard Barges and the Concept of Modern Press Ganges
Is the situation with those Bouchard tugs and barges a modern version of seaman impressment? Some think so as the crew — some of them — have been forced to stay on the tug since Thanksgiving. Actually we’re not a “press gang” says the Coast Guard. But for now, you can’t leave the ship. On the other hand? The Bouchard execs may face prison time if they don’t move the barge-tug combo soon.

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Tugboat pushing barge with sand

Should the Jones Act Allow Foreign-Built Ships
If American shipyards can’t build affordable ships, and very old ships stay in service, should ship lines be allowed to buy abroad? While still running US crews and officers. It works fine for airlines. Perhaps it’s time to de-couple ship crews and shipyards — particularly when the ship crews must ship out on old rustbuckets.

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Did the Loss of the SS El Faro Spark the Largest Safety Reforms Since the Titanic?
The SS Marine Electric certainly made her mark. Rescue Swimmers. Survival suits. But the SS El Faro reforms continue — and may among other accomplishments, finally resolve the issues of American Bureau of Shipping quality and consistency.

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The great unsinkable Titanic — a ship of history — before its tragic sinking on its maiden voyage.

The SS Poet and the SS Penny, Two Rust Buckets of Old
Nearly 40 years ago, the SS Poet sailed out of Philadelphia with a cargo of corn bound for Egypt — and then just disappeared. And I began a 40-year quest to find out what made maritime safety tick. Here’s one stop along the way — when I met the SS Penny, twin of the lost Poet, down in Tampa. There may be rustier ships, but few that float.

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