No. of Recommendations: 4
Even our own Navy has been guilty of this kind of thinking. I was involved in an incident at sea that involved the loss of a helicopter, and some of the personnel on board. I was prevented from moving in to assist from my planeguard position (I had reported the accident to the LHA - even before the air boss or flight deck had gotten word to their own bridge). They indicated that their own helo would perform the rescue, and we were to stand off. Unfortunately, the helo wasn't properly prepared, resulting in delays. They did get two out of the water, as the weather started turning bad, and we were allowed to go in once it got too rough for the helo. We were unable to find anyone else by that point, although all indications from our lookouts were that at least three persons were seen floating at one time.

My testimony as OOD on the planeguard ship stood out in contradiction to the 'official' line that there were only two people out of the aircraft in the water, and I felt some pressure from my CO prior to my testimony not to press the idea of more than two being visible, nor that more than two might have been saved had we been allowed to go in right away.

Kaigun Chusa
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