Fall Lecture Series: The Finest Hours

The Mariners' Museum and Park
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606
United States 100 Museum Drive Newport News 23606


  • Adults and Children Tickets: $$5
  • Member Tickets: $Free

Join the Mariners' Museum as they host Fall Lecture series speaker Michael Tougias, author of the Finest Hours: The True Story of a Heroic Sea Rescue. On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor’easter split a 500-foot-long oil tanker, the Pendleton, in half approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just 20 miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both fractured tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued, and 14 would lose their lives.