Into The Burning Sea
Kevin Duffus, author of six books on North Carolina’s maritime history spanning 500 years, takes the reader on board the British tanker Mirlo loaded with nearly 300,000 gallons of aviation fuel when it was torpedoed five miles east of Chicamacomico Coast Guard Station on August 16, 1918. Using previously unpublished eyewitness testimony, Duffus recreates the desperate struggle of 51 panicked sailors as they tried to escape their exploding and burning ship. In his acclaimed literary non-fiction account, Duffus describes the ordeal endured by six courageous Coast Guardsmen as they were tossed by waves of fire in a small motor lifeboat. The “Mighty Midgetts of Chicamacomico” imperiled their own lives and entered a hellish and deadly inferno of explosions and toxic fumes while navigating a confusing maze of swirling black smoke to rescue strangers in distress. August 16, 1918, was day when American lifesaving history was made.