Lightning, thunder, rain, and rough seas are part of the life of a sailor. The savage waves rock the boat in all directions, chairs roll, pens drop, and sailors get seasickness. Indeed, surviving the stormy seas is a natural part of the sailing experience for many young sailors unprepared for the task. Seasickness affects about 9% of men and 38% of women, an affliction which is more commonly known as motion sickness its devastating effects are amplified during rough oceans. Yet, it’s only when sailors brave the stormy waters when they can truly test their mettle against the might of Poseidon.
Depending on the type of ship, the stormy sea can be either a pleasant rocking chair or a nightmarish carnival ride which never ceases its motion. I’ve been fortunate enough to only experience it in a carrier where the motion seems to rock sailors to sleep as the large steel vessel is stable enough to avoid the catastrophic effects it has on other ships. But, there are some extra precautions that must be taken during the rough seas as the hangar bay doors are closed by the Air Department crew and catwalks are secured from regular people.
Nobody, except select personnel, is allowed outside on the flight deck, and even then they must be properly trained before being able to do so. It’s a harsh environment out there as they are facing Mother Nature and still launching aircraft at specific intervals. However, when we consider that these sailors are already exposing themselves to one of the most dangerous working environments on earth, add the instability of bad weather and we have a potential for disaster waiting to happen. But, this is why the Navy has one of the most elite fighting forces in the modern military world, as they can survive almost any situation that heads in their direction.
The Navy is constantly training and updating their safety precautions. Instructions are written in blood is a common colloquialism amongst sailors. As mistakes happen, policies change to avoid the tragedies of the past, moving towards a more effective and efficient Navy. But, how do we account for situations like these, where the enemy is the environment itself? It’s common knowledge that the Navy trains its own group of weathermen. A specific rating titled Aerographer’s Mate which aims to detect weather patterns, and they are present on all ships in the Navy. Thanks to them, we can anticipate anything and prepare the sorties accordingly. Yet, none of this prepares us for every scenario Mother Nature can bring about.
The Navy still does its best to avoid rough waters, and especially during in-port periods where the ships are most at risk. Surviving out in the stormy seas and in the flight deck is dangerous, as I said; sailors have lost their lives out there even when the weather is pleasant. But, it’s part of the sacrifices sailors make and sometimes (especially on a carrier) stormy weather can actually be a soothing experience. However, if you’re on a small vessel, you’ll be wishing it all ends soon as the rocking makes everything even more difficult than what it already is.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.