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Focus on Service

Heart, Ambition, Guts

AWR3 Samantha Jelonnek

A Sailor's worst nightmare, falling off a ship into the deep blue depths below.

You watch, helpless, as the ship disappears over the horizon and you tread water hoping and praying one of your shipmates saw you fall.

Suddenly in the distance an amazing sound - the whirl of helicopter - it hovers over you and like an angel from above a search and rescue (SAR) swimmer jumps with perfect precision. Swimming long strokes towards you and placing you in a rescue sling, you soon have your feet firmly back on the deck of your ship once more.

Who was that Sailor who saved your life? What possesses a person to jump out of a perfectly good aircraft to save someone they may not even know?

SAR swimmers possess more than physical and mental prowess, they are an invaluable asset to all naval vessels. They are highly trained and highly qualified and maybe most importantly all are willing to give personal sacrifice "so others may live."

This is just a glimpse of every day life for one rescue swimmer aboard USS George H.W. Bush.