Advertisement - Click to support our sponsors.

Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, June 10, 2000

R A I N B O W _ S P O R T S

UH logo

Marooned: Jones,
UH staffers stranded
on carrier

The Rainbow football coach
was among four from the athletic
department to spend night at sea

By Pat Bigold


Somewhere out in the Pacific, west of the Big Island and south of Maui, four members of the University of Hawaii athletic department were marooned Thursday night.

But head football coach June Jones, assistants Rich Miano and George Lumpkin, and associate athletic director Jim Donovan, managed to get home yesterday morning after a night none of them will forget.

The UH group had been visiting the USS Abraham Lincoln, which is involved in RimPac exercises, as guests of the U.S. Navy.

They were wowed by the 18-story vessel, the length of nearly 11 football fields with a 4 1/2-acre deck and 95,000-ton displacement.

They felt vertigo in their saltwater-activated life vests as they looked down at the churning ocean from the 85-foot-high deck.

It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

But they expected to spend only a few hours on the Lincoln, not spend the night.

The C-2 Greyhound, a twin-engine turbo prop that ferried them to the carrier, developed a mechanical problem, and there was no way home.

Luckily, there were only 5,300 aboard -- about 700 short of a full complement -- so there was still plenty of room.

"We slept in officers' country, forward of the ship, but we didn't get down to go to sleep until after 10 p.m," said Donovan, who missed a flight to the mainland.

"Our guide told us there was no sense.''

That's because night landings of F-14 and F-18 strike and fighter jets, and S3 Viking anti-sub warfare aircraft could wake the dead.

Between 9 and 10 p.m., the UH group got to stand 40 feet above the flight deck and witness an awesome sight.

"We watched about eight planes come in and that's something unbelievable because you can't see them until they are about 40 yards away from the back of the carrier," Donovan said.

"They come down and hit a totally black deck. They hit their afterburners in case they miss the wire and the flames come out about 75 yards from the back of the aircraft."

When Donovan and the coaches finally went below, they found out why no one averages more than four or five hours sleep on exercises.

"We were two decks below the catapults, and the catapults make an awful lot of noise," he said.

"We found out at 5 a.m. when they started warming them up. It was like a freight train coming through your room at about 300 mph."

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2000 Honolulu Star-Bulletin