Escape's "The Boiling Sea" was adapted from a short story by poet and novelist Vincent McHugh that was published in the July 1953 issue of Argosy: The Complete Man's Magazine. Aside from adding some well-placed dialogue, Escape presented McHugh's straightforward story without changes.
The episode opens in the South Pacific in the spring of 1945. The first mate of the cargo ship Hopi Victory explains that they went to the Maluku Islands in Indonesia to pick up a detachment of rangers, and now, they have set a course for the Phillipines.
On the first night, they pause to admire one of the area's active volcanoes...but hope that they don't see anymore.
In the early morning hours, as they travel along the Maluku Passage, they notice a smell of sulphur. Then, the first mate gets a call from the engine room informing him that the temperature of the intake water is going up. So, the captain is called up to the deck. They look at the charts, but the only indication of trouble was made by a whaling ship in 1871. With no other information to go by, they make a decision to change their course.
As dawn breaks, they see a ridge rise up all around them, and they realize that they are trapped inside an emerging volcano...
"The Boiling Sea" was adapted for radio by John Dunkel. David Friedkin and Morton Fine produced/directed. Featured in the cast were Ted de Corsia, Herb Butterfield, Harry Bartell, Herb Ellis, and Tony Barrett. Also appearing were Jack Moyles, Clayton Post, and Jim Hayward. This episode aired on September 4, 1954.
(Illustration by Walter Richards from"The Boiling Sea." Argosy, July 1953)