‘Finest Hours’ au­thor to speak

Record Observer - - Arts & Entertainment - By CHRISTO­PHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

STEVENSVILLE — Michael Tougias, best sell­ing au­thor of “The Finest Hours,” which was made into a Dis­ney movie that de­buted ear­lier this year, will be speak­ing twice on Satur­day, Oct. 1, at the Bay Bridge Ma­rina as part of Trawler Fest.

His first speech, en­ti­tled, “Sur­vive and Thrive,” will be at 10:45 a.m, fea­tur­ing lessons learned from sur­vivors of ship­wrecks and near-death ex­pe­ri­ences. “I’ve had sev­eral best sell­ers on the sur­vivor at sea topic,” he said. “It’s been my ca­reer (writ­ing) about th­ese peo­ple who beat the odds.”

At 3 p.m., he will tell the true story be­hind the movie ver­sion, “The Finest Hours” and will have a mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tion with his­tor­i­cal pho­tos of the two 450-foot tankers that were split in half off Cape Cod in a storm in 1952.

As part of his pre­sen­ta­tion, he will use slides of the storm and dis­cuss the sink­ing oil tankers, the res­cues, the victims, the sur­vivors and the he­roes to tell the story of the his­toric event.

Also, he will talk about his new book, “So Close to Home,” with the sub­ti­tle “A True Story of an Amer­i­can fam­ily’ s fight for sur­vival from a U-boat at­tack dur­ing World War II.” The Downs fam­ily of four were aboard a freighter in the Gulf of Mex­ico when a Ger­man ship tor­pe­doed their ship in 1942 and left the fam­ily to strug­gle for their lives.

His speeches are part of Trawler Fest, which started on Tues­day, Sept. 27, and ends on Satur­day, Oct. 1. Trawler Fest is Pas­sage Maker’s se­ries of boat shows. Pas­sage Maker is a mag­a­zine fo­cused on power cruis­ers and trawler boats.

The boat show and events, in­clud­ing his speeches, will be at the Bay Bridge Ma­rina, 357 Pier 1 Road, Stevensville. Tick­ets are $60 per per­son for each of Tougias’ sem­i­nars. The boat show is $15 per per­son.

About 2,000 peo­ple are ex­pected at the boat show from Thurs­day, Sept. 29, through Satur­day, Oct. 1. And a thou­sand peo­ple are ex­pected just on Oct. 1, the day Tougias speaks.

Strate­gi­cally lo­cated in key cruis­ing re­gions na­tion­wide, Trawler Fest show­cases in­wa­ter dis­plays of cruis­ing power­boats, boat­ing cour­ses and demon­stra­tions, and all the lat­est in marine prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Tougias has writ­ten many books con­tain­ing im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion for boaters, whether recre­ational or pro­fes­sional, in­clud­ing mal­func­tion­ing weather buoys, de­ci­sions that saved lives and heroic ac­tions by Coast Guard res­cuers.

“The Finest Hours” movie opened in 45 coun­tries in Jan­uary 2016, star­ing Chris Pine. Be­sides Tougias’ best sell­ing book the movie is based on, he has writ­ten other best sell­ers in­clude “Fa­tal Fore­cast,” “Over­board,” “King Philip’s War” and “There’s A Por­cu­pine in My Out­house: the Ver­mont Mis­ad­ven­tures of a Moun­tain Man Wannabe.”

In all, he’s writ­ten and coau­thored 24 books.

He lec­tures across the coun­try on each of his books and of­fers lead­er­ship and in­spi­ra­tional pro­grams for busi­ness groups, and has spo­ken to com­pa­nies and or­ga­ni­za­tions such as Gen­eral Dy­nam­ics, Raytheon, Mas­sachusetts School Li­brary As­so­ci­a­tion, New York Uni­ver­sity Surgeons Round Ta­ble and many more.

Tougias, 61, was a man­ager at a ma­jor in­sur­ance com­pany when he be­gan writ­ing a self-syn­di­cated news­pa­per col­umn about out­doors in New Eng­land. That writ­ing mor­phed into books, in­clud­ing sev­eral of the Appalachian Moun­tain Club’s Best Day Hikes se­ries, a book about the Con­necti­cut River, and his au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal hu­mor book, “There’s a Por­cu­pine in My Out­house” (voted Best Out­door Book of the Year by the In­de­pen­dent Pub­lisher’s As­so­ci­a­tion).

Soon he turned to sur­vival at sea sto­ries, which now to­tal six and he’s a fre­quent guest on tele­vi­sion and ra­dio pro­grams about sur­vival, rogue waves, Coast Guard res­cues, and de­ci­sion mak­ing.

He is a sought-af­ter speaker on the top­ics of his books and on sur­vival, mak­ing nearly 100 ap­pear­ances a year at mar­itime mu­se­ums, con­fer­ences, and cor­po­rate events.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO

Michael Tougias, au­thor of “The Finest Hours,” which was made into a movie, will speak at the Trawler Fest boat show on Satur­day, Oct. 1, at Bay Bridge Ma­rina.

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