Dead body shows up in the middle of the night
"A friend of mine (known as 'Damo') was an avid fisherman and he and his dad used to go out sea fishing whenever they could. A few years ago he told me this story and it creeped the hell of me so this seems like an appropriate place to tell it!
Damo and his dad were on the 2nd night of a trip deep sea fishing and they decided to get some sleep in the early evening so they could go for whatever fish they were after at around 1 am (the best time to get this fish apparently). Anyway they only had a small-ish boat but the weather was extremely pleasant and the sea was calm to the point of stillness so they figured it would be a great nights fishing for them.
Around 12:30 am they started to set their gear up and, as they were on the starboard side getting bait ready, they heard a loud splash on the port side.
As there was almost no swell they figured it was either a large fish or some gear had somehow fallen in so they went over to have a look.
Floating face up in the water only a few feet from the side of the boat was a young woman (they reckoned she couldn't have been more than about 30 at the most). She showed absolutely no signs of decomposition/bloating and there was nothing tangled in her hair (all of which would normally suggest she had been in the water for some time). She was wearing a simple white skirt and a blue coloured strappy top, both of which were 'clean' and apparently looked barely wet (again, all indicating she had only just gone in the water).
She showed no signs of 'damage' like having been beaten or attacked and her eyes and mouth were shut. Damo said she looked totally peaceful and like she was simply asleep and just floating on her back in the water.
They were both totally freaked out by the whole thing but reacting more to the need to make sure she was ok (instead of just standing there trying to work out where she came from) they tried to wake her up (shouting to her etc) and they threw a line to her hoping they may catch her enough to pull he back in.
She showed no signs of movement and the splashing around they were making with the rope served only to let her body drift further away from the boat. When she was a few meters away, Damo ran off to grab a fishing rod, hoping they could pull her in that way and his dad ran to the cabin to try and call a coastguard for help.
When Damo got back to the side, she had vanished.
He frantically searched around and splashed into the water with the rod (thinking she had bobbed under water or even drifted under the boat somehow) but the body had vanished.
Eventually his dad, figuring they couldn't just leave a potential dead/unconscious body floating in the water, jumped in and swam over to where she had last been, hoping he may find her under the surface but they couldn't find anything.
They did eventually drive the boat around in a good half km circle but they never saw the body again. The coast guard did come out (and obviously Damo and his dad were kind of interrogated to make sure they hadn't murdered/dumped the body) but nothing came of it all.
The freakiest thing about it all was that the boat was thoroughly checked before they had set out fishing the day before so they could say with certainty that there had been no woman on board when they set off (either a dead body or a stowaway/homeless woman). The apparently 'fresh' state of the body kind of removed the possibility that she had been in the water a while and that they just found the body and they were far enough out from land (and nowhere near any other boats) that her appearance there was just totally unexplainable, as was the way the body just disappeared.
Damo and his dad hadn't been gone more than 20 seconds from the side of the boat but in that time the body just vanished.
They were both really shaken by the whole thing and were most terrified by the fact that her appearance was preceded by the heavy splash in the water, to them suggesting the body had only just entered the water from their own boat."
Man left for dead in the middle of the ocean
"During WWII, my Dad, a wireless operator on a minesweeper, passed by a German pilot, waving frantically from his still floating aircraft in the North Atlantic. They were under strict orders not to stop because of the danger of submarines. So they left the poor guy to certain death.
My dad died a couple of years ago, but this incident haunted him throughout his life. He wept about it even in his last few hours."
Entire crew of downed ship is doomed
"One of my uncles was on a sub in the south pacific during WWII. After they'd sink a ship they'd surface. The crew of the enemy ship would swim to their sub and clung to it as it submerged. Many sleepless nights filled with nightmares of men pounding, scratching and screaming as they slowly drowned."
Sailor comes across errant suicide in the middle of the ocean
"I came across a man who'd hung himself on his boat five or six miles off shore about four or five years ago.
The eery and truly creepy part was realizing what it was. We just saw a boat out in the middle of ocean's nowhere without anything other than blue horizon in sight, at the break of dawn, and there was fairly thick fog, as it had rained the night before.
Realizing that the figure hanging from the boom was a man was one of the most haunting things I'll ever see."