Treble Whammy, Pursers, Medics & Lightning

26th May 2008, 19:50
We have Radio, Deck, Engine & Galley, but I can't help wondering why we don't have Pursers & Medical as well. Both departments were very prominent on passenger ships & I am sure they have as much to say as deck, engine & galley (but maybe not as much as radio!)

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Static discharges etc.
I remember lying at anchor off Monrovia in the early 1960s aboard iron ore carrier SAGAMORE. Stinking hot & pouring with rain plus thunder & lightning. Was chatting to 3/O on anchor watch when we heard "banging & zapping" coming from radio room. Looking in, we found the whole upper section of office was "alive" with long zig-zag sparks leaping from aerial rod joints across to sharp corners of gear. It went on fort ages. Captain was called & told me not to go in under any circumstances. Eventually it stopped. Turned in. Wakened at about 0100 with dreadful detonation, almost like we had been hit by a bomb (although I had never experienced that either before or after). Collided with 2/O in my haste to get to deck below. After a few minutes, we went back up and all appeared normal. Next morning, I found that the auto alarm insulator had been hit by lighthing (assumed so, anyway), the box & insulator had disappeared, only burnt off end of pipe remained. None of the equipment was damaged at all. I wonder what it would have been like if we had been transistorised? Any similar experiences?