On this day in 1987 24 February – The USS Scamp (SSN 588) while in a Nor’easter answers a distress call regarding the Philippine Freighter ‘MV Balsa 24”. The storm was so fierce it tore two 300 pound hatches from the sail and greatly hampered rescue efforts as the Balsa 24 sank. At one point the safety of the boat was threatened as sea water washed in board and threatened to flood the battery well; reacting quickly, the crew covered the battery well hatch with mattresses, averting a potential disaster. Only one crew member of the Balsa 24 was saved, 27 year old Almer Rances. Prior to putting him ashore Mr. Rances was made an honorary submariner. Mr. Rances expressed his appreciation by attending Scamp reunions.
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