On Sept. 17, 1940, at a little after ten at night, a German submarine torpedoed the passenger liner S.S. City of Benares in the North Atlantic. There were 406 people on board, including 90 children headed for peaceful Canada, their parents having elected to send them away from Great Britain to escape the ravages of World War II. The Benares sank in half an hour, in a gale that sent several of her lifeboats pitching into the frigid sea, more than three hundred miles from the nearest rescue vessel. Not one of the survivors had any reasonable hope of rescue. The initial "miracle" involves one British destroyer's race to the scene; the second is the story of Lifeboat 12, missed by the destroyer, 46 people jammed for eight days in a craft built for 30. Based on first hand accounts from the child survivors and other passengers.--From publisher description.