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Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite
All Present And Accounted For is the saga of the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis and the heroic efforts of its crew in the 1972 near loss of the ship and all hands. Steven J. Craig has crafted an excellent history of the Coast Guard, centered around a harrowing incident off the jagged volcanic cliffs of Akutan Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Mountainous seas and gale force winds mixed with treacherous “williwaw” wind bursts recorded at over 70 knots have run the ship aground and holed her hull. Craig’s minute-by-minute account of every aspect of the event is an edge-of-the-seat story of one of the few times in the history of the United States Coast Guard that an SOS/MAYDAY radio call would come from a Coast Guard vessel.
Captain Steven J. Craig’s recounting of the 1972 near disaster for the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis is masterfully written. Craig covers a wide swath of background for the ship, the crew members, and the Coast Guard itself. He has created textbook history in an action-adventure reflective of the best novels. But this is not fiction. It is annotated, documented history that is eminently readable by sailors and non-sailors alike. An academic piece wrapped in a riveting narrative of events, blending history, technology, human interest, and humor amidst a harrowing experience. Craig’s detailed profiles of the individual sailors and their physical and psychological challenges amidst his overall narrative of the events produce an exceptional reading experience. As any sailor will recognize as a compliment, I offer Captain Craig a Bravo Zulu for All Present And Accounted For.