Wildwood resident was at sea when storm hit

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Al Brannen with a 1962 photograph of him in his Coast Guard uniform. Al Brannen with a 1962 photograph of him in his Coast Guard uniform.

WILDWOOD — Al Brannen was serving in the U.S. Coast Guard when the March 1962 storm hit.

“I was in the middle of the ocean,” Brannen said. “It was the first time that I had been afraid for my life.”

Brannen said that the seas ranged between 20 to 30 feet high and caused everyone, even the captain of the vessel, to get sick.

“No one escaped sea sickness,” he said. “And with waves that are that high, you can imagine why.”

Brannen said that the crew heard little of what the destruction was like on land.

Brannen has been a resident of Wildwood for over 45 years. He said he decided to settle here after serving in the Coast Guard in 1962.


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