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 bullnose...no big deal, right? Well not
normally. In this instance, well here ya go...
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 cover...my 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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