The Perfect Storm was a best-selling book written by Sebestian Junger. Later made into movie, The Perfect Storm relates what might have happened to the fishing boat, the Andrea Gail, during a violent east coast storm in October of 1991. Actually, two storms came together to produce a single storm so huge that it caused a massive blizzard a thousand miles away. Once those fisherman sailed into that storm, there was no escape. The Andrea Gail and its crew were never found.

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Has your life journey brought you into the middle of a time of severe difficulty? Are you facing a storm you can’t escape? Is the storm that threatens you caused by a combination of circumstances beyond your control? Some storms seem so intense, that they will certainly destroy us and everyone we love. How do you survive the perfect storm?

There is a story in the Bible of one man’s faith in the midst of a storm. The storm seemed intent on claiming his life and the lives of those who were with him. His name was Paul. Paul was a world traveler. In his day, he would have benefited from frequent flyer miles if there had been planes. But there were ships, and Paul used that mode of transportation on numerous occasions. In fact, by Paul’s own testimony he lived through three different disasters at sea.

The Perfect Storm received mixed reviews from critics, with a 47% approval rating on critic site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 135 reviews, and an average rating of 5.59/10, with a consensus of, 'While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers a lack of any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film. Perfect storm definition, a very intense and powerful storm arising from the convergence of an unusual set of weather patterns: A dying Hurricane Grace delivered the immeasurable tropical energy needed to create the perfect storm.

One of those disasters is described in the book of Acts. Paul found himself a prisoner on board an Egyptian ship sailing for Italy. First, Paul was on board because he was a prisoner for his faith. That was crisis enough! But being on board a ship sailing into the jaws of disaster only complicated his circumstances.

As the story unfolds, Paul expresses his concern about the timing of the trip. It was a time of year when weather patterns were unpredictable. Have you ever had a bad feeling about a trip before it started? Have you ever had a bad feeling about a decision or a direction your life was heading? You can see your family sailing right into the jaws of disaster, and there is not a thing you can do about it. It was out of Paul’s hands. Paul was a prisoner and not the captain. No one was interested in his opinion, so the ship set sail.

The Andrea Gail was a twenty-foot fishing boat that found itself facing winds over a hundred miles an hour and waves ten stories tall. I don’t know the size of the ship on which Paul was travelling. But the circumstances are described in vivid detail in Acts 27.

Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there, if somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and spend the winter there. When a moderate south wind came up, supposing that they had attained their purpose, they weighed anchor and began sailing along Crete, close inshore. But before very long there rushed down from the land a violent wind, called Euraquilo; and when the ship was caught in it and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and let ourselves be driven along. Running under the shelter of a small island called Clauda, we were scarcely able to get the ship’s boat under control. After they had hoisted it up, they used supporting cables in undergirding the ship; and fearing that they might run aground on the shallows of Syrtis, they let down the sea anchor and in this way let themselves be driven along. The next day as we were being violently storm-tossed, they began to jettison the cargo; and on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands. Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us, from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually abandoned. Acts 27:12-20

They had no strength against the storm. There will be times when the storms that you face will be stronger than you. There will be times when the problems that you face in life will be bigger than you and more than you can handle. Is that where you are right now? In spite of all your efforts to salvage the situation, the ship is still sinking, the marriage is still crumbling, the business is still failing, the finances are still shrinking, and there seems to be no way out except to go down with the ship.

Those with Paul gradually lost hope. They were ready to give up.They resigned themselves that they all were going to die!

Life’s storms can be intense. In the midst of them, it’s easy to grow discouraged. It’s especially discouraging, when you hardly sail out of one before you encounter another. It’s even worse when two or more combine to create the perfect storm—that one that seems designed to destroy your faith and your family. In the face of that kind of crisis, some people just give up.

But Paul didn’t! Paul refused to be controlled by the crisis. He understood that the crisis itself was controlled by God. He knew God was aware of his predicament. God also knows where you are, and He doesn’t need GPS to find you. The clouds of your circumstances can’t hide you from His eyes. Paul understood he belonged to God, and there was no reason to despair.

There was a man on board who was captain of the ship. The captain didn’t know what to do. The captain of the ship didn’t have any answers. Moms and Dads can feel just like that captain. You and your family are sailing headlong into one of the storms of life. You are scared because you are the captain of the ship, and you don’t know what to do or where to turn.

Paul didn’t look to the captain of the ship for answers. Paul looked to the Captain of the Storm. Paul looked for God’s presence in midst of difficulty. Are you seeking a word from God in the midst of your circumstances? Have you told Him that you don’t know what to do? Have you asked for His help and His direction? You may be captain of the ship, but He is Captain of the Storm. After seeking God’s help and God’s guidance, Paul encouraged those on board with these words:

3“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me,4saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has granted you all those who are sailing with you.’ “Therefore, keep up your courage, men, for I believe God that it will turn out exactly as I have been told. Acts 27:21-25


Paul told those men that there was no reason for despair. Paul chose to believe God. Will you? Can you surrender your circumstances to the Captain of the Storm?

I am no stranger to difficulty. I understand what it is like to encounter a string of calamities that combine to form the perfect storm. Some of you have been wrestling with your situation for a long time. You have exhausted all your resources. You are about ready to let the ship sink, and just sink with it! You are in the middle of a perfect storm. The winds and waves of life are tossing your family to and fro. You are the captain of the ship, and you don’t know what to do. I’ve been there before. I’m sure I’ll be there again. I don’t know what circumstances have come together to form the perfect storm in your life. However, I do want to encourage you as you battle the storm, to look to the Perfect Savior. His name is Jesus, and He is Lord of the Storm.

Photo by Ben White

The Perfect Storm
Directed byWolfgang Petersen
Produced byPaula Weinstein
Wolfgang Petersen
Gail Katz
Screenplay byWilliam D. Wittliff
Bo Goldman (uncredited)
Based onThe Perfect Storm
by Sebastian Junger
Music byJames Horner
CinematographyJohn Seale
Edited byRichard Francis-Bruce
Baltimore Pictures
Radiant Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros.
  • June 30, 2000
130 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$120 million[1]
Box office$328.7 million

The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographicaldisasterdrama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on the 1997 non-fiction book of the same name by Sebastian Junger. The film tells the story of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea with all hands after being caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Diane Lane, John Hawkes, William Fichtner, Michael Ironside, John C. Reilly, Karen Allen and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio.[2] It was released on June 30, 2000, by Warner Bros. and grossed $328 million worldwide.


In October 1991, the commercial fishing boat Andrea Gail returns to port in Gloucester, Massachusetts, with a poor catch. Boat owner Bob Brown (Michael Ironside) ridicules and taunts Captain Billy Tyne over his recent 'cold streak'. Desperate to redeem himself, Captain Tyne convinces the Andrea Gail crew to join him for one more late-season fishing expedition. The crew heads out past their usual fishing grounds on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, leaving a developing tropical storm behind them. Initially unsuccessful, they head to the Flemish Cap, where their luck greatly improves. At the height of their fishing, the ice machine breaks down; the only way to sell their catch before it spoils is to hurry back to shore. After debating whether to sail through the building storm or to wait it out, the crew decides to risk the storm. However, between Andrea Gail and Gloucester is a confluence of two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane, which the Andrea Gail crew underestimates.

After repeated warnings from other ships, Andrea Gail loses her antenna, forcing Captain Linda Greenlaw of sister ship Hannah Boden to call in a Mayday. A New York Air National GuardHH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter responds, but after failing to perform a midair refueling with an HC-130 Hercules, the helicopter crew ditch their aircraft. All but one of the Air National Guard crew members are rescued by a Coast Guard vessel, the USCGC Tamaroa.

After Andrea Gail endures various problems, with 40 foot waves crashing into the deck, a broken stabilizer ramming the side of the ship, and two crew members briefly getting thrown overboard, the crew struggles to sail through pounding waves and shrieking winds, while friends and family worry and wait for a ship that never comes home. The vessel encounters an enormous rogue wave. They attempt to drive the boat over the wave, but it crests before it can get to the top and is overturned. Billy elects to go down with his ship, the rest of the crew are trapped inside the living quarters, and only one, rookie fisherman Bobby Shatford, manages to get out. He surfaces and watches as Andrea Gail rights herself before sinking stern-first into the Atlantic. Knowing that he has no chance of survival without a lifejacket, Bobby silently says his goodbyes to his loved ones as the rapidly rising swell carries him away.

There are no survivors; Linda reads the eulogy at the memorial. Later, as she heads out to sea again, she remembers Billy soliloquizing about what it means to be a ship captain.

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  • George Clooney as Frank William 'Billy' Tyne, Jr., captain of Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat. Billy is a divorced father of two daughters, who is determined to undertake one last fishing trip before the end of the season to make up for a recent string of poor catches.
  • Mark Wahlberg as Robert 'Bobby' Shatford, the least experienced of the crew of Andrea Gail. Bobby is the son of Ethel Shatford, the owner of the Crow's Nest, and boyfriend to Chris Cotter. He enjoys commercial fishing, but his deepening relationship with Chris (coupled with her reluctance to let him sail again) creates conflict within himself and between the couple. Yet, he is compelled by the potential to earn more money at sea than he could make with a job on shore to sign on for one last trip.
  • Diane Lane as Christina 'Chris' Cotter, girlfriend of Bobby Shatford. She does not want Bobby to go on the trip because of a bad feeling she has about it. She spends her time during the last fishing trip decorating an apartment she has rented as a surprise for Bobby to symbolize her commitment to him.
  • Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Linda Greenlaw, the captain of Hannah Boden. Linda and Billy both captain ships for the same owner and maintain a friendly rivalry. She is concerned about Billy and his crew's going out in what she considers dangerous weather. Linda is the last to speak to Andrea Gail.
  • John C. Reilly as Dale 'Murph' Murphy, senior crewmember on Andrea Gail. Murph is a veteran fisherman who is divorced with a son with whom he's very involved. Murph has a rocky relationship with crewmember David 'Sully' Sullivan that is eventually resolved during the trip.
  • William Fichtner as David 'Sully' Sullivan, crewmember on Andrea Gail. He signed on for the trip at the last minute when another fisherman suddenly backed out. Sully and Murph initially have an antagonistic relationship that is fueled in part by Sully's past involvement with Murph's ex-wife, although the details are not made clear in the film. The relationship is eventually resolved during the trip.
  • Michael Ironside as Bob Brown, owner of Andrea Gail and Hannah Boden. Although Brown seems to harbor a deep-seated recognition of Tyne's skills at catching fish, he nevertheless pressures Tyne over the latter's recent inability to bring in larger hauls, resulting in an uneasy relationship between the two.
  • Bob Gunton as Alexander McAnally III, owner of Mistral, a yacht caught in the storm.
  • Karen Allen as Melissa Brown, crewmember on Mistral.
  • Cherry Jones as Edie Bailey, crewmember on Mistral.
  • Allen Payne as Alfred Pierre, one of the crew of Andrea Gail.
  • John Hawkes as Michael 'Bugsy' Moran, a member of Andrea Gail's crew. Bugsy's somewhat comic inability to connect with women appears to change on the eve of the trip, when he meets a divorced mother at the Crow's Nest, who later comes to the dock to see him off. They hint at the prospect of a budding relationship that fatefully never materializes.
  • Janet Wright as Ethel Shatford, Bobby's mother.
  • Christopher McDonald as Todd Gross, a Boston meteorologist working for the WNEV-TV (the present day WHDH-TV).
  • Dash Mihok as Sergeant Jeremy Mitchell, a pararescueman on the New York Air National Guard rescue helicopter.

Historical accuracy[edit]

The Andrea Gail[edit]

Hurricane Grace on October 28, 1991, when the Andrea Gail went missing.

A ship similar to Andrea Gail, Lady Grace, was used during the filming of the movie.[3][4] Most of the names used were not changed for the fictional film, but in response two lawsuits were later filed by certain families of the crew members. The film only claims to be 'based on a true story', and differs in many ways from the book starting with the fictionalization of the material into a 'story'. The events shown in the film after the Andrea Gail's last radio contact are pure speculation, as the boat and the bodies of the crew were never found.[5]

Contrary to the movie's storyline, Captain Linda Greenlaw says she did not place a distress call on behalf of Andrea Gail. 'Without a distress call (directly) from the imperiled vessel, the Coast Guard will not initiate a search until the vessel is five days overdue in port,' Greenlaw said.[6] She had also been 600 miles east of the Andrea Gail when she went down (not west as depicted), and stated 'They never indicated they were in trouble. They just never came back.'[7] The 1993 U.S. Coast Guard's investigative report said that Andrea Gail was experiencing 30-foot waves and winds from anywhere from 50 to 80 kn (58 to 92 mph) around the time of the last communication. The conditions, though threatening, were probably not unfamiliar to Tyne, who had been a successful fisherman for about a decade on other vessels, taking trips to the Grand Banks and fishing off Florida, the Carolinas, and elsewhere.[6]

Hurricane Grace is exaggerated in the movie when it is referred to by a weather forecaster as a 'category 5' storm, which has winds sustained at over 137 knots (≥ 157 mph).[8] In reality, the hurricane had already peaked at category 2 intensity and ocean buoy monitors recorded wind gusts at 65 knots (75 mph) around the time Andrea Gail sank.[9] In the movie, Tyne and his crew agreed to head into the dangerous storm in order to save their fish from spoiling. Greenlaw acknowledged that Tyne did mention having ice problems, but that was not unusual. 'My one gripe about [the] movie was how Warner Brothers depicted Billy Tyne and his crew as making a very conscious decision to steam into a storm that they knew was dangerous,' said Greenlaw. 'That is not what happened. Andrea Gail was three days into their steam home when the storm hit. Whatever happened to Andrea Gail happened very quickly.'[6]

An Air National Guard helicopter was dispatched from Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base on Long Island, New York, but not in response to the Andrea Gail or Satori (Mistral in the movie). The helicopter departed mid-storm on a mission to help save a lone Japanese fisherman from a sinking sailboat 250 miles off the New Jersey coast. Unsuccessful and running low on fuel, the Air National Guard Sikorsky HH-60G helicopter was compelled to attempt a mid-flight refueling maneuver. The zero-visibility conditions thwarted their efforts, however, and lacking enough fuel to make the flight back to the Long Island base, the crew were forced to ditch the helicopter. After a search by Tamaroa, four of the HH-60's crew were picked up; one was never seen again. The Japanese yachtsman was later rescued by a Romanian cargo ship.[6]

When asked about the portrayal of 'Sully' in the movie, Cathy Sullivan Mustone, an older sister of David 'Sully' Sullivan, said she was disappointed. 'They made my brother's character out to be a hothead,' she said. 'I guess every movie needs a villain, but my brother was a funny guy with a loud laugh and a big smile. He had a lot of guts and he loved fishing.' In fact, David's bravery and quick thinking made headlines on a different boat—Harmony. One night during a winter fishing trip, Harmony began taking on water while tied to another boat. The crew of Harmony yelled for help, hoping to wake the nearby crew. No one woke, so David dove into the icy water, pulling himself on the ropes that tied the boats together. As a result of his bravery, Harmony's crew was saved. Mustone said, 'At least in the movie, they did represent my brother's bravery in a water rescue scene. He was a good man. And I just know he is at peace in heaven, safe with our Dad.'[6]

The Satori[edit]

The crew members of Satori (renamed Mistral in the movie) were not rescued by an Air National Guard helicopter, but rather by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. The helicopter was changed in the film after the Air National Guard had issues consulting with the movie producers. According to the owner's son, Satori never made a 360° roll, although it had two knockdowns, during which it lay on its side for about 30 seconds.[10] In response to requests by the crew, Captain Ray Leonard permitted the two crewmembers to make a position report over radio, during which they made an unauthorized Mayday call. One of those crewmembers reported that she was so convinced that she was going to die that she wrote her name down and put it into a plastic bag duct-taped to her stomach so her body could be identified.

There is controversy over whether the Captain was drunk, as charged by the women in the book, with Leonard objecting to this characterization. Out of compassion for the expected loss of his boat, the Coast Guard did not test his blood alcohol levels at the time. The Coast Guard declared the voyage manifestly unsafe and ordered everyone off-board, including the unwilling skipper.[10] The Coast Guard first tried to take them on board via an inflatable boat, but after it was damaged when trying to approach Satori they sent a helicopter, which is a much riskier approach, as a rescue swimmer must jump into dangerous seas. The Coast Guard helicopter did not try to lower rescue gear onto the yacht (as shown in the movie, where it gets entangled with the mast), but rather asked the crew of Satori to jump overboard to meet a rescue swimmer in the water. Leonard eventually complied with the request.

After the storm, Leonard searched for the Satori, hoping to find her still afloat, but in spite of his attempts she was found a few days later washed ashore on a Maryland beach, a bag of personal belongings still on deck. Leonard paid for a 60-foot fishing vessel to drag her off the beach, helped by a channel dug by Park Rangers who had been guarding the boat. He continued to sail the boat until he sold her to a new owner in 2000.[10]


The Perfect Storm received mixed reviews from critics, with a 47% approval rating on critic site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 135 reviews, and an average rating of 5.59/10, with a consensus of, 'While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers a lack of any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.'[11]Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 59 out of 100, based on 36 critics, indicating 'mixed or average reviews'.[12]

The Perfect Storm was a box office success. On its opening weekend, it debuted with $42 million ahead of Sony's The Patriot and eventually brought in over $182.6 million in the United States, and $146.1 million around the world to a total of $328.7 million worldwide.[13]

The film was nominated for 2 Academy Awards, Best Visual Effects (Walt Conti, Stefen Fangmeier, John Frazier and Habib Zargarpour) and Best Sound (John T. Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, David E. Campbell and Keith A. Wester), but lost both to Gladiator.[14] However, it was also nominated for a Stinker Award for Most Intrusive Musical Score.[15]


Harley davidson sportster service manual free download. The movie was partially filmed in Dedham, Massachusetts.[16][17]


After the film was released, the families of two crew members sued the film makers for the fictionalization of events which happened prior to the loss of Andrea Gail.[18] In 2005, the Florida Supreme Court ruled against the family of Captain Tyne by a 6–2 vote. Some unnamed families also sued the producers in federal district court, claiming that their names were used without their permission, and that facts were changed.[19] The district court, which is also located in Florida, dismissed the case, as in their opinion the defendants' First Amendment right to freedom of speech barred the suit. The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which could not decide how to interpret the Florida law at issue and certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court. In the end, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the district court's interpretation of Florida law, and thereupon the 11th Circuit affirmed the prior decision to dismiss the case.[19]

See also[edit]

  • Godless Men (1920)
  • Stormswept (1923)
  • Code of the Sea (1924)
  • Rugged Water (1925)


  1. ^Welkos, R.W. (7 May 2000), 'Prepare for Good, Sick Fun', Los Angeles Times, p. 4, retrieved 11 August 2010
  2. ^Berardinelli, James, The Perfect Storm Film Review –, 2000 (Retrieved on 2007-01-25)
  3. ^'The Perfect Storm'sAndrea Gail Comes Home to Massachusetts'. Warner Bros. July 14, 2000. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  4. ^Candus Thomson (June 23, 2000). 'Ocean City boat sails off to stardom'. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  5. ^'Investigation into the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the F/A Andrea Gail'(PDF). United States Coast Guard. January 28, 1994. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  6. ^ abcdeTerry Weber (October 29, 2011). 'What really happened to the Andrea Gail?'(PDF). Gloucester Daily Times. Retrieved January 22, 2020.
  7. ^Ringle, Ken (July 4, 2000). 'Reality Gets the Heave-Ho In Not-So-Perfect 'Storm''. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  8. ^Collura, Chris. ''PERFECT' Storm Questions and Answers'. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  9. ^'Meteorologists Say 'Perfect Storm' Not So Perfect'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  10. ^ abc'Satori - Perfect Storm'. Westsail Owners Association. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  11. ^'The Perfect Storm on RT'.
  12. ^
  13. ^'The Perfect Storm'.
  14. ^'The 73rd Academy Awards (2001) Nominees and Winners'. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
  15. ^
  16. ^'The Endicott Estate in Dedham, Massachusetts'. British Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 2006-11-29.
  17. ^Lichtenstein, Bill (June 12, 2012). ''The American Revolution' Documentary Film Shoots at Historic Endicott Estate - Iconic Boston Media Figures Interviewed for High-Profile Film on WBCN-FM at Dedham Mansion'. Retrieved September 27, 2019.
  18. ^'Court Revives 'Perfect Storm' Lawsuit'. St. Petersburg Times Online. Retrieved 2010-02-17.
  19. ^ abUnger, Howard M. (2002-05-31). 'Judge sinks 'Perfect Storm' lawsuit'. Sarasota Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-11-06.

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