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Into the Burning Sea: the 1918 Rescue of the Mirlo

May 7 @ 6:30 PM


Historian Kevin Duffus to recount harrowing Outer Banks rescue in Asheboro library talk

During World War I, on August 16, 1918, the German submarine U-117 torpedoed the British freighter S.S. Mirlo off the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

As the freighter sank, six courageous Coast Guardsmen of the Chicamacomico Lifeboat Station at Rodanthe sped to the rescue.

The crew’s heroic effort to save the lives of the 51 British sailors is the topic of “Into the Burning Sea: the 1918 Rescue of the Miro,” a talk by researcher and author Kevin P. Duffus at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, at the Asheboro Public Library.

The talk is free and the public is invited.

The Mirlo’s cargo was gasoline, forcing the rescuers to enter a hellish inferno of explosions and toxic fumes, and a maze of black smoke, imperiling their lives to save strangers in distress.

Duffus is a noted North Carolina author, filmmaker and research historian who has made numerous discoveries. At age 17, he found, explored and identified a sunken Confederate gunboat in an eastern North Carolina river.

In 2002, he found the 1853 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Fresnel lens, missing since the Civil War. His book The Lost Light: A Civil War Mystery, tracks the light’s 150-year odyssey.

Duffus also is author of Shipwrecks of the Outer Banks: An Illustrated Guide and The Last Days of Blackbeard the Pirate. In 2012, he penned War Zone: World War Two Off the North Carolina Coast, which won the Willie Parker Peace Award.

Television documentaries he has produced have received the George Foster Peabody Award, the World Hunger Media Award, the Edward R. Murrow Award and the National Education Award.

Named North Carolina Historian of the Year in 2014, Duffus will publish his fifth book, a history of Bald Head Island and Cape Fear, on June 1.

The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.


May 7
6:30 PM
Event Category:


Randolph County Public Library
(336) 318-6800
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Asheboro Public Library
201 Worth St
Asheboro, NC 27203 United States
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(336) 318-6800
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