A SPECK OF GOOD FOR­TUNE

MON­TAUK FISH­ER­MEN JOHN ALDRIDGE AND TURN A HAR­ROW­ING TALE OF SUR­VIVAL INTO A SUM­MER­TIME PAGE-TURNER. BY STEPHANIE MURG

Hamptons Magazine - - Contents -

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).

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