In this article, we will share with you a few videos of U.S. sailors jumping off an aircraft elevator during a swim call aboard the aircraft carrier into the Sea.
US Navy Sailors aboard a massive aircraft carrier get the chance to jump off the huge ship in the middle of the sea during their months-long mission.
This is done under the strict supervision of shark guards and snipers who strategically stand on the deck and watch for sharks.
The flight decks of these vessels can be as high as 60 feet from the ocean surface. There have been instances whereby sharks have crashed these swim calls and disrupted the leisure time of sailors.
Why do sailors risk their lives to jump off the aircraft carrier?
There was an incident in 2020 whereby a 6-foot shark came close to a group of American coastguards having their swim call in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.
An officer, who was tasked with watching out for sharks during the swim call, was able to spot the monster when it was just 30 feet away from his companions.
Sailors aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Kimball had to fire bullets at the sea monster to stop it from approaching their 40 colleagues in the water.
Fortunately, nobody was harmed during the encounter. Swim calls are a huge tradition for US Naval sailors.
At the time of their inception, swim calls were an opportunity for sailors to have a bath, seeing as there was no constant supply of water back then. Now, they are often seen as a break.
The crew members must take a breather from their regular activities and blow off some steam, which is where swim calls come into play!
What happens if a sailor falls overboard on an aircraft carrier?
According to Michael-Sentman, who is a former Intelligence Specialist (1973–1996), a former Weapon System Technician at the United States Navy (1974-1999), and a former Reactor Mechanic at the United States Navy (2002-2007) following are the procedures that follow if a sailor falls overboard on an aircraft carrier:
- On a carrier, there are always 2 sailors standing watch at the stern of the ship port and starboard.
- If the starboard watch sees a man go overboard he will throw a life ring with a flashing beacon attached to it overboard. Then he will notify the bridge “man overboard starboard side.”
- The helmsman will execute a “Williamson Turn” by turning the wheel hard to starboard until the ship is 60 degrees from it’s original course. Then he turns the wheel hard to port, which will put the ship on the opposite course that it was on when the guy fell overboard.
- As they approach the flashing beacon they lower a whaleboat with a rescue team to recover the sailor.
- While all of this is happening, each division is mustering its sailors to identify who is missing. They must do this in about five minutes from the announcement over the 1MC of the man overboard.
- This is something that the crew practices by drills where a dummy called Oscar is thrown overboard and the crew is mustered and Oscar recovered.
- Once, during a man overboard drill, they had narrowed the missing sailors down to one man – we’ll call him Seaman Peckerwood. Three times the XO announces, “Seaman Peckerwood, report to your division!” Then we heard, “Seaman Peckerwood, report to the bridge, with your Walkman!” Peckerwood goes onto the bridge and the XO takes his Walkman out to the bridge wing and throws it overboard. Seaman Peckerwood was found in his bunk asleep with his earphones on.