I'll be the first one to admit that Aircraft Carriers are notoriously screwed up. Small boys turn and run at the sight of them unless they are forced to remain in their presence as plane guards or escorts--they run not because they fear the might and power of said CV or CVN, but because they fear their unpredictability.

A cruiser or destroyer is manned by professional surface warriors. Commanded by mariners, these professionals spent the last twenty years on ships at sea. The actual watchstanders get lots of hands-on training from these CO's (not all of it pleasant), and are thoroughly tested before allowed to have the 'deck'.

Carriers are commanded by Naval Aviators. They are intelligent, good leaders, and know things about relative motion. But they are not mariners, and for most, this is their third tour as a member of the ship's crew. They and a few token Surface Warfare Officers (most of whom would be in charge of a small boy if they were any good) train supply officers, medical officers, and folks who flunked out of Flight School to drive the Aircraft Carrier.

In short, Aircraft Carrier watch teams don't know shit compared to their Cruiser/Destroyer counterparts.

So although I think this particular incident is probably more legend than fact, I wouldn't be surprised by anything these guys did.

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