A USCG pilot and his winchman Haig (Doug McClure) answer an SOS call at sea and arrive at a derelict schooner called the Requoit. Haig lowers himself to the ship, where he finds three dead bodies along with one survivor, Eva (Kim Novak), cowering in the cabin. As the pilot attempts to retrieve Haig and Eva with a rescue basket, the line breaks, plunging the two into the ocean. After they swim back to the boat, the pilot informs Haig that he must return to base because his fuel is borderline. Eva and Haig spend the night on the boat, during which time she recounts the story of the storm that killed everyone else aboard. One man was hurled through a hatch; one is hanging from the ship's mast; another vanished before her eyes; and a fourth man is in an aft compartment, floating in the air. Eva attributes the deaths to supernatural causes, but Haig has a practical explanation for everything, including the man who appears to be floating in the air. In the morning, the pilot returns along with a USCG cutter. This time Haig and Eva are successfully raised to the helicopter in the rescue basket, while Coast Guard personnel from the cutter investigate the wrecked schooner. The story takes a bizarre turn when the USCG cutter personnel call Haig to tell him that what they found on the ship was not what Haig reported.