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November 2004

Frump Watch

A few weeks ago Bob Frump, one of the many bosses I had at my previous employer, emailed with this note:

The History Channel will run a documentary on the sinking of the Marine Electric on Nov. 22, 9 PM EST as a part of its Deepsea Detectives series. The producers seemed to know what they were doing and I have high hopes for it.

I had been waiting to blog this until right before the broadcast. Because I waited, I can augment the above with this additional detail Jon sent me a few days ago:

When the History Channel airs its TV documentary “Ship of Doom” on November 22, […] employees at the corporate campus in Princeton, New Jersey, will see a familiar face.

That’s because the show is based on a book written by their colleague, Bob Frump, the editor in chief for GPC Marketing Brand Communications, and he is interviewed by the TV network’s historians during the show.

Frump’s book, Until the Sea Shall Free Them, is the nonfiction narrative of how an old ship, the S.S. Marine Electric, sank with most of her crew off the Virginia coast during a winter storm in 1983. Frump said Disney/Buena Vista has optioned film rights for the book, which was published in 2002, and has budgeted production for a feature film.

The History Channel airs the show on Monday, November 22, at 9 pm Eastern time as part of its Deepsea Detectives series, whose episodes feature the attempts by divers and technical experts to discover the reasons behind famous shipwrecks over the centuries.

For the “Ship of Doom” episode, divers searched the rusted hulk of the Marine Electric 134 feet beneath the Atlantic to discover what caused the merchant ship to sink. The History Channel’s website synopsizes the theme this way: “Survivors blamed the owners for sending an unsafe boat to sea. But the owners charged that one of the survivors caused his crewmates’ deaths by failing to observe basic safety procedures. In the shadow of these allegations, the wreck is a potential crime scene.”

That is from an announcement sent out to employees back there at the old job.

In any case, congratulaions to Bob, this is great! Now everybody go set your Tivos!

Uh, and Brandy, I forgot to set our Tivo to get this. Can you set it so I won’t forget later? Thanks! :-)

2 comments to Frump Watch

  • NM214

    This was a great program, I did think that the 2 divers/investigators were a little over the top though… I’ve not watched the program before so perhaps they are always this way, Mr. Frump added some great information to the story. I wish I’d have seen the beginning though and known what/where/how he was involved in the fracas.

    Thanks for the tip sam!

  • Abulsme

    I watched a few minutes of it live, but I was busy doing a few other things. I’ll watch the whole thing on the Tivo a little later. Glad to hear it was good.

    Bob was an investigative reporter for a Philadelphia paper who went after this story and spent years digging into it to expose what had really happened. This first led to an award winning series of newspaper articles, then eventually to the book. And now to a TV show. And the movie should be coming soon.

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