New Book Honors Survivor of Worst Navy Sinking In World War II

May 15, 2014, 15:05 ET from Edgar Harrell

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine being left in the Pacific Ocean, without food or water, surrounded by sharks with friends suffering unimaginable injuries drifting beside you, many of whom would die over the course of five days of extremely adverse conditions. Your ship was just attacked by a Japanese torpedo and you're left in darkness, with the risk of hypothermia, starvation, and dehydration, and with the desperate fear of an enemy ship coming back to finish the job. Hundreds of your friends and fellow Marines are injured, dead, or missing.

These are the unfathomable conditions that Edgar Harrell confronted when he served on the USS Indianapolis during World War II. He delivers a poignant story of courage in his new book, Out of the Depths (May 2014 – Bethany House Publishers) as he retells what happened during a historic and fatal mission, sharing a tale of inner strength and faith that stirs the reader, like few war memoirs ever have.

With Memorial Day coming up on May 26th, it's becoming even more important to hear the stories of the survivors from WWII. On July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis was struck by two Japanese torpedoes, and the death toll from the sinking of the USS Indianapolis was enormous—879 lives were lost, making this the greatest singular navy catastrophes at sea in US history. To this day, only 38 survivors are left to tell their story. Edgar Harrell is one of the living survivors of the USS Indianapolis, and he shares his incredibly daunting story of survival and beating the odds in his new book.

What comes after the initial attack and the five days the survivors were left at sea and waiting to be rescued is unimaginable—Harrell vividly describes being stranded in shark-infested waters, the horrors of being dehydrated and exposed to the elements, the desolate feeling of being lost at sea, and the power of prayer. Out of the Depths is an unforgettable and thought-provoking read about the lives that were lost, as well as those who were lucky enough to survive.  

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SOURCE Edgar Harrell