Stories about death and danger on the high seas are still catnip to editors, as evidenced by two sales within the past two weeks by agent Jane Dystel. She sold a book called Courage by Michael Krieger for world rights to the Free Press's Stephen Morrow. It's the story of a huge oil platform that was so battered by Hurricane Roxanne in the Gulf of Mexico last year that its 222 crew members had to be taken off, in the face of gales and towering seas, by three rescue vessels that were in constant danger themselves from the storm. The other sale was of a story about the turn-of-the-last-century whaling industry, and of how a whaling fleet out of New Bedford, Mass., was decimated by fierce weather and poor command at its Arctic fishing grounds; 31 of the ships never came back, and their loss marked the beginning of the end for American whaling. This story, told in The Last Fleet by Marc Songini, was sold, North American rights only, to Tim Bent at St. Martin's Press.