The water level in the engine room was the same as outside, all engines were dead, no fresh water, with very little cooking. Combined with the exhaustive and lengthy working conditions in the filthy water, the lack of hot water, and heat, crewmember sanitation needs were severely ‘lacking.’
With the engine spaces flooded, some stability returned to the Jarvis as the compartmentation allowed for the ship to stay afloat so far as other compartments not compromised. The sonar compartment that had flooded was not large enough to impact the stability so long as the two sections affected remained intact.
Captain Wooley surveyed the situation: the engine room was flooded resulting in the loss of power, ‘mountainous seas’ and gale force winds pounding the Jarvis, freezing working conditions with several of the crewmen showing signs of sickness, and the ship was floating toward a rocky coastline that would destroy it and probably kill most of the men.
At 7:04 pm, perhaps for the first time in Coast Guard history, an SOS call for help would come from a Coast Guard vessel.