USS Saratoga CV60 “Death at Sea”

USS_Saratoga_(CV-60)_underway_1985

This is a true story that happened to me when I was in the Navy.

An announcement pierces across the 1MC Ships loudspeaker, “Man Overboard! Man Overboard!” It’s 11:30PM, December 22nd, 1990. I am in the Red Sea “Toto Station” onboard the USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier. The ship just anchored for port call in Haifa Israel several hours earlier. I stayed aboard as my buddies went ashore that night. I was tired from the rigorous flight operations from the previous nights. So as they went ashore, I stayed behind and hit the rack for some shut eye. At approximately 11:30PM, I am awakened by the announcement screaming out, “Man Overboard! Man Overboard!” “All crew and officers muster in the hanger for roll call!”I get dressed and report for roll call. After roll call, I can hear jets flying overhead and helicopters. It’s December and the night air is frigidly chilly. I can feel it in my bones! I gather my foul weather jacket and dash rapidly to the flight deck to get a better view of the events. Continue reading