Near Things

japottinger
31st October 2007, 13:09
I racall on same coasting trip on Masirah in 1958 at Glasgow when 2nd Eng. Larry Cleall-Harding asked a new 4th eng to take off the blow down valve on the non-steaming Scotch boiler.
A little late he came beside me a little white faced, when I asked was was to do he said just by chance he happened to have a dekko as to how the 4th was getting on, lo and behold he had three bolts on a four bolt flange out on the line on one of the steaming boilers!

I was Jun 3rd looking after the fridge cargo and we were struggling to keep the refrig. temp down on a trip on Manipur as one of the compressors had a broken piston rod and there were horrendous ammonia leaks from the other compressors and pipe lines. So much that we were just about out of ammonia (remember ammonia!) The leak were so bad at times we had to wear gas masks to enter the compressor room, I remember the 2nd (Bob Beattie) going in ahead of me to help tighten up some nuts etc. very soon he was gesticulating to me to allow him to get past to the door, I demurred as we were desperate by this time due to shortage of ammonia, and indicated we stay put an get on with it.

It was only when he nearly collapsed that I noticed he had not fitted the filter canister on the end of his mask, thus was breathing full strengh ammonia!

The storage bottles were in a rack in the port alleyway on the main deck at the entrance to the quartermasters cabins.

I was crouching down near the bottom of a bottle opening the outlet valve when the lead supply pipe burst right in my face about 6 ins from the pipe.
I can see now why they use it as smelling salts!

I got a full blast and could not breathe, the pocket Hercules Hector QM from Skye happened to be passing and grapped hold of me and held me over the rail with my face into the wind and after a while I was able to breath properly. Apart from burns on my chest and weeping eye for a few days no real harm, CE said stick a patch over your bad eye and carry on with your watch, and you will be OK for 2000 watch!

Tom Haywood
2nd November 2007, 03:47
I once saw the results of a mechanic who was told to replace an electric heater in a 10 ton ammonia receiver. He removed both the heater and the pocket/sleve in one go. We had to wait for the whole system to blow down. Took almost 6 hours before we could get into the plant room with masks and water hoses.

eldersuk
2nd November 2007, 23:11
One of those split seconds when you realise that what you are doing is wrong, wrong, wrong - but it's too late to stop. I was to test the leakage alarm on the CO2 battery which was housed in the steering flat and figured that an air hose would be just the thing!
Tripped every bottle in the battery - I managed to get out only to watch the poop deck gradually turn into a skating rink.

The embarrasing thing was that I was the Chief!!

Derek

Pat McCardle
2nd November 2007, 23:54
It takes a man to own up to it, Derek, too many 'Sloping shoulders' these days!!

Philthechill
5th November 2007, 07:12
I racall on same coasting trip on Masirah in 1958 at Glasgow when 2nd Eng. Larry Cleall-Harding asked a new 4th eng to take off the blow down valve on the non-steaming Scotch boiler.
A little late he came beside me a little white faced, when I asked was was to do he said just by chance he happened to have a dekko as to how the 4th was getting on, lo and behold he had three bolts on a four bolt flange out on the line on one of the steaming boilers!

I was Jun 3rd looking after the fridge cargo and we were struggling to keep the refrig. temp down on a trip on Manipur as one of the compressors had a broken piston rod and there were horrendous ammonia leaks from the other compressors and pipe lines. So much that we were just about out of ammonia (remember ammonia!) The leak were so bad at times we had to wear gas masks to enter the compressor room, I remember the 2nd (Bob Beattie) going in ahead of me to help tighten up some nuts etc. very soon he was gesticulating to me to allow him to get past to the door, I demurred as we were desperate by this time due to shortage of ammonia, and indicated we stay put an get on with it.

It was only when he nearly collapsed that I noticed he had not fitted the filter canister on the end of his mask, thus was breathing full strengh ammonia!

The storage bottles were in a rack in the port alleyway on the main deck at the entrance to the quartermasters cabins.

I was crouching down near the bottom of a bottle opening the outlet valve when the lead supply pipe burst right in my face about 6 ins from the pipe.
I can see now why they use it as smelling salts!

I got a full blast and could not breathe, the pocket Hercules Hector QM from Skye happened to be passing and grapped hold of me and held me over the rail with my face into the wind and after a while I was able to breath properly. Apart from burns on my chest and weeping eye for a few days no real harm, CE said stick a patch over your bad eye and carry on with your watch, and you will be OK for 2000 watch!
My God! You were one lucky man not to be permanently blinded when you got a blast of liquid NH3 in your eyes!
When I came ashore, and after a couple of years working in Botswana, followed by seven years in a veg. freezing factory I got a job with an Industrial Refrigeration Contractors (UDEC Ltd.) as a Service/Commissioning Engineer.
Even though I'd been many years with NH3 (at sea and at the veg. factory) I still had to go on a C&G Course to get the necessary bits of paper to prove I could "handle" the gas safely.
I always remember, (as part of the "horror" side of ammonia) being shown, in graphic detail, what happens to the human eye when it gets exposed to liquid ammonia!!!!
As NH3 boils at -32C it freezes the liquid content of the eye instantly resulting in blindness (from which there is NO recovery). Apart from the freezing of the eyeball the burns from the extremely strong alkali would result in scar tissue covering the eye too!
Needless to say my, up-to-then, rather cavalier attitude (i.e. NO eye-protection) to opening bottles of gas was instantly modified and I never, ever, opened a bottle again without either goggles or an eye-shield on! In retrospect going on that C&G Course (despite my rather sneering "I'm a long-standing expert in handling NH3! What can they teach ME!") did teach me a very valuable lesson!!
So, yes, you were one very, very fortunate man to have escaped exposure to liquid NH3 with no worse than a weeping eye!!! Salaams Phil ("thechill" Geddit now?) (Hippy)

Philthechill
5th November 2007, 07:34
I once saw the results of a mechanic who was told to replace an electric heater in a 10 ton ammonia receiver. He removed both the heater and the pocket/sleve in one go. We had to wait for the whole system to blow down. Took almost 6 hours before we could get into the plant room with masks and water hoses.
Tom! Your yarn about that mechanic removing the heater-pocket from the 10 ton NH3 receiver reminded me of the time I was working on the 'fridge-plant for a new wind-tunnel at the MIRA test-track at Nuneaton.
The secondary refrigerant was trichloroethylene which was running at -30C and was then pumped round the heat-exchanger in the wind-tunnel to give Arctic driving conditions for any cars being subjected to testing.
The temperature probe in the bottom of the "trich" storage tank was on-the-blink so our electrical-engineer, rather than wait for me to remove it, as I was tied-up with some other teething-problem, decided to replace it himself.
Not realising that the probe was screwed into a pocket he got a spanner and removed the whole assembly. As soon as he took the probe/pocket out of the lagging-covered tank he got a jet of "trich" at -30C pouring out!! Naturally his first reaction was to try stem the flow of fluid with his left hand whilst trying to screw the pocket back into the tank with his right!!! The pain from the -30C "trich" proved too much and he had to evacuate the area rapidly as, not only was he in severe pain from his hands, he was also starting to feel the effects of the rapidly vapourising liquid!
End-result? Severely frost-bitten hands, (which needed hospital treatment immediately), and the loss of 200 gallons of "trich".
Incidentally the blisters on his hands looked exactly the same as you would experience from a burn which, of course, is exactly what they were!!! Salaams, Phil(Hippy)

Nick Jones
5th November 2007, 09:14
The only redeeming factor for ammonia refrigeration was having a place to hide the beer while in Jeddah on the Matra. The locker in the compressor space came in very hand as no Saudi customs officer would set foot in there once he got a whiff of ammonia.
Cheers,
Nick Jones.

Philthechill
5th November 2007, 10:34
The only redeeming factor for ammonia refrigeration was having a place to hide the beer while in Jeddah on the Matra. The locker in the compressor space came in very hand as no Saudi customs officer would set foot in there once he got a whiff of ammonia.
Cheers,
Nick Jones.
Nick! Salaams! You mean all that guff I was told about NH3 being one of the most efficient refrigerants, there is, was a load of old sh-one-t and it was really used to stop nosey Customs blokes in Jeddah from discovering your stash of illegal grog!!?? I'll never believe a thing I'm told, ever again, and always look for an ulterior motive!!!! Burra salaams! Phil(Hippy)