Search and rescue


The destroyer Mitscher steaming with the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, discovered sailor who had fallen overboard Wednesday. Strike group assets located and recovered the sailor a few hours later. // MC2 Lenny Francioni

These stories don’t always end well.

Falling overboard is every sailor’s nightmare. The idea of being lost at sea, swimming for hours and wondering if anyone has noticed you are missing is terrifying.

Yesterday afternoon news broke that a sailor from the destroyer Mitscher had fallen overboard and a major search was underway. But this one had a good ending. Colleague Bill McMichael reports:

A Norfolk-based sailor feared lost at sea was rescued late Wednesday afternoon by sea and air personnel from the George H.W. Bush Strike Group following a search effort lasting more than five hours, U.S. Second Fleet announced.

The sailor, who was not identified pending notification of family and a full investigation, was pulled from the water off Cape Hatteras, N.C., about 5:40 p.m. Eastern time. He was undergoing a full medical examination aboard the carrier Bush on Wednesday night after surviving more than five hours in the water.

The sailor had been missing since a crew muster aboard the destroyer Mitscher at 12:15 p.m. After an onboard search and complete personnel roll call, the sailor couldn’t be accounted for and was assumed to have gone overboard.


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  1. Debra Morrison on

    As the sister of a former sailor, and as a person, I am so relieved and proud. I also love the fact that it is the George Bush that saved him. I wish President Bush could save US now!! 🙂

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