Carr: Skipper Wants to See You In His Cabin, Now.

By Michael Carr - “Ensign Carr, the skipper wants to see you in his cabin now, I am here to relieve you of the watch.” I could not speak. “OK,” I finally stuttered. “Shit, what have I done wrong.” No one gets summoned to the Skipper’s cabin during their watch unless there is a real problem. You never want to visit the Skipper’s cabin, ever. “Fuck,” I thought again, what … [Read more...]

Carr: “Chief, We Have a Problem”

By Michael Carr - “Chief, we have a problem” came the message from the Bos’n. We always had problems before getting underway, the “Pre-Sail Checklist” was extensive, taking days to complete, and there were always issues. There was always some piece of equipment that was not working. Nothing was ever 100%. Something was missing, or had expired, medications were missing … [Read more...]

We All Sail with the Spirit of the USS Halloran (DE 305)

By Michael Carr - At 23:00 on June 22nd, 1945, the general alarm bell was sounded onboard the USS Halloran, a 289 ft. United States Evarts class destroyer escort (DE). She was sailing escort duty near the Ie Shima Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, supporting the invasion of Okinawa Island, and had been under constant aerial attack for weeks. When the general quarters … [Read more...]

Carr: Technology Will Not Save You

By Michael Carr - SGT Homer (not his real name), fell overboard and drowned at sea. His death was preventable, it occurred due to a series of human actions and inactions, a mis-management of priorities, and a corporate culture which undervalued people. SGT Homer fell off an 128-foot ocean going tug in the vicinity of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Seas were rough and … [Read more...]

Limitations of Crew and Equipment: Almost Sinking in Ouzinkie Narrows Alaska

Life onboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Citrus (WLB 300), a 180 ft. ocean-going buoy tender was normal on Monday morning, 26 February 1979. Citrus was underway, steaming at 12 knots on the north side of Kodiak Island. Skies were clear and the weather pleasant for a February day. At 1734 their world, however, would change dramatically. By early afternoon Citrus was heading … [Read more...]