24 December 2011

35 Miles from Shore by Emilio Corsetti III

35 Miles from Shore: The Ditching and Rescue of ALM Flight 980 by Emilio Corsetti III

Published: 28 April 2008 by Odyssey Publishing

Pages: 352 (paperback)

Genre/s: Non-fiction

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository


On May 2, 1970, a DC-9 jet with 57 passengers and a crew of six departed from New York’s JFK International Airport en route to the tropical island of St. Maarten, but four hours and 34 minutes later the flight ended in the shark-infested waters of the Caribbean. It was, and remains, the only open-water ditching of a commercial jet. The subsequent rescue of survivors took nearly three hours and involved the coast guard, navy, and marines. This gripping account of that fateful day recounts what was happening inside the cabin, the cockpit, and the helicopters as the crews struggled against the weather and dwindling daylight to rescue the survivors, who had only their life vests and a lone escape chute to keep them afloat. 

My Thoughts

Ok ok, fear of flying girl reads a book about an airplane crash. Smart move.

I don’t even remember when or where I brought this book, but when I was looking for my next book to read I decided to start at the top, alphabetically, of my TBR and this is where I ended up.

35 Miles from Shore is, naturally, heavy on aviation industry speak, and contains a lot of information on the plane, the airline and the bodies responsible for regulating the industry. However, this is to be completely expected, and is not overly dry in facts and figures and airplane-yabber.

The telling of the events leading up to the crash, the rescue and the aftermath are riveting reading, with a particular focus on the airline staff and certain key passengers. The subsequent investigation, conclusions and recommendations also make for interesting, if slightly disturbing reading.

35 Miles from Shore is well written and engaging, with the history of the airlines involved and other examples of air-disasters that have occurred before and since the ditching of flight ALM 980.

Don’t read this before you fly (especially if you are going to be flying over open water!), but if you have an interest in survival, disasters or flying, there’s something in 35 Miles from Shore for you.


  1. Aussie Zombie,

    I see that my title naming strategy paid off. But only three and a half stars out of five? What's up with that?

    For anyone interested in learning more about this story, please head on over to 35milesfromshore.com.

    Thanks again for the review.


  2. Almost 4 - very almost. A little more info on what happened to the survivors would have tipped it.

    But for someone who hates flying, it's a pretty good score ;-)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I'd never read such a book simply because i"m clueless about aviation and factual but I enjoyed your review of the book and will definitelty pass it on Happy holidays.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...