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The Wreck of the William Brown: A True Tale of Overcrowded Lifeboats and Murder at Sea
A maritime disaster that shocked the world. Seventy-one years before the loss of the Titanic, another ship sank in almost the same spot after striking an iceberg at maximum speed. Three-quarters of the passengers—poor, mostly Irish emigrants—were lost, including at least fourteen who were thrown from a lifeboat to lighten it. Not a single sailor died. ...
A maritime disaster that shocked the world. Seventy-one years before the loss of the Titanic, another ship sank in almost the same spot after striking an iceberg at maximum speed. Three-quarters of the passengers—poor, mostly Irish emigrants—were lost, including at least fourteen who were thrown from a lifeboat to lighten it. Not a single sailor died. When the tragedy of the William Brown threatened to expose the dangers of the profitable emigrant passenger trade, a collection of politicians, lawyers, and reporters on both sides of the Atlantic conspired to indict the only seaman who was a hero of the disaster. The trial gave rise to the concept of "lifeboat ethics": how to decide who gets saved when resources are limited. "A fascinating read."—Chesapeake Bay Magazine "A gripping tale of the sea. . . . You should make a place for this one on your bookshelf, nautical or otherwise."—Burgee "More than a horrifying tale . . . also a penetrating examination of the causes."—Denis Wood, author, The Power of Maps "Tom Koch's re-creation of a notorious 19th-century case of shipwreck and murder on the high seas makes absorbing reading."—Michael Phillips, maritime historian, Plymouth (England) Naval Base Museum "Gripping tale of a 19th-century shipwreck that should have been, but wasn't, a catalyst for major shipping reform."—Quill & Quire
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