One late summer's day, the yacht Trashman set sail from Annapolis to Florida. On board were five young people: John, the captain; Meg, Mark, Brad, and Debbie Scaling. When the boat sailed into a gale, the eighty-knot winds shredded the sails. Forty-foot seas crashed through the cabin windows, and Trashman sank, leaving the crew adrift in a rubber dinghy. Albatross tells the story of how Debbie and Brad survived and how the tragedy changed Debbie Scaling's life forever.
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Deborah Scaling Kiley is an avid sailor who in her youth participated in an Outward Bound program that later helped her survive the wreck of the Trashman. She went on to graduate from the University of Texas in 1999 and routinely speaks and writes on survival. Kiley currently lives in Texas with her children Marka and John.From Kirkus Reviews:
The knockout story of Deborah Kiley's five days and nights on a raft in heavy seas during a storm. Aided by journalist Noonan, she spins a harrowing tale. In 1982, 24-year-old Kiley, who had already sailed the Whitbred and other famous sailboat endurance races, fell in with John Lippoth, captain of the Trashman, a heavy-handling, 58-foot yacht he was sailing from Maine to Florida. The Trashman set sail with Debbie and John; his girlfriend Meg Mooney; tall, muscular Brad Cavanaugh and his buddy Mark Adams, a Brit with pale blue malamute eyes and a stupefyingly evil tongue. Somewhere off North Carolina they hit 40-foot seas; 80-knot winds shredded the sails and the engine burned out. The description of this part of the storm is hair-raising, with the crew frantically trying to handle the wheel and the character of each member showing strong and clear. Then, while Debbie was below catching a few hours sleep, the ship went down--in two minutes. (Her account of the terrifying awakening in heaving seas gives shivers.) The five victims clung to a rubber raft and initially fought hypothermia by staying in the water, whose walloping waves were warmer than the air. Eventually, they boarded the raft, found that Meg had many deeply infected cuts and scrapes, and kept each other warm by gathering in a heap in urinous bilge (released urine gave their only heat). Sharks tried to sink the raft from beneath; John and Mark drank seawater, went mad, and cast themselves into the sea; Meg died of blood poisoning. After many ships failed to see them, a Russian freighter finally picked up Brad and Debbie. Short and adrenaline-charged, especially with those sharks. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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