Roman Emperor Vespasian appointed Pliny praefect of the Roman fleet at Misenum. When the volcano that is Mt. Vesuvius erupted on August 24, A.D. 79, Pliny was there, at the Bay of Naples, observing the phenomena and trying to rescue others. He and his galleys crossed the bay to Stabiae where he perished. The Younger Pliny describes his uncle's final hours and death in his letters [Pliny the Elder and the Volcanic Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius].