A SPECK OF GOOD FORTUNE
MONTAUK FISHERMEN JOHN ALDRIDGE AND TURN A HARROWING TALE OF SURVIVAL INTO A SUMMERTIME PAGE-TURNER. BY STEPHANIE MURG
Montauk fishermen John Aldridge and Anthony Sosinski turn a harrowing tale of survival into a summertime page-turner.
A real-life survival tale stands out in this summer’s sea of beach reads, and the harrowing story unfolds about 40 miles from the East End—in the middle of the Atlantic. A Speck in the Sea, published by Weinstein Books (a film adaptation is in the works), recounts a nightmare scenario on the high seas, as Montauk fisherman John Aldridge III is thrown off the back of the Anna Mary in the middle of the night of July 24, 2013, as his fishing partner and best friend (and coauthor) Anthony Sosinski sleeps below deck.
Aldridge recalls his fateful plunge, the ensuing panic, and the combination of resolve and ingenuity that propelled the Long Island native to endure 12 hours afloat in the open ocean. His observations are often as vivid as they are chilling. “You forget that you hear waves only when they ride up on the shore,” Aldridge notes once his boat (steaming away on autopilot, bound for lobster traps) is out of sight. “In the middle of the ocean you hear nothing. The silence is deafening.”
More than a memoir, the book blends Aldridge’s first-person account with that of the inspiring search-andrescue mission that unfolded on shore, galvanizing not only the Coast Guard but also the tight-knit Montauk fishing community. “We were determined not to quit till we found him,” explains Jason Rodocker, the Coast Guard operations specialist who coordinated the effort, which included 21 commercial vessels that volunteered to join the search, “and he kept himself alive long enough for us to do so.” Aldridge and Sosinski will be signing copies of A Speck in the Sea at Book Hampton on July 13 at 5 pm.
from top: Coauthors John Aldridge (left) and Anthony Sosinski; the Anna Mary at her slip at the town dock in Montauk (note the open stern).