Personal testimony submitted August 2009
I looked again at my notes on that sad night of 9 April 1968, when Lt HJ Williams (P) and Lt C Swann (O) were lost during a practice 'Gloworm' sortie in XS 579 of 899 Sqdn, on RFA RETAINER's splash target in the Java Sea.
I was 'Scrambled' as an SAR Diver at 2130 that night, aboard the first available Anti/Submarine Wessex Mk1 Helicopter of 820 Sqdn to transit to the ditching area, to do whatever I could, (there being no night role for SAR Divers at that time). The seaboat was already there and they had recovered whatever there was still on the surface. I was winched down into it (no mean feat by the helo crew at night) and returned to EAGLE aboard it."
RN SAR divers were a brave breed of men. They were trained to jump out of a helicoptor in the hover to assist the rescue of downed airmen following any catapult launch or deck landing mishap.