I want to tell you a story

Discussion in 'Emerson Knives' started by Ernest Emerson, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Ernest Emerson

    Ernest Emerson

    Apr 5, 1999
    On December 17, 1999 there was a joint Naval and Marine Corps training exercise undertaken off the coast of San Diego.

    The goal of the exercise was to practice interdiction and boarding of an oil tanker under hostile conditions on the high seas. The helo, a CH-46 Sea Knight approached the tanker to allow the Marines to fast rope onto the deck.

    Hovering just above the deck the pilot needed more elevation for the Marines to deploy. As he raised the helo the rear landing gear caught in a safety line that circles the tanker. As a result the nose of the helo was propelled up skyward and over, crashing onto its back in the ocean.

    As a result of the crash, 6 Marines and 1 Navy Corpsman were killed as the helo rapidly sank. 11 Marines survived.

    Although the accident was attributed to human error, the deaths were another matter. Although SBU units and other emergency personnel were on scene in seconds, the difficulty of extricating the trapped Marines was close to impossible. There was an incredible effort by the SBU units that tried to get them free. In the after action report their deaths were largely attributed to equipment failure, existing gear and safety features inadequate for this type of accident and approximately 200 other factors as determined by the subsequent investigations.

    One of the most notable items in the report was the catastrophic failure of the "Rescue" knives that were issued to the SBU units. Under those chaotic conditions and the stress of that environment the knives literally broke apart in their hands as they valiantly tried to cut the trapped Marines loose from their rigging.

    Those knives, from a company I shall not name, were deemed a contributing factor in the deaths of these Marines.

    Approximately 60 days later I was contacted to build a rescue knife capable of performing and conforming to the navy's requirements for use under extreme hard-use emergency conditions.

    Twenty-four hours after our first contact regarding the knife, I hand delivered prototypes for the Emerson SARK to NSWG in Coronado. They were subsequently tested, accepted, and issued.

    Now, here's where I'm going with all of this history. The knives that the Navy was previously issued are from a very famous company, often used as the standard to which Emerson Knives are compared to. Often in terms of reliability. Often in terms of better steels. Often in terms of better designs. Often in terms of price, "They're a better value for the money." And yes, very often in terms of fit and finish.

    Our knives are what they are. I never built them or said I was building them for collectors. And I am not going to build them for collectors or light duty users. If you want one, pick it up, look it over and use a magnifying glass if you want. If it doesn't meet your specs or live up to the specs of another company - don't buy it. Perhaps the other company has improved there "hard-use" capabilities since that tragedy occurred.

    Now, before anyone goes off thinking I have any kind of beef with any other knife company - I do not. We sell every knife we make. The reason for this post is to put in perspective for those who don't know or refuse to know what Emerson Knives are and why I build them the way I do.

    Oh, by the way, the SARK knives are chisel ground on the wrong side and made of Crucible 154 Steel.

    Our knives are not for everyone, but rest assured, they will not self-destruct in an emergency where lives are on the line. Tell me, where is the better value in that?

    My Best Regards,

    Ernest R. Emerson
  2. cevtv


    Feb 6, 2009
    This is why I buy Emerson knives. They are knives that I can trust my life to.
  3. Wolfjohn


    May 16, 2002
    It doesn't get any plainer than that. Good post and good point.:thumbup:
  4. Allex


    Jun 29, 2007
    What a story ... That's another reason to carry an Emerson. I just can't wait my new Super CQC 8 :)
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  5. Lycosa


    Aug 24, 2007
    That goes to the bank.
  6. Gr80Cakes


    Jun 6, 2010
    Can someone PM or email me the other company in question in this failure? I am very intrigued by this story and may become an Emerson convert.
  7. EricV

    EricV Basic Member Basic Member

    Nov 19, 2008
  8. proguide


    Mar 26, 2004
    ......And this is why I carry a Lagriffe strapped to my vest every day while on duty.
  9. gadget guy

    gadget guy

    Apr 25, 2006
    Well said Mr. Emerson, well said... :thumbup:
  10. glockednlocked


    Mar 11, 2010
    pretty is as pretty does. I trust my not too pretty self to Emerson.
  11. JohnnyMayhem


    Aug 6, 2006
    The SARK is great! I have one and I'm planning on using it when I go in for EMT training.
  12. trimcut123

    trimcut123 Banned BANNED

    Feb 15, 2007
    I respect you and your company.
    It is an issue that should be addressed. I would never give my customers product with so many QC issues , at that price point.
    However, I do trust your locking system 100%.
    Some good some bad.. That said, I have owned a few of your knives.
    Matt B.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  13. cevtv


    Feb 6, 2009
    So, you are calling the man an outright liar??
  14. tradertator


    Dec 2, 2009
    :thumbup: As a first responder, I trust your knives with my life on a daily basis. I own several of your products, and have yet to encounter a qc problem or failure. Keep up the good work, and you've got a customer for life.
  15. Wolfjohn


    May 16, 2002
    Ummm..Ok...That was quite possibly the most fickle post I've read on here in quite awhile.:confused:
  16. trimcut123

    trimcut123 Banned BANNED

    Feb 15, 2007
    Dont put words in my mouth.

    I would never call the man a liar.. He has done more honorable things in his life than most people I know..
    I said nothing bad.
    A good story does not make me feel better about the QC issues..
    Thats all lol..
    No heated debate here.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  17. cevtv


    Feb 6, 2009

    Your the one who said "Not buying it..."
    Sure sounds like you are saying you don't believe him......
  18. trimcut123

    trimcut123 Banned BANNED

    Feb 15, 2007
    Stop what you are doing.
    Read the 4th line in my last post.
    That is what I was talking about. Because of many threads about quality lately.
    I corrected what I first said.
    Dont be a child.
  19. Ernest Emerson

    Ernest Emerson

    Apr 5, 1999
    Dear Trimcut,

    No offense taken.

  20. trimcut123

    trimcut123 Banned BANNED

    Feb 15, 2007
    Thank you,

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