Border Shepherd..how not to kick the engine on air..

Hoppy
8th November 2007, 13:20
Hi, Just joined ..so going through memories...one incident that could have had serious consequences occurred in the late 70's whilst we were at anchor and waiting to sail into Middlesborough... The incident happened during a watch change over ... The bridge rang down standby and the 2/e thought the T/g had been taken out so he 'kicked' the engine over on air ...the J/E was just feet away from it and about to take it out when it happened ... no interlock on this, or if there was it was it was not working; result ....one very shaken J/E and 10 days with 'metaloc' on board piecing together a jigsaw puzzle of bits.

The engine was an incredible H and W opposed piston 6 cyl... ran like a sewing machine. I was sailing as 4/e and was in my bunk when this happened.

Anyone else have info on this.

Hoppy

philipm
3rd April 2008, 16:22
I should put the record straight as I was the 3/E who handed over to the 2/E at 04.00! My J/E had joined about 12 hours before in Grangemouth and had only ever been on steamships if I remember correctly. We were manoeuvring into Middlesbrough anchorage and I was trying to help him get the log in as well. Note for all you 'young' people manoeuvring was handomatic and no control room either.

When we got FWE we were on 15 minutes notice so I decided not to put the turning gear in and told the 2/E it was out and deliberately left the 'flag' off the starting lever. Unfortunately my conscientious j/e had taken it upon himself to put the turning gear in and not tell anybody. This was an achievement in itself as it weighed about two tons and required the person putting it in to go into the bilges and slacken off the four holding down bolts and then wind the gear into contact with the flywheel, ( the whole gear, casing, motor and everything else.)

I told the 2/E that if we were stopped for longer than 30 mins he should put the gear in and turn the engine, before kicking on air. We were sitting in the bar at about 05.30 when we heard the engine kick over and then about two minutes later the phone rang for the C/E who was sitting with us ( not drinking) waiting for the call for standby. The metalock guys showed us where the gear had been repaired at least twice before ( presumably for the same reason). As I remember it after the repairs we could only turn the engine astern on the t/g and when I left the superintendent was scouring breakers throughout Europe for a second hand spare. The 2/E was sacked and I have ended up as an MCA surveyor after further adventures with BP and Jardine Shipping in Hong Kong. Don't know who got the best deal!!
I'm afraid I don't remember you, hoppy but I have many happy memories of the Shepherd, including tightening up slack hull rivets with a windy chisel while standing in a lifeboat to do the outboard side when in port and doing the inboard side from the jetty!!!

I think the 2/E may have had the electrician on watch with him as a junior engineer but I'm not certain.

non descript
3rd April 2008, 17:19
Thanks Philip, a most interesting tale; also a sound reminder of just who is on, or may join, the Site. (Thumb)

ps. a warm welcome to you - enjoy the site and we look forward to more of your postings.

JoK
4th April 2008, 09:39
Just curious, did the TG fail at the previous repairs or elsewhere?

philipm
6th April 2008, 13:57
No, the metalock repairs held and the casting broke in a different place! We didn't know it had been repaired till Metalock technician showed us.

JoK
6th April 2008, 17:04
That is amazing that the metalock was stronger then the original casing.

We had a similar accident on one ship I was on. There was an interlock on the turning gear,but the oiler put his hand on the switch accidentally when he was cranking out the turning gear. The engineer in the Control Room saw the light go out, and rolled the engine. The results were not pretty :(

chris dutfield
25th October 2008, 00:43
Was on with Sydney Charles Kerr-Munslow !! 2/E Any one remember him?

Regards
Chris Dutfield

Hoppy
22nd November 2010, 13:33
Was on with Sydney Charles Kerr-Munslow !! 2/E Any one remember him?

Regards
Chris Dutfield
Hi Chris.. Yes I remember Sydney 2/E !! with the goatee beard .. I think we were sailing at the same time NW europe.. I was J/E . Remember the H & W opposed piston engine!
Regards

Paul

Long gone
26th November 2010, 20:47
Was on with Sydney Charles Kerr-Munslow !! 2/E Any one remember him?

Regards
Chris Dutfield

Yes, I was with him on the take-over crew in 1976(?). The ship had been 'let go' a bit, by the Common Bros staff, perhaps understandbly so.

The two problems that stand out in my mind, after all this time, were the leaking stern gland, and having to rebuild one of the genny engines after the timing chain went. Seven-cylinder naturally-aspirated Allens if I remember rightly.

Chris, I was 1st trip cadet on Br Liberty in 1972, when you were J/E. It seems a long time ago, now, but very recently I came across a photo. of 'Doxfords' in the bar on that ship. We weren't half young!

borderreiver
27th November 2010, 09:13
I was chief officer in time of Common bros on the this ship.The stern gland was badly leaking after many attempts to replace it we got the stage it had to be done. We lifted the stern out using ballast. I went over the side on a bosun chair to check it was clear. ( deck cadet on the crane controls kept going until i was swimming with the sharks.
The old packing would not come out so the chief bully beef turned the engine over on air and the packing rolled out.
This engine was always a big problem the scan age had to cleaned every 3 days.
The bridge front was riveted and did not a angle bar on the foot this caused corrosion with large holes appearing into the bosun cabin so the largest cermet box was fitted. This was painted green the same colour as before .
The superintendent signed the dry dock item off. I believe this was handed over to BP later The 7 months on board was one story after another.