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The Miracle Of The Kent (Hardback)

A tale of courage, faith and fire


By Nicholas Tracy
Imprint: Westholme
Pages: 245
ISBN: 9781594160721
Published: 3rd January 2011



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The first modern account of the most spectacular rescue in history.

In 1825, the Kent. And East Indiaman, set sail for India with a crew and nearly 600 passengers, mostly men of the 31st Regiment and their families.

Reaching the Bay of Biscay north of Spain, the ship was slammed by a ferocious gale, and while a sailor was inspecting the hold for damage, his lantern ignited a cask of spirits. A fire quickly erupted, and even with the desperate expedient of opening hatches and flooding the ship with seawater, the fire burned out of control. As night wore on the ship became an inferno, with the flames moving toward stores of gun-powder. At this point, everyone on board knew that they would perish, and they began preparing for their ghastly deaths.

Despite the raging tempest a sailor climbed to the top of the mast one last time and – miraculously – a sail appeared on the horizon. It was the Cambria, a small brig carrying a crew and twenty Cornish miners on their way to Mexico where they planned to explore abandoned Spanish mines. The Cambria's captain spied the burning Kent and through determination and dogged seamanship, the little brig closed the doomed vessel.

Launching their boats in towering seas, the Kent's and Cambria's crews were able to transfer nearly all of the children, women, and men to the brig before the Kent exploded.

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 Nicholas Tracy

About Nicholas Tracy

Dr Nicholas Tracy is a member of the History Department of the University of New Brunswick, and an associate of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society. He has written extensively on naval strategy, tactics in the age of sail, art history, and biography, and is now engaged in a study of Canada's use of naval forces following the end of the Cold War. He is an experienced yachtsman and brings his understanding of the sea to bear on his descriptions of naval warfare.

Though "Nelson's Battles" is his first book to appear in the Seaforth Publishing imprint, Tracy has worked for many years with the Seaforth team.

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