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Both are brilliant at the power game. But the difference between them is huge. One is a man, the other a woman. In this riveting novel, Danielle Even the most perfect lives can be shattered in an instant. In this moving, emotionally charged novel, Danielle Steel introduces readers to an unforgettable cast of characters striving to overcome tragedy and discover the inner resources and resilien Paris, L. Two couples, four decades apart. One believes that if lovers die, they find each other again in another life. Or perhaps they wind up as stars side by side in the sky, together forever.

Who knows how it really ends? Danielle Steel breaks new ground i Every woman makes choices. And no one has made more difficult choices than Olivia Grayson. Five children meet on the first day of kindergarten. In the years that follow, they become friends and more than friends.

At thirty-nine, Tallie Jones is a Hollywood legend. Her work as a film director is her passion and the center of her life; one after another, her award-winning productions achieve the rare combination of critical and commercial success. With no inter In this beguiling new novel, Danielle Steel tells the story of three very different people, each of whom, on the same day, reaches a crucial turning point in life -- a rite both bittersweet and full of hope, a time to blow out the candles, say goodby A magical transformation takes place in Danielle Steel's luminous new novel: strangers become roommates, roommates become friends, and friends become a family in a turn-of-the-century house in Manhattan's West Village.

The plumbing was prone to l This compelling, centuries-spanning novel brilliantly interweaves the lives of two women -- a writer working in the heart of modern academia and a daring young Sioux Indian on an incredible journey in the eighteenth century. The result is an unforget From Manhattan to Paris and all the way to Tehran, Danielle Steel weaves a powerfully compelling story that reminds us how challenging and unpredictable life can be -- and how the bonds of family hold us together. In this heartfelt, incisive novel, Danielle Steel celebrates the virtues of unconventional beauty while exploring deeply resonant issues of weight, self-image, sisterhood, and family.

A chubby little girl with ordinary looks, Victoria Dawson has a Danielle Steel sweeps us from a Manhattan courtroom to the Deep South in her powerful new novel -- at once a behind-closed-doors look into the heart of a family and a tale of crime and punishment. Eleven years have passed since Alexa Hamilton left t Being different is a good thing, and can even be great, even if it is hard and scary sometimes.

Different can be wonderful and beautiful. Celebrate your differentness, enjoy who you are, because with all your special unique beauty, there is no one In this spellbinding blend of suspense and human drama, Danielle Steel tells a powerful and unusual story of one woman's journey from darkness into light, as she fights to escape a mesmerizing sociopath who holds her in his thrall Top photogra Danielle Steel celebrates families of every stripe in her compelling novel -- a tale of three very different couples who struggle and survive, love, laugh, and learn to take life Coco Barrington was born into a legendary Hollywood family.

Her mo Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Worthington was born into a life of privilege, but everything changed on an April day in , when the sinking of the Titanic altered her world forever. Finding strength within her grief, Annabelle pours herself into volu Meet Maxine Williams, a dedicated doctor with three great kids, a challenging career, and the perfect new man in her life. Her only problem? Her irresistibly charming, utterly infuriating ex-husband, aka the. Being married to Blake had been a A world-renowned actress falls victim to a terrifying explosion in Paris--and begins a courageous journey of survival, memory, and self-discovery in Danielle Steel's mesmerizing new novel.

Carole Barber has come to Paris, with its rain-slick slate On a warm May night in San Francisco, the Ritz-Carlton ballroom shimmers with crystal and silver as a glittering, celebrity-studded crowd gathers for a charity dinner dance.

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The evening is perfect -- until, just minutes before midnight, the room begi The phone call was anything but ordinary, offering Marin County mom and freelance writer Tanya Harris the chance to write a major Hollywood screenplay, a dream she had put aside to devote her energies to her family. This time, Tanya knows she cannot Four sisters, a Manhattan brownstone, and a tumultuous year of loss and courage are at the heart of Danielle Steel's new novel about a remarkable family, a stunning tragedy -- and what happens when four very different young women come together under Princess Christianna is a young woman of her times: born in Europe, educated in America, responsible beyond her years.

Her father, the Reigning Prince of a European nation that takes its royalty seriously, has ironclad plans for his only daughter's l Olympia Crawford Rubinstein has a way of managing her thriving family with grace and humor. With twin daughters finishing high school, a son at Dartmouth, and a kindergartner from her second marriage, there seems to be nothing Olympia can't handle The house was magnificent, built in by a wealthy man for the woman he adored.

For her and for this house, he would spare no expense, from the marble floors to the glittering chandeliers. Almost a century later, a young woman walks through its em They were the best of friends and the most daunting of bachelors: Charlie Harrington, a charming, handsome philanthropist; Adam Weiss, a forty-something celebrity lawyer; and Gray Hawk, a gifted artist with a knack for attracting troubled relationshi When a high-powered gallery owner collides with an offbeat artist, it's the perfect recipe for disaster.

Sasha is widowed and knows she was lucky to have been married to a wonderful man. Liam's impulsive behavior has helped tear his marriage apart. For the Wittgenstein family, the summer of was a time of both prosperity and unease, as the guns of war sound in the distance. But for eldest daughter Beata, it was a time of awakening. By glimmering Lake Geneva, the quiet Jewish beauty met a yo It is New Year's Eve when the storm of the century hits northern California. In a quiet neighborhood in San Francisco, amid the chaos of fallen trees and damaged homes, the lives of three strangers are about to collide.

For Quinn Thompson, what happe Eccentric high fashion meets buttoned-up Madison Avenue in Danielle Steel's captivating tale of two perfect-for-each-other people from two wildly different worlds. In a fresh, funny look at what happens when a woman who has everything finally meets h A violent crime brings together four lives in Danielle Steel's sixtieth bestselling novel, the story of a mother's courage, a family's terror, and a triumph of human strength and dignity in the face of overwhelming odds.

Outside the gates of a Cal At eleven, Pip Mackenzie's life has already been touched by tragedy, a terrible accident that plunged her mother, Ophelie, into inconsolable grief. But on a foggy summer day, on a beach near San Francisco, Pip meets someone who fills her gray world w With a word or a smile, seventeen-year-old Johnny Peterson could light up a room, fill his mother's heart with pride, and inspire the best in those around him.

A star athlete and class valedictorian, tall, lanky Johnny had a future filled with promis Paris Armstrong never saw it coming. With two grown children and a lovely home in Connecticut, Paris was happy with her marriage, her family, her life. So when her husband of twenty-four years said they needed to talk, Paris couldn't imagine what he On the outside, Faith Madison is the very picture of a sophisticated New Yorker.

Slim, blond, stylish, Faith has a life many would envy. Overcoming a childhood marked by tragedy, married to a successful investment banker and having raised two grown d As Diana Morrison laid the table for six at her elegant Central Park apartment, there was no warning of what was to come.

Spending New Year's Eve together was a sacred tradition for Diana, her husband of thirty-two years, Eric, and their best friends The man behind the wheel is Hollywood's ageless wonder, Cooper Winslow. A star of the silver screen for decades, a man whose allure to women is leg Isabelle Forrester is the wife of a prominent Parisian banker who has long since shut her out of his heart. For years, Isabelle has lived a life of isolation, caring for her desperately ill son and her teenage daughter.

She allows herself one secret Marie-Ange Hawkins has the kind of childhood that most people dream of. Freedom, love, security in a beautiful old French chateau. But when Marie-Ange is just eleven, a tragic accident marks the end of her idyllic life. Orphaned and alone, she is s It was just before Christmas, At twenty-nine, Joe is already a l Everyone knows Madeleine and Jack Hunter. Maddy is an award-winning TV anchorwoman. Jack is the head of her network. To the world, theirs is a storybook marriage.

But behind the doors of their lush Georgetown home a different story emerges. In eighteen years of marriage, Liz and Jack Sutherland had built a family, a successful law practice, and a happy home near San Francisco, on Hope Street. Then, in an instant, it all fell apart. It began like any other Christmas morning. But for Simon Steinberg, a major movie producer, and Blaire Scott, an award-winning television writer, are among the most respected couples in Hollywood.

They have defied the cliches, keeping their marriage together for decades. Their children-Samantha, Scot For fourteen years, Steve and Meredith Whitman have sustained a marriage of passion and friendship - despite the demands of two all-consuming careers. Meredith, an investment banker, has achieved partnership in one of Wall Street's top firms. Steve A She was the cherished grandmother who sang songs in Russian, loved to roller-skate, and spoke little of her past. But when Granny Dan died, all that remained was a box wrapped in brown paper, tied with string. Inside, an old pair of satin toe shoes, India Taylor lived in a world of manicured lawns and neatly maintained calendars.

With four wonderful children, India believed in commitment and sacrifice, just as she believed in Doug, the man she married seventeen years before. This was the life sh To look at one was to see the other. For family, it was a constant guessing game. For strangers, the surprise was overwhelming. For the twins Olivia and Victoria Henderson, their bond was mysterious and marvelous-a secret realm only they inhabited. After thirteen years of marriage and two kids, Stephanie was devastated when her husband left her for a younger woman. Suddenly she was alone. Then a spur-of-the-moment trip to Paris changed everything.

Peter Baker was a handsome high-tech entrepr At seven, Gabriella Harrison believes, as she is told, that she is to blame for her mother's rage -- and her father's failure to protect her. Her world is a confusing blend of terror, betrayal, and pain, where there is no safeguard and no safe haven With a wife he loves and an exciting London-based career, architect Charles Waterston's life seems in perfect balance.

Nothing prepares him for the sudden end to his ten-year marriage -- or his unwanted transfer to his firm's New York office. At 59, Jack Watson owns one of the most successful boutiques in Beverly Hills, has two adult children who are the light of his life, and his choice of Hollywood's most beautiful women. After a failed marriage in the distant past, and a brief, tragic They had been inseparable as roommates in college, Mary Stuart, Tanya, and Zoe. But in the more than twenty years that followed, the three had moved on with their lives.

By chance, each would find herself alone for a few weeks one summer, wrestling w A man ahead of his time, Japanese college professor Masao Takashimaya of Kyoto had a passion for modern ideas that was as strong as his wife's belief in ancient traditions. His eighteen-year-old daughter Hiroko, torn between her mother's traditions a In her 37th bestselling novel, Danielle Steel tells the compelling story of a woman who must struggle to overcome a shattering betrayal, and the cruelest kind of malice. At seventeen, the night of her mother's funeral, Grace Adams is attacked.

It is n As president of a major pharmaceutical empire, Peter Haskell has everything. Power, position, a career and a family, which mean everything to him, and for which he has sacrificed a great deal. Compromise has been key in Peter Haskell's life, and inte As a partner at one of New York's most prestigious law firms, Alexandra Parker barely manages to juggle husband, career, and the three-year-old child she gave birth to at forty. But Alex feels blessed with her life and happy marriage--until lightning From a house on the edge of her family's dustyfarmland airstrip near Chicago, the child CassieO'Malley would sneak into the night to look at theplanes sitting shimmering in the moonlight.

HerWorld War I veteran father, Pat, wanted his son tobe a pilo On a June day, a young woman in a summer dress steps off a Chicago-bound bus into a small midwestern town. She doesn't intend to stay. She is just passing through. Yet her stopping here has a reason and it is part of a story that you will never forge Accident is a powerful and ultimately triumphant novel of lives shattered and changed by one devastating moment. Although frequent business meetings keep her husband, Brad, away from home, Page Clarke feels blessed with her happy family and comforta Vanished tells the story of a man and woman faced with an almost unthinkable tragedy--the mysterious abduction of their young son.

In the late 's, in the shadow of the Lindbergh kidnapping, and as war looms in Europe, Marielle Patterson shares After the wedding of Diana Goode and Andrew Douglas, Diana teases that they will make a baby on their honeymoon. But long afterward, she is still not pregnant. As Diana and Andrew wait out each month only to be bitterly disappointed, they are f Edwina Winfield, returning from her engagement trip to England with her fiance and her family, instantly loses her parents, the man she loved and her dreams.

Without even time to mourn, she courageously defies convention to run her family's Californi Max is eagerly awaiting a visit from his Grandma and Grampa Winky. They now live in Arizona and he hardly ever gets to see them. But Grampa calls to say that Grandma is ill, and before long the terrible news comes that Grandma has died. Max and his fa Bill Thigpen, writer producer of the No. Now, nine years later, living alone in Hollywood, even without his wife and kids, his life and success are st As a journalist, Paxton Andrews would experience Viet Nam firsthand.

We follow her from Savannah to Berkeley and then to Saigon. For the soldiers she knew and met there, Viet Nam would change their lives in ways they could never have imagined. Oliver Watson's world suddenly dissolves around him when Sarah, his wife of eighteen years, returns to Harvard to get her master's degree. Oliver is left on his own, with three children and a freedom he never wanted. When Oliver's mother is diagno Young, innocent and strikingly beautiful Crystal Wyatt was an outcast, envied and resented by all but her devoted father, with whom she shared a dep love for their remote California ranch.

When her father dies, Crystal is alone and unprotected. Petersburg to Paris to find safety. Her entire world forever changed, she faces hard times and joins the Ballet Russe in Paris. And then, Hilary, the oldest and the only one who remember His career is skyrocketing, but h Audrey Driscoll grew up in her grandfather's San Francisco mansion. Her parents had been killed in a tragic accident when she was a child. By she was a second mother to her beautiful younger sister, a high-spirited companion for her elderly gran But with Secrets she takes her readers beyond the tightly knit world of the family, into the heart Through forty years -- from Hollywood's golden days in World War II to the present -- Faye Price would create first a career as a legendary actress, then a family, and finally she would realize her dream of becoming one of Hollywood's first woman dir This is a special book about special people.

People who have loved me, and whom I have loved. People who have brought me joy beyond measure, and sometimes incredible pain.


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People I have hurt, sometimes more than I can bear to think about. The s. Martin Luther King. Civil rights.

Section 1 — Decor

Tana Roberts comes of age in this turbulent decade, and begins a journey that will lead her from hew York to the South during the heat of racial unrest. A thoroughly modern young woman, s As one of the world's richest women, beautiful Kezla Saint Martin was the pampered darling of the jet-set, her life a careless round of glamourous games.

But those games had rules of their own, and Kezla was harbouring secret longings. When Davidson finished sending the e-mail he returned to the bridge and instructed Randolph to start keeping hourly logs of the weather. Wind direction and force, barometer. The wind would have to be estimated because of the faulty anemometer. Both Davidson and Randolph apparently believed they would be dealing with a Category 1 hurricane, and at some distance from the eye.

Neither they nor the National Hurricane Center suspected that the storm would increase to a Category 3 and accelerate that very night. The wind was increasing, the sea was covered with whitecaps, and the swells from the east were rising. Around four P. Schultz, the chief mate, and Hamm, his helmsman, came onto the bridge to take the next watch. Randolph briefed Schultz, then went down to her cabin to write a note to her mother. At P. The sat-C printer delivered the latest weather, and Randolph took it to the chart table and began to plot it out.

This was information from the National Hurricane Center only a few minutes old, and although it continued to contain forecasting errors, it got the current location of the eye about right. Looks like the storm is coming right for us. Randolph was a Mainer. Salt of the earth. Schultz and Hamm returned from dinner. Randolph and Davis left. Davidson showed up around sundown. The sky was heavy with clouds. It was not exactly a fiction, but it was a poor tool for attempting a close pass across the bow of a hurricane.

They decided to turn the ship 10 degrees to the right, widening away from the storm for a second time. The new course would take El Faro to a point in the yellow outer fringes on the B. Having plotted the new course directly on the B. With its engine running at maximum speed, El Faro was riding comfortably through large swells coming in from the northeast. Davidson was pleased. For the next 45 minutes, he and Schultz calculated G. They were not entirely complacent. Schultz mentioned the availability of a southerly escape route through a deepwater passage by Crooked Island, and Davidson suggested the alternative of sheltering behind San Salvador if need be.

But neither man made a plan for such contingencies. Third Mate Jeremie Riehm appeared on the bridge for his eight-P. He was joined by his helmsman. Schultz indicated the B. We have the latest. The map showed Joaquin as a Category 1 hurricane crossing their course well after their passage. It predicted an encounter with knot winds. In reality, at that very moment Joaquin was morphing into a Category 3 hurricane, about three days ahead of schedule. Schultz gave Riehm a quick briefing. Riehm had been listening to a Weather Underground broadcast on the Weather Channel. He was not due on the bridge again until four A.

Riehm kept sounding a caution. No one reacted. Schultz and Davidson went below. For the next 20 minutes there was no conversation on the bridge. The ship was heaving and rolling moderately, and vibrating as usual with engine power. The lights had been dimmed, but all was black outside. The ship was sailing on autopilot. They talked about it for a while. Riehm expressed his concerns about the Weather Channel broadcast.

This is supposed to hook right here. Maybe nothing will happen. The intensity of the storm was now officially registered. Joaquin had exploded into a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of m. Its current position was accurate to within 17 miles. It was moving south-southwest at six m. By eight in the morning, it was expected to be sustaining winds of , with gusts to Riehm wanted him to come to the bridge.

Naw, nothing, and, uh, the latest weather just came in, and thought you might want to take a look at it. So yeah if you have a chance. He called Davidson back. Evidence suggests that he was still showing a preference for the animated B. The swell was growing; the ship was moving more heavily now. We got nowhere to go.


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  • Just before midnight, Randolph arrived with Davis to stand watch. They were entering the partial shelter offered by San Salvador Island, about 20 miles to the east, and the ship was moving more easily now. Riehm explained the situation. As always, Randolph tried to keep things light. The ship was gently pitching up and down, not rolling side to side. Pitching more violently, the ship was starting to pound. Davis recommended slowing down. Randolph did not want to do it. She called Davidson on the house phone and told him that the hurricane was now a Category 3.

    He knew that already. She proposed the escape route to the south and a smooth sail on to San Juan. He rejected her suggestion. Despite the uncertainties in the forecast, he was so convinced of his strategy that he was able to sleep. He had not yet even downloaded the latest B. He finally downloaded the package at in the morning, when the data it was based on was 11 hours old. El Faro entered a squall. Lightning flickered outside.

    Davis saw a series of mysterious bright flashes up at the bow—probably electrical connections shorting out in spray. Over the next hour, the conditions deteriorated, and the ship began to labor, unable to exceed about 16 knots. By now, the stresses on the ship were enormous. Objects exposed to the wind were banging, breaking, and flying away. On Deck 2, one deck below the main deck where the containers were stacked, water began washing in through openings on the sides, swirling around the wheels of the cargo trailers secured there and washing out just as fast.

    This was not uncommon for El Faro , and no reason for concern because the deck itself was designed to be watertight and sealed off from the engine room and the cargo holds below. The ship kept smashing ahead. That was a good [wave]. Definitely lost some speed. The captain wanted full speed in order to cross the storm a good distance from the eye. In the Northern Hemisphere, the circulation around hurricanes runs counterclockwise. The winds right now were northerly and coming at the ship from the left side.

    If the B. According to that model, the winds would become northwesterly directly astern as El Faro passed abeam the eye, and would shift to southwesterly and then southerly on the right side as the ship steamed into improving weather beyond it. But this never happened—meaning that the ship was heading toward the storm, not away from it. Up on the bridge at , Randolph had to sit to keep from falling down. Look at that spray! Oh, my God! Solid water—green water—was coming over the bow.

    The ship kept getting knocked off heading. A steering alarm would sound, and the autopilot would slowly regain control. At a wave clobbered the stern. Randolph spoke to it. Joaquin was wild. It was finding its way inside, whipping through the bridge. At , Chief Mate Schultz arrived for the next watch. Schultz ordered a heading correction to the left. Randolph and Davis went below. Schultz got a report that a trailer on the second deck was leaning, and that some of the cords feeding the refrigerated units had been cut. The waves were coming about every 13 seconds, and the autopilot was having a hard time keeping up.

    The steering alarm sounded frequently.

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    Not long afterward, Davidson entered the bridge. Well, this is every day in Alaska. Our forecast had it coming around to starboard. So that was that. Davidson left the bridge to check on the galley. Immediately afterward the sat-C printer spat out the latest missive from the National Hurricane Center. Schultz retrieved the page but did not have time to plot the coordinates.

    The house phone rang. It is not clear who the caller was, but the conversation was about problems with cargo on the second deck—the one the seas were sweeping through.

    The ship was listing to starboard, which was mentioned as a factor. Schultz did not seem too concerned, and said he would inform the captain. No sooner had he hung up than the phone rang again. This time it was the chief engineer down in the engine room. The conversation was brief. Schultz said he would get through to the captain right away.

    He rang the captain in the galley. The chief engineer just called. Something about the list and oil levels. The time was A. The hurricane was raging. Davidson returned in less than a minute. Wants to take the list off. Beyond the windows all was blackness and driving spray. Hamm started a slow turn into the wind. Davidson had been on the phone again with the engine room.

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    To be expected. They had turned 35 degrees to the left. Hamm was now doggedly steering to the northeast through enormous unseen seas. The wind was still on the left.

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    The sea conditions were by now atrocious. They were no longer normal for Alaska. Schultz apparently volunteered to open a new B. Schultz may or may not have tried to open the B. It was too late for such details, anyway. Though the officers did not know it, they were about to enter the eye wall of the hurricane, where the storm would be at its worst. The ship was pointed almost directly into the wind, but Davidson had no way of knowing it.

    On a clean upwind heading any list caused by the winds should have come to an end; the list, however, continued and, if anything, was steeper than before, suggesting that something besides wind was causing it—such as flooding. Mathias was now on the bridge. He had been checking conditions on the second deck. Hold on to that handle. Good to go, buddy. Think of the angle of a wheelchair ramp and then multiply times four. It is unlikely that Davidson ever fully understood that he had sailed into the eye wall of Joaquin, but he must have realized by now that he had come much too close.

    This is the stuff of tragedy that can never be completely explained. Up on the bridge the house phone rang. Davidson answered. Go down to three-hold. Go down to three-hold and start the pumping right now. Three-hold was a vast space below the second deck, just forward of the engine room. It was loaded with cars. The deck above it was awash in water—designed to be. The gaps in the hull that let water into the second deck just as easily let it out.

    The problem was a series of scuttles—heavy watertight hatches—that allowed access from the second deck to the cargo holds below. The crew had secured them the day before, in preparation for the storm. But if one had been overlooked or had failed, the flooding would be severe. It was an engineer calling in with a report. The bilge pump was not keeping up—water was continuing to rise. The source of the water was unknown.

    El Faro had a closed system of two interconnected ballast tanks—one on the left, one on the right—that were used to balance the ship during cargo-loading operations by means of water transfers. Davidson ordered the engine room to start transferring water from the starboard tank to the port tank in order to lessen the list, thereby distributing the flood waters more evenly. Five minutes later the chief engineer rang with the news that the source did indeed appear to be an open scuttle on the starboard side.

    Access would be difficult unless the flood waters could be lowered. In a badly wounded ship, he was going to use the hurricane itself as a tool for damage control. The winds had further intensified. The seas were mountainous. The hurricane shoved El Faro into a port-side list. Water was now pouring out of the open scuttle. When it stopped, members of the crew would get it closed. Randolph showed up on the bridge. He was obviously pleased to see her there. She must have been the best-liked person on the ship. Before long, Davidson got word that the scuttle had been secured.

    He asked Randolph to tell the engine room. But the ship continued to list badly—now to the left. Water must still be coming in from somewhere. Then suddenly at A. It was the chief engineer. The problem was with lubrication-oil pressure at this angle of list. He said they were trying to bring the engine back online. Meanwhile, the ship had plenty of standby power for running the pumps and electrics.

    Davidson explained the situation to Randolph. A short while later, he asked her to prepare an emergency message for transmission to the Coast Guard and the company via the security alert system, but not to send it yet. It was morning twilight, and the scene coming into sight was calamitous, with huge breaking waves, churning foam, and wind-driven rain and spray. The hull lay below the bridge, listing to the left, drifting without forward motion, and taking a pounding from the storm.

    There was a sound of multiple thuds in rapid succession. Cream and sugar? But they were not on the back side of the storm, and conditions were not going to improve. Joaquin, meanwhile, was intensifying into a Category 4 hurricane. Davidson called the engine room. The chief engineer explained that he would not be able to get the lubrication pumps going until El Faro gained more of an even keel.

    Davidson punched in the number for John Lawrence and left the voice mail. By the time he finished the conversation with Lawrence, full daylight had come. The chief engineer called, and Randolph told him there was nothing more that could be done from the bridge about the list.

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    Davidson instructed her to send out the electronic distress signals, and she did. The fire main had a large-diameter pipe that led from an opening in the hull to a powerful pump at the aft bulkhead at the bottom of three-hold. The pump was protected from the cargo by steel barriers, but the pipe itself was not. It was equipped with a shutoff valve, as all through-hull fittings were, but that valve was now lying deep beneath the black waters of the flooded hold—and the cargo of cars was floating around and shifting wildly in the storm.

    Access to the valve was impossible. There are problems for which there are no solutions. After 10 minutes of considering all possible improvisations, the crew collectively ran out of ideas. El Faro also had five inflatable life rafts, four of which were packed in canisters near the lifeboats. The life rafts were easier to launch but more difficult to board, and nearly as vulnerable in the storm.

    The only hope was to take to the life rafts. Davidson radioed to Schultz, who was somewhere on the ship trying to monitor the flooding. Just a heads-up. Muster all, mate. Davidson called the engine room and got a junior officer. Just want to let you know I am going to ring the general alarm. Is the chief there? Yeah, all is fine. Hamm was trying to climb the slanted deck of the bridge, but he was exhausted from steering, and it was too steep for him. Get a good head count. Good head count. Ring the abandon ship. A transmission came in, someone yelling over the roar of the storm.

    Davidson yelled back. Get into your rafts. Throw all your rafts to the water. A low rumbling began and did not let up. It was the sound of El Faro going down. It was 33 seconds long: Captain Lawrence? Beyond Reach. Read More. By Bess Levin.