Collision at Dawn: and Other Thrilling Stories of the Sea.


240 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 978-1-897174-32-6
DDC 910.4'5209715




Reviewed by


Readers of popular Newfoundland maritime history will be pleased with the author’s latest contribution. Containing 53 brief 500- to 750-word well-written chapters, they document the tragedies and sorrows of the working life of people dependent on the sea for their livelihoods from the mid-1850s to the 1950s, when the fishery was the mainstay of the Newfoundland economy and the sea the transportation lifeline for communities. Shipwrecks were a daily constant in their livelihoods, and the author’s ongoing research into the hundreds of shipwrecks around the province’s coastline shows that they occurred for four reasons: vessels stranding on offshore reefs either near land or by ice; sunk and abandoned at sea because of leaks or heavy storms; destroyed by enemy forces (as happened to vessels during both world wars when German U-boats patrolled the Atlantic Ocean); or burnt. Collisions at Dawn is well illustrated, and each chapter has informative explanatory endnotes on communities and individuals. It could use several maps to help the reader better follow the many outports and bays where the marine accidents and tragedies took place.


Parsons, Robert C., “Collision at Dawn: and Other Thrilling Stories of the Sea.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,