“Death at all times is solemn, but never so much so at sea. A man dies on shore: his body remains with friends, and ‘the mourners go about the streets’; ‘but when a man falls overboard at sea and is lost, there is a suddenness to the event, and a difficulty in realising it, which give it an air of awful mystery. A man dies on shore-you follow his body to the grave, and a stone marks the spot. You are often prepared for the event. There is always something which helps you remember when it happens, and to recall it when it has passed. A man is shot down by your side in battle, and the mangled body remains an object, and a real evidence; but at sea, the man near you-at your side-you hear his voice, and in an instant he is gone, and nothing but a vacancy shows his loss.”
R.H. Dana JR “Two Years Before the Mast” 1909.