The mission that we came out here to do was
to support NASA. They launched a rocket on the east coast, it went up into outer space
and orbited for about four hours and then it splashed down out here off the west coast
of the United States and we were here to recover it.
Early in the morning we released our ship’s RHIB and about two hours later we launched
the all rubber rafts that her four divers apiece. We made our way over to the crew module,
which is where the astronauts would be and the first step was to make sure that it was
safe for us to be able to approach. We used a gas analysis sampler, and after it was safe
from that we send in a camera man to jump in the water and get footage. Next step was
to install the house collar. The horse collar went on well. Some modifications had to made
in the water, but once it was modified and cinched up it was good to go and that’s
when the ship came up alongside and gave us the tow line.
The divers come in from the port side and the starboard side to attach the wind law
lines, and after that is set the ship takes control of it and the divers back away and
it goes into the well deck. Once it’s in the well deck it is controlled by ship’s
personnel. There you have it.
Being part of this recovery, and creating history feels, it’s hard to describe, the
closest I can come to describing it is Christmas morning, knowing that you’re going to get
to open your presents, but you gotta wait to hope your presents. We got our present
when we got that capsule onboard and accomplished our mission without anyone getting hurt, it’s
one of the greatest feelings and I’m proud to be part of this.