June 6,1983, the crew of the Spanish merchant ship Alraigo off the coast of Portugal on their way to the Canary islands have the surprise of their lives when this Sea Harrier “landed” on their deck. Its pilot,Sub Lieutenant Ian Watson RN, on a recon mission from the HMS Illustrious carrier had became lost after his Sea Harrier’s navigational systems and radio acted up. Incapable to locate his carrier and desperately short of fuel Watson saw the Alraigo and didn’t think it twice. When the Illustrious was informed by the Alraigo they sent a message requesting the Spanish ship to detour to Portugal -to minimise their shame, maybe?-, but the Alraigo had a schedule to fulfil and they took “all” its cargo to Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
The Sea Harrier was “La Muerte Negra” (Black Death) to the Argentinians during the Falklands/Malvinas War, ….it became “the death from black laughter” here in Spain.
“Any landing that you can walk away from is a good one”.