Sun City United Methodist Church
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

COMING EVENTS

 
 
 

MOVIE - "The Finest Hours"
Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 - 4 PM in Harmony Hall 
 
Bernard "Bernie" Webber, a crewman at the Coast Guard station in Chatham, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, has fallen in love with a local girl, Miriam Pentinen. The two plan to marry on April 16, but in accordance with Coast Guard regulations, Bernie must seek permission from the station's commander, Daniel Cluff. On the day he is due to ask permission, the oil tanker SS Pendleton shears in half off the Chatham coast after getting caught in a nor'easter. With the majority of the station's crew already underway with the rescue of the similarly damaged SS Fort Mercer, Bernie is dispatched to pilot motor lifeboat CG 36500 to rescue the crew of the Pendleton. Andrew Fitzgerald, Ervin Maske, and Richard P. Livesey volunteer to join Bernie on the rescue mission.
 
Meanwhile, the Pendleton's engineer, Ray Sybert, as the surviving senior officer, organizes the surviving seamen to steer the sinking stern of the tanker onto a submerged reef, where it can lodge until rescuers arrive.
 
When Miriam hears that Bernie is leading the rescue effort, she, like a number of townspeople, thinks this is a suicide mission. Few people in Chatham trust Cluff, since he is not from the area and does not know its treacherous weather. Miriam drives to the station, demanding that Cluff call Bernie back. Cluff refuses, and brusquely orders Miriam out.
 
Between the Chatham harbor and the open sea lies a bar, a series of shoals that are very dangerous even in good weather. Bernie must time bursts of his engine to ride each approaching wave before it breaks as he pilots the 36500 across the bar. Although he makes it over the bar, he loses his compass.
 
Bernie steers the 36500 to the stricken tanker. Although his boat's designated capacity is only 12 people, Bernie manages to rescue 32 crewmen. The stern of the Pendleton begins sinking more rapidly during the rescue and goes down shortly after the last crewman comes aboard Bernie's boat. Relying on his knowledge of the coast and prevailing winds in place of his compass, Bernie steers the 36500 toward home—a task made more difficult as Chatham loses power. Miriam and the other townspeople drive their cars to the pier and turn on their headlights to guide Bernie in.
 
The film shows photographs from the event that briefly document the aftermath of the rescue. Two months later, Bernie and Miriam marry; they stay together for 58 years until Bernie's death in 2009. Webber and his crew receive the Gold Lifesaving Medal.