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Peto Presents: Inferno at Sea: The Story of the Morro Castle Tragedy at the Ocean County Artists' Guild

4/24/2023 at 7:00 PM ET

Peto Presents:

A joint program with the Island Heights Cultural and Heritage Association...
Inferno at Sea: The Story of the Morro Castle Tragedy
As presented by Gretchen Coyle and Deb Whitcraft
at the Ocean County Artists' Guild

     Gretchen F. Coyle and Deborah C. Whitcraft are authors and writers who have written three books together.  Inferno at Sea is the story of the fire aboard the cruise ship Morro Castle which made weekly trips from New York to Havana during the early 1930s. 
     Deb is founder and President of the New Jersey Maritime Museum and was a two term mayor of Beach Haven.  Gretchen continues to write after a half century; now having a column in the Sunday Asbury Press ever week in addition to a few other Gannett local newspapers.
      On a return trip on September 8, 1934, the ship was set afire, resulting in the deaths of 137 Cubans and Americans.  Written from the human side of the tragedy, Inferno at Sea tells the stories of Americans and Cubans.  With seven trips to Cuba so far, Gretchen and Deb have met Ciro Bianchi Ros, Cuba’s Official Historian, Juan Carlos Burrito from the Cuban National Library, visited the Cuban National Archives, and interviewed with others who have researched the fire aboard the popular 504’ ship.
     Inferno at Sea was honored at the 2015 Havana International Book Fair.  Gretchen and Deb were the only American authors and Inferno at Sea was the only American book to be recognized.  Speaking between New York and Havana, these two vivacious and enthusiastic Beach Haven, NJ ladies shock and enthrall audiences with the Morro Castle story. The popular Inferno at Sea is in its third printing.

Monday, April 24, 2023 | 7:00 p.m
Ocean County Artists' Guild
22 Chestnut Ave.| Island Heights, NJ


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The John F. Peto Studio Museum received funding this year from a grant administered by the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission from funds granted by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a division of the Department of State.



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