The Perfect Storm
Heroism in The Perfect Storm The Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger was an account of an immense storm and its destructive path through the North Atlantic. In late October of 1991, many a crew of several different fishing ships left their port for their final haul. Little did they know that they would soon cross paths with one of the greatest storms ever recorded. This particular storm would create huge swells, high winds, and hard rain. The system was said to be a “perfect storm” because all of the elements were just right to create the worst imaginable storm ever seen, ” a hundred-year event,” (191) claimed some meteorologists. Such a storm left little room for rescue if one’s boat got into trouble. But there were those daring rescues from the Coast Guard during the storm that saved the lives of many and cost the life of one. These men risked their lives for the safety of others’; thus, they have earned the title of “hero.” The pararescue jumpers and pilots, our heroes in The Perfect Storm, had a responsibility to the well being of everyone at sea. When a distress call was made, it was their duty to answer it to the best of their ability. It seemed “to the best of their ability” meant do the job until they died trying. These men had undergone extensive training in their fields to prepare for such situations as the perfect storm presented them. The PJ’s had undergone a highly selective process that many Navy SEALS could not complete. And the pilots of the helicopters and jets showed tremendous skill as they navigated through the rough turbulence of the storm. These men were, indeed, the best of the best. To be the best at what one does does not necessarily create a hero for the times. Peak physical shape and sharpness of mind were essential qualities for these heroes in the story. However, there was a little more to their character than what met the eye. These men had all the brute force in the world topped off with a touch of humanity. Humanity allowed them to put themselves in the shoes of the people trapped in the storm. They could then see the gravity of the situation and the importance of their role in their safety. But then again, many readers knew of the danger the crews were in and felt sorry and scared for them at the same time. But you wouldn’t catch them out there in the middle of the storm, like a PJ or a pilot, risking their neck for people they did not know. So there had to be another element inside these men in order to separate them from the rest of mankind. They had what some may call, a hint of insanity. They were not insane to take on the task; rather, they had to have a lack of care for their own safety in order to ensure the safety of others. Not many people would be willing to dive into such waters and risk their own lives such as Dave Moore did for the Satori. The perfect storm provided a perfect opportunity for heroes to submerge. Many ships’ crews were saved because of the humanity and heroism of these rescue teams. But for some ships, like the Andrea Gail, they were caught in the middle of an unforgiving storm and did not have a chance at being rescued. The men and women who risked their own safety in order to save someone else’s life have deserved the title of “hero.” Thanks to the heroism of the PJ’s and pilots of the Coast Guard, many people lived to tell their story about their experience on the high seas during those fateful October days.