The Finest Hours: The True Story of the Coast Guard’s Most Daring Rescue

Type: Performance
Art Form: Storytelling
Grade Level: 3 - 12
Scheduling Request

On February 18, 1952, a vicious Nor’easter wrecked two gigantic oil tankers less then 20 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. To save the crewmen, the Coast Guard braved towering waves that reached 70 feet, blinding snow, and one of the most dangerous shoals in the world. This daring rescue is the subject of Tougias’ award-winning book, now a movie from Disney Pictures starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. With dramatic photography, Tougias transports students into the heart of the storm, confronting them with the challenges the young heroes of the Coast Guard faced. It’s a tale about social responsibility and grace under pressure. In addition to touching on the history of the period and the science of the storm, Tougias discusses writing the book, working with a co-author and making the film, and gives tips for students to make their own writing come alive. This program is modified depending on age group.

Virtual Author Visit: Available live online for remote learning.

Length: 45-55 Minutes
Audience Limit: 300
Curriculum Connection: Storytelling, Writing Process, English Language Arts, Publication, US History, Character Education, Science

Remote Single (Live): $440

2 shows minimum for in person performances.

Back-To-Back Shows: $980
Three Shows In A Row: $1,280
Travel Fee: based upon National Standard Mileage Rate (Business)

Note: pricing may vary for weekend/out-of-school time

Processing Fee of $30 added to all contracts

Remote: School sets up link for remote meeting and makes the artist a co-host. Screen share must be enabled, however please turn off ‘annotation’ feature. Artist may need to sign on 20-30 minutes prior to the meeting to check sound levels. A representative from the school must be on the call to spotlight the artist video, facilitate Q+A and mute students as needed. Please introduce the performer as a Young Audiences of Massachusetts artist.



  • 1 reserved parking space
  • Water for 1 person
  • Multimedia projector for Michael to hook his computer (PC) up to
  • Projection screen
  • Large table to display artifacts and books
  • Electrical outlet
  • Extension cord
  • Microphone if over 75 students (if possible)

Performance space: must be spacious enough for the above items to fit at the front of the room with space for artist to walk around during presentation.

Arrival time before first performance:
30 minutes
Strike time: 30 minutes
Time needed between performances: 5 minutes
Teachers are asked to model appropriate audience behavior for students.

Please introduce the performer as a Young Audiences of Massachusetts artist.

More From Michael Tougias

Double mileage below to account for initial and return trip