What's the greatest goof you ALMOST made

charles henry
15th June 2008, 17:08
In olden times EQZ (Abadan) would send his long traffic lists like Portishead but with one major difference. People would call him during the list and he would break and pass their traffic before continuing. Others getting impatient and annoyed would start calling him continuously through both the traffic lists and the sending of messages.

EQZ made no attempt at policing or control and the result was sheer bedlam.

During one trip I had got his attention and was copying my traffic (Using a three valve TRF receiver with no selectivity.....) trying to ignore all the QRM from others calling him. I eventually got the message (Which was a long one) giving our orders to proceed with out new cargo to London.

There was general rejoicing that we were heading back to Blighty but there was also an uneasy "narking" in the back of my mind.

Took me two days to get hold of EQZ and get a confirmation, it read - "proceed to EAST LONDON".

I often wondered what would have happened to me if I had not had a preminition and made the effort to get verification

de chas(Pint)

mikeg
15th June 2008, 17:19
Chas,

Your guardian angel looking after you perhaps (A)

My nearest goof - I'd just repaired a TV set that belonged to one of the crew, just unplugged it from the mains when the phone rang. The mains lead had dropped off the bench and got around my leg - as I went to answer the phone I pulled the TV off the bench, I just caught it before it landed on the deck :sweat:

charles henry
15th June 2008, 17:21
[QUOTE=mikeg;224097]Chas,

Your guardian angel looking after you perhaps (A)

You know, looking back on my life I tend to believe that I had one
de chas (Pint)

mikeg
15th June 2008, 17:34
Yes, when you think what could have happened when... flying to ship, in extreme weather, with risk of electrocution, falling off companionway/pilots ladder/mast/down tank, skin cancer, aids...and on and on. Thank you guardian angel (A)

Mimcoman
20th June 2008, 22:40
Don't know about nearly made, but...
On the trawler St Matthew, in 1967, when I did a trip during summer hols from Aberdeen Tech College , I was working on the alternator for the radar, which was in the engine room on a grating over some sort of gearing for the propellor. I dropped a pair of bent-nose pliers into the gearing and still remember waiting in horror for a grinding crunch and no propulsion. Nothing happened.
(I guess it's ok to tell about it now.)

charles henry
20th June 2008, 23:28
Don't know about nearly made, but...
On the trawler St Matthew, in 1967, when I did a trip during summer hols from Aberdeen Tech College , I was working on the alternator for the radar, which was in the engine room on a grating over some sort of gearing for the propellor. I dropped a pair of bent-nose pliers into the gearing and still remember waiting in horror for a grinding crunch and no propulsion. Nothing happened.
(I guess it's ok to tell about it now.)

As the saying goes, "Silence is Golden" de chas(Pint)

tunatownshipwreck
21st June 2008, 00:14
I often wondered what would have happened to me if I had not had a preminition and made the effort to get verification

de chas(Pint)

I picture somebody in the office getting rather excitable.

Norm
23rd June 2008, 04:38
Don't know about nearly made, but...
On the trawler St Matthew, in 1967, when I did a trip during summer hols from Aberdeen Tech College , I was working on the alternator for the radar, which was in the engine room on a grating over some sort of gearing for the propellor. I dropped a pair of bent-nose pliers into the gearing and still remember waiting in horror for a grinding crunch and no propulsion. Nothing happened.
(I guess it's ok to tell about it now.)

Ahhh..it was the insulation on the handles...

R651400
23rd June 2008, 16:49
Working on the radar of "World Peace/ELAF" I accidentally shorted the 110v DC mains on the bridge fusebox. There was a blinding flash in front of my eyes and at the same time half-blinded I couldn't believe my ears as I heard the whine of the ship's turbine come slowly to a halt!
I just couldn't believe what I'd done had caused a main engine failure! Rushing aft I met the Chief Engineer hurrying along the walkway towards me.
Sh**t I thought, this is it! He was looking for me but thankfully to translate the American manual as one of the main switchboard dashpots (relays) which from memory were oil charged or such like had run dry, tripped and brought the main engine to a halt! This is the first time I had ever done anything like this but in a few hours dashpot dismantled, charged with oil and reassembled we were under way.
That night I had the most awful eye pains from the short circuit flash similar to what one can get looking directly at electric welding.

BobClay
24th June 2008, 21:52
For those of you who remember the Walkers Log, a sort of line prop that went through the hull of the ship, usually at the bottom of the engine room, you might have had some experience of replacing it when it got bent. (The mates forgot to retract it when entering port).

I went thru the procedures of letting the old one fall out, and it and it's cable disappeared down the pipe, the spring loaded flap closing solidly behind it. But curious, I put my thumbs on the flap and pushed it down to see if it had cleared. BONG !! .... the North Atlantic gushed up like a bloody Yellowstone geyser. Fortunately when I fell back (drenched), the flap closed and cut the water off.

It would have been very embarrasing to go to the chief and tell him I'd flooded the engine room.

charles henry
24th June 2008, 22:32
It would have been very embarrasing to go to the chief and tell him I'd flooded the engine room.[/QUOTE]

Even worse if you had sunk it, "Thrill of a lifetime" (Now that would be a thread" de chas(Pint)

IanSpiden
31st July 2008, 21:54
similiar one to you Bob, down the forward Pump room of a gas carrier, at sea ,replacing a Doppler Log transducer, I had a Deck Cadet with me giving a hand, we shut the vavle and then he goes ahead taking all the securing bolts out , I said hold it when we got to the last two and just slackened them all of a sudden bang and a LOT of water came out of the gland , needless to say we tightened up rapidly again and I said we are waiting till we dock to do that job !!!

Vital Sparks
13th August 2008, 09:11
Was repairing a failed synthesiser unit in the main transmitter in heavy seas. (urgent message to send and dodgy connectors vibrated loose again). Synth withdrawn from cabinet on filing cabinet type runners) and rotated upwards to expose underside. Big wave hits, grabbed horizontal runner to steady myself, saw synth start to fall, sntached hand away as the guillotine closed round it. It was so close, grabbed hand with the other and waited for the blood to pour through. Was amazed when finally I opened my hand and all my fingers were still there.

mikeg
13th August 2008, 11:44
That was lucky, severed fingers in the cabinet could have caused all sorts of short circuits (Jester)

Seriously though, I agree it could be difficult undertaking repairs on the heavier units out on their runners in heavy seas - especially if you can't lock the unit into the fully out position. I've had a few close calls like that myself & I wonder just how many damaged hand accidents there actually was?

Mike

Ron Stringer
13th August 2008, 12:28
Having lost a 12-foot radar scanner over the wall coming down the Red Sea in ballast we anticipated delivery of a replacement at Ras Tanura. Well it got there but the usual red tape meant that we sailed before it could be cleared from Customs. Another replacement scanner eventually arrived in Rio de Janeiro, our discharging port. A crane on the jetty dropped a large wooden box onto the monkey island for us, otherwise getting it up there from the main deck of a 63,000 ton tanker would have been a major struggle. Of course it didn't come on board until almost sailing time, so it was a mad panic to get it out of the box and manhandled up the radar mast.

I started to fit it and came up against an immediate problem. The flange on the drive gearbox had holes for 6 mounting bolts but there were 8 holes in the flange of the scanner. By now we were under way back to Ras Tanura so I got the scanner back down onto the monkey island and sent a message to MIMCo in Chelmsford asking for guidance. A couple of days later I received a reply saying that to correct a design weakness with the scanner, the number of fixing bolts had been increased to 8 and the fixing bolts had been replaced with 'fitted' bolts which were a tight fit in the holes. (Apparently the original bolts had been subject to slackening off under vibration, which allowed the two mounting surfaces to move in relation to each other. When the motor started, the resulting jerk caused a guillotine action on the bolts, eventually cutting them through.

So I sent another message back asking how I could interface the two mounting flanges (6-hole and 8-hole). The answer came back, "Use the replacement drive unit packed in the box with the scanner."

Panic set in. The consignment had been a long wooden crate about 15x3x3 feet, filled with wood shavings. Once we had taken the scanner out, the Mate had undertaken to get rid of the box prior to sailing and had some of the crew carry it off. I rushed to his cabin to ask what he had done with the box.

"Oh it looked to be a useful size for storing gash items, so I didn't land it ashore, I put it in the store under the centre castle." I could have kissed him.

Down to the store and after rooting through masses of wood shavings, found a plastic-wrapped cardboard box containing the new gearbox and fixing bolts.
An hour or so later we had a working radar again. But it could have been very different.

Always searched boxes from MIMCo very thoroughly after that.

Mimcoman
14th August 2008, 18:59
Good tale, Ron - my heart was in my mouth for you.

I was once replacing a 16" CRT in an AEI radar. In the store room, I picked up the box and the bottom fell open. The tube landed on my foot, which was painful but saved the tube.

ExSoldier
4th January 2009, 21:59
I was aboard the Hapalycus as RO and when in Algiers awaiting discharge of grain cargo I decided to overhaul bits of equipment in the the radio room that I had not got around to so far in the trip. I found an inspection lamp that had many feet of rubber covered insulation. The bulb was marked 24v so was obviously intended to run from the 24v connection of the emergency battery. I plugged it in but the lamp did not light. Checks showed that the bulb itself was ok but before I could carry out further checks I was summoned to the deck to sort out some sort of problem the nature of which eludes me now. On returning to the radio room some time later I was greeted by a terrible smell of burning rubber. I went to pick up the coil of cable from the inspection lamp and the insulation stuck to my fingers. After dancing round the radio room for a few minutes trying to remove molten rubber from my fingers I saw that the coil of cable was now a semi molten mass on the point of bursting into flame.
There must have been a short circuit somewhere in the cable sufficiently far from the battery supply not to blow a fuse but allowing enough current to flow to cause the meltdown.
To this day I thank my lucky stars that I returned to the radio room when I did and so avoided facing a Board of Trade enquiry into how I had caused the loss by fire of a ship in harbour.

R58484956
5th January 2009, 15:28
Greetings ExSoldier and welcome to SN on your first interesting posting. Enjoy the site and a happy new year to you. Bon voyage.

Troppo
19th February 2010, 06:03
similiar one to you Bob, down the forward Pump room of a gas carrier, at sea ,replacing a Doppler Log transducer, I had a Deck Cadet with me giving a hand, we shut the vavle and then he goes ahead taking all the securing bolts out , I said hold it when we got to the last two and just slackened them all of a sudden bang and a LOT of water came out of the gland , needless to say we tightened up rapidly again and I said we are waiting till we dock to do that job !!!

Ha ha!

I had exactly the same experience in Wiltshire, a Bibby Line LPG tanker...the 2/E and I were down the bottom of the Duct keel....water pouring in...visions of 2 bodies....bolts back in!!!

Baulkham Hills
8th April 2010, 08:15
Hi there,

I was on a ship in dry-dock, I had joined it about a week earlier as electrician.
I was totally flat out on an unfamiliar ship, electrically isolating machinery, dealing with technicians and attending meetings.
Anyway all the pcb's from the engine room alarm monitoring system were landed for cleaning repair and adjustment to an instrument workshop ashore. There were about 40 pcb's in all.
In my workshop there were various air conditioning systems which were to be fitted in the engine control room, and workshops. Eventually these were fitted and empty crates and boxes built up in my workshop. I asked the 2/E could he organise a wiper to clear the boxes etc, from my workshop to the deck for disposal ashore.
A few hours later I came across a technician from the instrument workshop, I asked him when the PCB's would be back, he told me they were delivered back yesterday and were in my workshop. I had a sinking feeling when we rushed to my workshop and found the wiper had been clearing the boxes out. No sign of the pcb's on the bench, or anywhere else.
After a few minutes of frantic searching we located them in a cardboard box mixed up with the other boxes on deck ready for disposal ashore.
They were totally intact.

How would you break the news to the C/E if they had not being found ?

"Oh I almost forgot to tell you Chief, we don't have any engine room alarm system anymore, I lost it"

I think it would have been a very short trip for sure.

Cheers

Larry Bennett
8th April 2010, 11:46
After 15 years or so I will clear my conscience and confess....

Whilst stuck on the night shift at GKA in the radiotelex section, I thought it would be pleasant enough to listen to the test match commentary from Australia. To do this I retuned one of the RTT receivers from one of the unused RTT frequencies (may have been 22 MHz) to the BBC frequency so I could continue to work whilst listening to the commentary on headphones. This was fine until 0800 when the day shift came in, and I duly unplugged my headphones, handed over, and went home to catch up on a few hours sleep.

Unfortunately I forgot to reset the receiver to the RTT channel, resulting in zero traffic on that frequency until noticed by the duty overseer.....a few days later! I seem to recall some sort of investigation but the source of the problem could not be found.

I now most humbly apologise to all concerned.

Ron Stringer
8th April 2010, 13:48
Larry,

Don't worry, we all suspected all along that coast station operators did anything but listen on channel. (Jester)

Larry Bennett
9th April 2010, 12:57
I couldn't possibly comment......

Graham P Powell
10th April 2010, 20:54
Larry, You may remember Joe's famous "Silent Night - Holy Night" cartoon with ships operators in various poses drawn round the centre picture which was a sleeping GKA
R/O!. I always found it busy on nights especially if Ernie Croskell was supervisor and Eric Rockett on the search point.
I was fortunate I didn't have many near misses at sea. I do remember sending a very long stores message to Capetown via ZSC. They came back with "did we want 16 casks
of beer". I had misread the old mans hand writing. He had written "cases".
regards Graham Powell

Ron Stringer
10th April 2010, 21:42
Graham,

If it hadn't been queried, you might have been unpopular with the Old Man but you would have been an absolute hero to everyone else on board.

mikeg
12th April 2010, 12:02
Larry, You may remember Joe's famous "Silent Night - Holy Night" cartoon with ships operators in various poses drawn round the centre picture which was a sleeping GKA
R/O!. I always found it busy on nights especially if Ernie Croskell was supervisor and Eric Rockett on the search point.
I was fortunate I didn't have many near misses at sea. I do remember sending a very long stores message to Capetown via ZSC. They came back with "did we want 16 casks
of beer". I had misread the old mans hand writing. He had written "cases".
regards Graham Powell

16 Casks sounds much more nautical (LOL) Imagine arriving to see wooden barrels stack up on the quay.
I've not seen Joe's cartoon, is there a copy posted anywhere? I search SN to no avail.
Thanks,
Mike

Graham P Powell
12th April 2010, 14:50
Hi Mike, Joe was our resident GKA cartoonist and he was brilliant. He used to sometimes have cartoons in the Marconi Mariner. Unfortunately unless you worked at GKA they would have been meaningless. There were some classics like the Pacific Watch selection panel . An R/O being interviewed with the comment " Can you hear a mouse fart in a coal bunker at 50 feet " and the round the world single handed yachtsman being stopped by a Bank boat and asked if he could let them have some stores.
I hear poor Joe is not to well at the moment. Hoping to see him at our reunion on the 30th. regards
Graham Powell

mikeg
12th April 2010, 17:16
Hi Graham, I clearly remember those excellent cartoons in the Marconi Mariner. I hope Joe gets well soon and please on my pass belated thanks to him for adding humour to a somewhat serious profession. It'd be really good if some of his work could be posted on SN for all to see - I'm sure it would be appreciated by a great many ex R/O and GKA folk.
regards,
Mike

John Briggs
12th April 2010, 23:33
The Bank Line vessel and the yachtsman would be appreciated by everyone!

Larry Bennett
13th April 2010, 11:20
Spoke to Joe a day or so ago, he sounds in fine fettle and will be attending the GKA reunion at the end of the month - I will ask him if he has any cartoons at home and maybe get them scanned.

joebuckham
13th April 2010, 11:26
16 Casks sounds much more nautical (LOL) Imagine arriving to see wooden barrels stack up on the quay.
I've not seen Joe's cartoon, is there a copy posted anywhere? I search SN to no avail.
Thanks,
Mike

but 16 cases sounds like a near dry ship(Jester)

Graham P Powell
13th April 2010, 18:14
Hi Larry , Do you remember the Wailing Wall with all the Jews looking at the overtime board?. I have a copy of one Joe cartoon somewhere. The one where the girl is stripping off and the r/o's are taking no notice of her. I'd heard he had a ticker problem but he looked well enough last time I saw him. Hopefully will see him at the reunion.
rgds
Graham

Larry Bennett
16th April 2010, 22:29
Found these McCabe cartoons in my archives....not sure if this is the right thread but I am sure I will be advised. Enjoy!

Larry

K urgess
16th April 2010, 23:26
A few more McCabes from Marconi Mariner. (Thumb)

TonyAllen
17th April 2010, 12:11
A few more McCabes from Marconi Mariner. (Thumb)

Not a sparks but can enjoy the humour.

You must have a hell of a collection of shipping related items, I have enjoyed all your postings. Regards Tony

John Briggs
17th April 2010, 13:32
An oldie but a goodie - sort of relevant!