Friday, November 13, 2009

Enterprise Completes Man Overboard Drill

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Tracey Whitley, USS Enterprise Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Crew members aboard USS Enterprise (CVN 65) successfully completed their first man overboard drill in almost two years Nov. 4 in preparation to return to the fleet.

The drill was conducted to ensure each and every Sailor on board could be accurately accounted for in a timely manner in case of a mishap during an emergency situation.

Once the man overboard drill commenced, Sailors safely proceeded to their assigned muster destinations. The crew was fully accounted for approximately 26 minutes later.

"For a ship that hasn't had a man overboard drill in almost 18 months, I am impressed with the sense of urgency I see among Big E Sailors," said Capt. Ryan Scholl, Enterprise's executive officer. "However, I do expect to see improvement as we move forward and do more of these drills because I know this ship is capable of doing this evolution in ten minutes or less."

With many new Sailors aboard Enterprise who have never been out to sea, practicing accurate man overboard drills are vital to the mission readiness of the ship. Training these Sailors now on what to do will ensure that they know how to react when faced with a real emergency.

"When we are at sea accidents can happen, and if somebody falls over the side of the ship we need to find out who it is and start recovery procedures immediately," said Scholl. "We will use our search and rescue swimmers, helos or RHIB (ridged hull inflatable boat) boats depending on the situation."

Enterprise will continue practicing man overboard drills in an effort to prepare for its upcoming deployment.

Enterprise is currently undergoing a maintenance period in the Northrop Grumman Newport News Shipyard and training to maintain proficiency in preparation to return to the fleet.