The ocean is one of the few untamed places on earth—unpredictable and unsympathetic to the lives lost there. For this reason, people remain fascinated by its tides, currents, and mysteries. Life and Death at Cape Disappointment is Christopher J. D'Amelio's first-hand account of life as a surfman at one of the Coast Guard’s most dangerous stations.
Cape Disappointment is one of the most notorious Coast Guard units on the Pacific Coast. Its area of responsibility is referred to as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” This book focuses on five of the most significant search and rescue cases during D'Amelio's tour and how such work affected him and his colleagues mentally and physically. It’s armchair entertainment for those enthralled by the ocean.
Christopher D’Amelio was born and raised in Aptos, California. At the age of nineteen he joined the United States Coast Guard, where he quickly achieved the rate of Boatswain’s Mate working in stations and on boats up and down the Pacific Coast from Alaska to South America. In 1998 he was assigned to Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, Washington. During his tenure at Station Cape Disappointment, he amassed over 2,200 hours of underway time, routinely operating on the Columbia River Bar, where he earned a reputation as one of the most skilled boat handlers in the Coast Guard.
He has worked on and supervised more than 430 search and rescue cases. He has received five commendation medals, two achievement medals, two letters of commendation, and the highly coveted Association for Rescue at Sea Gold Medal. He retired as a Chief Warrant Officer at Station New Orleans. He currently lives in Slidell, Louisiana, with his wife and two of his three children.
"There's nothing like learning from those who have seen and experienced the most extreme conditions the ocean can offer. D’Amelio's stories of search and rescue at Cape Disappointment are nothing short of riveting."