Out of the Depths

out of the depths


The Inspiring Story of a World War II Hero’s Miraculous Survival at Sea

July 30, 1945–The USS Indianapolis and its 1,196-man crew is making its way toward a small island in the South Pacific. The ship is sailing unescorted, assured by headquarters the waters are safe. It is midnight, and Marine Edgar Harrell and several others have sacked out on deck rather than spend the night in their hot and muggy quarters below. Fresh off a top-secret mission to deliver uranium for the atomic bombs that would ultimately end World War II, they are unaware their ship is being watched. Minutes later, six torpedoes are slicing toward the Indy . . .

For five horrifying days and nights after their ship went down, Harrell and his shipmates had to fend for themselves in the open seas. Plagued by dehydration, exposure, saltwater poisoning, and shark attacks, their numbers were cruelly depleted before they were miraculously rescued. This is one man’s story of courage, ingenuity, and faith in God’s providence in the midst of the worst naval disaster in U.S. history.

There is nothing pretty about war. At all. Out of the Depths is Edgar Harrell‘s tale of his experience on the USS Indianapolis. What can you say about a story like this other than ‘Thank You.” Thank you Mr. Harrell for your service and sacrifice.

I can’t imagine having to experience what Mr. Harrell experienced. Spending five days in the sea watching his shipmates getting attacked by sharks. Only to be rescued and go through the agonizing pain of your skin coming off.  It was humbling to read this story because he went through all of this to protect the freedom of the country I am so grateful to live in.

I really enjoyed this book and am thankful Edgar approached his son David to help write his account. He draws the reader into his experiences on the boat and the torment he and his crew members went through in the water. Edgar saw and recognized God’s love in truly amazing ways from storm clouds and rotten potatoes to search planes and friendships.

Edgar and David Harnell’s telling the history of the USS Indianapolis is from a different perspective than other books on the same subject. They penned a book telling and showing
of God’s promise to Edgar and showed the many ways God provided and fulfilled his promise. Although a young believer at the time, Edgar held onto God and left a lasting witness to other survivors of God’s love some 69 years later. His experiences with the other 317 survivors are unique, but God’s provision, love, and faithfulness to His children is a timeless story.

To here Edgar tell his story and discuss his book on Chris Fabry’s show click here.


Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Bethany House

ISBN: 0764212605

ISBN-13: 9780764212604


I received this book from Bethany House Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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