Suddenly Overboard – True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble

Suddenly Overboard – True Stories of Sailors in Fatal Trouble
By Tom Lochhaas
McGraw-Hill/International Marine, 2013
185 pages, softcover

Suddenly Overboard is a collection of true stories of real maritime casualties — drownings, capsized boats, groundings and more. Author and avid sailor Tom Lochhaas delivers them in a no-nonsense narrative style that quickly grabs your attention and gets you thinking: “that could have easily been me.”

He presents the stories as lessons of just how quickly things can and do go wrong afloat, and most importantly, why they go wrong. Most of these stories are not about dramatic losses brought about by extraordinary circumstances, they are mostly about what can happen to any of us when we become too complacent, too tired, or stressed. The book details cases of when sailors’ judgment was clouded by any number of factors and they failed to listen to that small voice telling them that they should know better.

The stories are a wake-up call for us to be ever vigilant and mindful, whether venturing across an ocean or setting out for a Sunday sail.

By John Snyder