Having survived (barely, on land) the "No Name Storm" of 1991 on the coast of New England, I assure you this was a true story (I'm mentioning this for the New Zealand poster who said it was adapted from a novel and others who may not realize it really was a *true* story). Obviously, we can't know what was actually said or done once the Andrea Gail lost radio contact (and isn't that true of any movie based on "historical fact" - we can only surmise the actual dialog and conversations that may have taken place). However, the characters were based on the actual crew members and the Coast Guard did have to ditch one helicopter during the storm - from a story I read in People magazine, I'd say the portrayal of the Coast Guard's actions were accurate. I can't say I liked this movie - perhaps remembering the terror of that night (I lived in a seaside town and the ocean had come over the seawall and was filling up streets 3 and 4 blocks in from the beach) makes it difficult for me to watch this movie as entertainment. In answer to one post here, Clooney said that the Boston accent is one of the most difficult and he didn't even want to attempt it - Markie Mark is from Boston so it wasn't a stretch for him. The special effects are phenomenal of course...I just wish it had a different ending. By the way, the statue of the fisherman at the ship wheel shown at the beginning of the movie is an actual Gloucester landmark (and you can see it on Gorton frozen seafood products which come from Gloucester) - the legend on the base of the monument says, "Those that go down to the sea in ships..."