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A Swim: The Rhode Islander Who Refused to Drown

A tale of do or die

True stories often make for the best sea tales. Last summer, 51-year-old Rhode Island angler Joe Gross fell off his 23-foot powerboat without a life jacket and spent the next 11 hours treading water while creating a remarkable account of survival.

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“A Swim: The Rhode Islander Who Refused to Drown” (Flood Tide Press, $12.95 on Amazon) by maritime lawyer John K. Fulweiler needs just 75 pages to tell the life-or-death story. Gross had one foot on a rail when a wave hit the boat. He fell overboard and watched the boat motor away. Beyond the survival tale, Fulweiler explores topics such as the science of drowning, the professionalism of Coast Guard rescuers, small boat design and a human’s response to stress. The book has a lesson, too: Wear your life jacket.

September 2013 issue