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We Lost Jock

Dick Kefford, CEA

We lost Jock

Under the flight deck F40 warship
routed Bahamas, cross the Atlantic.
The aft mess was quiet, the gear all secured,
our heaving stomachs stoically endured.
Winds to force thirteen, waves over the mast,
hove-to East Bermuda for three days past.

Jock’s bid was two hearts when all heard the crash,
we rolled back to starboard, another smash.
‘The port dan buoy's come free, I'll have to go.
It was his job as duty P.O..
He threw down his cards and said ‘I'll be back,
it’ll not take long, we’ll soon take up the slack.’

 The trip started well, the ship coming clean,
She shook off the land dirt, started to gleam.
Water got softer, the further from land,
needed less soap to clean dirt from each hand.

We passed the Wolf Rock, the sea turning dark.
The waves grew bigger, the message was stark.
These were not ripples that splash on the beach,

but had raw power that would leave marks on each.

 The wind grew stronger, the sea state higher,
barometer dropped - the reading a liar?
The pitching was bad but rolling was worse,
duties carried out with many a curse.

 A pound of boots on the flight deck above,
the mad rushes timed to push and to shove
the gear back in place, all lashed down and tied.          
A seventh wave snatched Jock over the side.

 The ship could not turn, the danger too great
of rolling, drowning, all hundred and eight.
Jock was deserted in that vast ocean, 

Jack of hearts still showed zero emotion.

 Richard Kefford

In 1968 Petty Officer Jock Lindsay was washed overboard in the Atlantic during a hurricane. Although he was seen swimming, the sea state made it impossible for the ship to change course. A life raft was launched in the hope that he could reach it, but when it was found the next day by US Coastguard Cutter "Chase" it was empty.



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