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A wartime US Navy training film, narrated by Mike Wallace, that demonstrates techniques for emergency escape from burning and sinking ships. Various drown-proofing and survival-at-sea techniques are presented, from using cargo nets to MK6 life rafts, and brief footage of actual sinking carriers, transports and other ships is featured. A “restricted film to be shown to authorized personnel only,” this black-and-white United States Navy Training Film, produced under the supervision of the Bureau of Aeronautics by Wilding Picture Productions, Inc. during World War II, is titled “Abandon Ship.” The picture opens with a battle at sea, as battleships and aircraft carriers take aim at enemy aircraft overhead. At mark 01:05, a bugler sounds an alert and alarm blares in the background as the narrator explains: “Least known but the most dreaded command in the signal language of the sea is abandon ship. Within a few minutes, all the science and skill of modern sea warfare are reduced to the simple fundamental of survival.” Seamen are shown escaping a quickly sinking vessel as they make their way toward life rafts and the narrator continues how no number of drills can fully prepare you for such action. Even so, such drills can save a life. At mark 02:00, the film begins its discussion on the proper methods of abandoning ship, “learned the hard way by survivors of proud ships of war and dirty tramp steamers,” and from reports on preventative measures including proper maintenance of a vessel, how to swim through burning oil, and how to avoid sharks. “More than 85 percent of the crews of ships lost in this war to date have survived and returned to action against the enemy,” it is said at mark 02:53. As a Navy lieutenant is shown reviewing such reports, the title card “Digest of Survivor’s Testimony. Subject: Advance Preparation,” appears at mark 03:08, and the viewer is told that “the time to get ready to abandon ship is — yesterday.” Sailors are reminded to wear their lifejackets at all times when in a combat zone. Preparing the essentials ahead of time is also important, as crew members are shown putting together a kit including a knife, whistle, flashlight, and fishing gear. “Never mind your camera or guitar. Stick to the things that may save your life.” Laying out clothing before heading to your bunk is also advised, in case you are forced to dress in total darkness following an attack, as a sailor demonstrates at mark 05:25. Having more than one route topside is also a necessity, the narrator explains, as sailors are shown practicing a drill. “Practice by closing your eyes and finding your way by touch,” it’s recommended at mark 06:23. Sailors are advised to regularly practice evacuation drills, and to remember to remember that many ships knocked out of action have stayed afloat for several hours, despite the damage. “Stick with the ship until ordered overside. Follow orders Keep calm,” the narrator explains at mark 09:25, adding that the USS Yorktown (CV-5) stayed afloat for more than a day after being struck by torpedoes at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. “Methods of Leaving Ship” are explored starting at mark 09:52, and include the reminder to use a cargo net or Jacob’s ladder when abandoning a vessel, as sailors demonstrate. Others will have to use an escape line, making sure to clear the way when entering the water. “Never dive overboard, because of the danger of hitting something in the water and breaking your neck,” it is said at mark 11:11. Mark 12:09 introduces the viewer to ways to escape through oil, even burning oil, with the viewer being told that panic can be just as dangerous, if not more so. Mark 16:47 begins a discussion of emergency flotation tactics, and again the importance of being prepared. “As the Lexington was sinking, the ship’s company had time even to raid the ice cream stores,” it is said at mark 20:00. The USS Lexington (CV-2) was sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 1942. At mark 26:48, the conversation switches to “Defense Against Marine Life,” and as sharks are shown patrolling the waters, the narrator suggests an underwater explosion will kill any sharks nearby and scare away others. While not every shark is a man-eater, they, along with barracuda and the Portuguese man o’ war, still pose a danger. And if spotted by an enemy plane while in the water, it is advised at mark 29:09 to throw off a lifejacket and hide under debris or beneath the water. “And pray you won’t be seen.”