YouTube / Not What You Think
Swim calls serve as a great morale boost for sailors during their extended stay at sea. Furthermore, it was seen as a rite of passage for sailors.
During the 1940s, sailors were allowed to jump from anywhere – some would even climb the anchor chain and dive down! But today, the Navy is much more risk-averse than it was in the past. After all, falling on water incorrectly can be as bad as falling on concrete.
Today, sailors jump off a lowered elevator from the hangar bay that is about 30 feet. Still, the safest way to enjoy swim calls is through a ship’s well deck. A well deck filled with water is basically an impromptu Olympic-sized swimming pool for the crew.
However, in recent years, the Navy has implemented strict policies that prohibit sailors from engaging in this activity due to safety concerns. What a bummer.