Baggin' the Bullnose
by Joe Steffler, USS Daniel Webster SSBN-626
The following story took place just a few day after this one.

It was 2100 in Holy Loch and we had just been given notice we had to get underway that night, I think it was two days ahead of an already short schedule. Needless to say everyone is scrambling. Myself and two guys from deck are doing what we can in advance of taking down lifelines etc. With everyone scrambling like they were you know how busy the DO was, so I made the fateful decision to go outside the lifelines to stow the fwd big deal, right? Well not normally. In this instance, well here ya go...

This tall skinny guy, I can't recall his name, goes fwd, none of us has a harness or safety line on. He hops over the fwd line, and sets the bullnose cover up against the WLR-9 Dome, on the OUTBOARD side. I no sooner start to holler at him when the damn thing falls over and begins it's death slide towards the Loch. Funny how all this goes in slow motion, and I can see this clear as if it happened yesterday. Well, the doofus that set it down makes a leaping dive for it. He catches it right before it hits the water! Were saved....ummm no. 

Remember this guys is skinny as a freakin toothpick, probably weighs about twice what the bullnose cover does. Which it just so happens is not enough to prevent them both from sliding into the loch. Well at this point things are running through my pea brain very rapidly...we lose bull nose guy goes for a swim...we didn't have permission to be outside life lines...we had ignored EVERY safety precaution there is...I'm gonna be on bread and water. Well having a strong desire to prevent this from happening I am already moving. in front of me is the number 2 guy, who makes a leaping dive and grabs the ankles of the 1st guy. They stop. Great, we're safe....ummmm no. Seems the first guy realizes the importance of the bullnose cover. He still has it, at least I think he does because the second guy can't pull him out of the loch (he's now up to his waist, head first). So I grab the second guy and manage to pull them both back up. Yes he held onto it, thank God. Just as we all 3 get back inside the lifelines, the 1st Lt. and DO come fwd making a round. They look...they stare...they stare a little more. You have to remember here's a guy soaking wet from head to waist. He's dry from the waist down. After a few uncomfortable seconds, the look at each other start to laugh, both mumbling how they "Don't wanna know".

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