Fatal Forecast

  • by Michael Tougias
  • Narrated by Jeff Cummings
  • 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fatal Forecast chronicles a dramatic fight for survival aboard two small fishing boats that were ambushed by a horrific surprise storm just southeast of Cape Cod. Soon after the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever reached the fishing ground at Georges Bank, they were hit with hurricane-force winds and massive 90-foot waves that battered the boats for hours. The direction of the wind made it impossible to turn back. The Fair Wind soon capsized, drowning all but one of the crewmembers. The Sea Fever was nearly torn apart.Here is the hour-by-hour account of the struggles faced by the eight crewmembers of the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever, including the incredible ordeal of Ernie Hazard, who endured three days in a lifeboat in open water. The book also details the dramatic rescue attempts made by the Coast Guard, on a day in which it received more mayday calls than any other in New England history.

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What the Critics Say

"[A] dramatic, pared-down account....Tougias smartly leavens his spare narrative with similar worst-case scenarios that resulted when other seamen miscalculated the sea's wrathful power." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Waves as High as a Three Story House

This is the true story of two small fishing boats, the Fair Wind and the Sea Fever The fishing boats had finally reached their destination, at Georges Bank just southeast of Cape Cod. The month was November and there would be no more fishing until next year.

The weather forecast at 11pm the night before was good. However, soon after the fishermen arrived they were hit with a hurricane. The waves were absolutely unbelievable, reaching as high as 90 feet. The wind was blowing extremely hard and in the wrong direction. Therefore, the fishing boats were unable to turn and head for home.

The Fair Wind did not survive the storm, it capsized. There was only one survivor, the captain of Fair Wind, Ernie Hazard. He was determined not to fall into the ravaging waters and die. Ernie saw a miracle, there was a lifeboat tethered to the Fair Wind but it was different from all other lifeboats. He was able to reach it and was amazed because it resembled a tent. Ernie spent three days in that lifeboat before he was rescued. The weather was cold and Ernie was wearing jeans, a tee shirt and shoes.

The Sea Fever made it through the hurricane but did lose one of their men. They were able to alert rescuers where the Fair Wind was. Everyone was exhausted but knowing that there was a boat that had capsized but may have men that survived they could not consciously leave anyone who may be alive. The plane lifted off and began the search for Ernie.

The book gives the listener an accurate account of what happened at George Bank, on that fateful day. The action and suspense was written in such a way that you were looking up and trying to envision a 90 ft. wave. I was so engrossed while listening, that I finished listening to the book in one day.

I think that the book was the special for the day. I wasn't convinced by reading the summary but I did put it in the cart. I came back later and purchased the book and I am certainly glad that I did. Purchase the book and listen how dangerous it is when you are in the midst of a hurricane and on a small fishing boat out on the sea. What an adventure. The narrator, was great and told the story so well that I was amazed. The Fatal Forecast is worth purchasing.
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- Pamela Dale Foster "I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books."

Rivals The Perfect Storm

What made the experience of listening to Fatal Forecast the most enjoyable?

The narrator is excellent.


What did you like best about this story?

The author brought the reality of these characters into focus for the reader. I liked them all and found myself holding my breath as parts of the story unfolded.


What about Jeff Cummings’s performance did you like?

He gave a clear and measured reading of a very tense, emotional story.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh yes, it was. If only I was living the kind of life that allowed such a luxury. But alas, work calls on a daily basis, and I must answer.


Any additional comments?

This true story portrays great heroism and angst as in The Perfect Storm, except that in Fatal Forecast, most of those involved survive. This particular tragedy was due not to the storm so much as to the administrators of the weather service, who neglected to properly maintain storm warning equipment. Fishermen count on regular and presumably accurate forecasts in planning their fishing ventures. On this occasion, the forecast was delayed and erroneous, and directly responsible for the deaths that resulted.

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- Gotta Tellya "KEC"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-27-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.