Miracles on the Water

  • by Tom Nagorski
  • Narrated by Graeme Malcolm
  • 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable story of children in wartime, of heroism at sea, and - above all - of courage and the power of the human spirit.
On September 17, 1940, at a little after 10 at night, a German submarine torpedoed the passenger liner SS City of Benares in the North Atlantic. There were 406 people onboard, but the ship's prized passengers were 90 children whose parents had elected to send their boys and girls away from Great Britain to escape the ravages of World War II. They were considered lucky, headed for quiet, peaceful, and relatively bountiful Canada.
The Benares sank in half an hour, in a gale that sent several of her lifeboats pitching into the frigid sea. They were more than 500 miles from land, 300 miles from the nearest rescue vessel.
Miracles on the Water tells the astonishing story of the survivors - not one of whom had any reasonable hope of rescue as the ship went down. The initial "miracle" involves one British destroyer's race to the scene, against time and against the elements; the second is the story of Lifeboat 12, missed by the destroyer and left out on the water, 46 people jammed in a craft built and stocked for 30. Those people lasted eight days on little food and tiny rations of drinking water. The survivors have grappled ever since with questions about the ordeal: Should the Benares have been better protected? How and why did they persevere? What role did faith and providence play in the outcome?
Based on firsthand accounts from the child survivors and other passengers, including the author's great-uncle, Miracles on the Water brings us the story of the attack on the Benares and the extraordinary events that followed.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Riveting history

I loved this book from first chapter to last words. Thoroughly researched and beautifully written, the book takes the reader on a spirited tale of survival and hope. The daring evacuation of 70 British children facing the dangers of enemy torpedoes, plus the harrowing ocean journey of a crowded lifeboat, sounds dark and grim. Yet the story is uplifting and joyous. I will recommend this book highly.
Read full review

- appreciative reader


Tom Nagorski's book is not only an exceptionally riveting story of survival at sea and the strength of the human spirit, but his writing style lends a reader to forget they are reading a book. I was transported into the story. I felt like I was part of their journey. He was descriptive without being overly so, and his portrayal of the human emotion thorough enough to allow me an almost first-hand, vicarious experience.
Read full review

- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-25-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio