When the crew of a 400-ton fishing boat had a medical emergency—in typhoon-tossed waters south of Japan—Air Rescue Squadron 71 of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force was ready for action.
A mountain of water comes directly at us, rising and approaching rapidly. The wave is at least five or six meters high; it is like hitting a wall. Without warning, the plane is lifted up, and pitching is more than ten degrees. Then, the sea ahead of us disappears as the plane dives downward. The pitch angle drops to minus ten degrees, and water covers the cockpit.