Man Overboard

Something I still have nightmares about is a scenario, which thankfully never occurred, of coming on deck during a full gale with enormous following seas a thousand miles from land and other boats (conditions similar to what you see in this photo) and finding that a crew member is gone, not knowing when or where he or she went over. I have only two options. One is to come about into the big waves and try to retrace our course for the distance covered since the last time the crewmember was known to be aboard. There is an almost negligible chance we will find anything and a very high change that the boat will suffer damage from beating into the enormous waves or that other crew will be lost in the process. My other choice, knowing all those things, is just to say a quiet goodbye and keep going, the course of action most likely to preserve the boat and remaining crew. I never even want to think about having to make that choice.

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