Fire Down Below

James_C
27th April 2009, 17:04
I'm sure many of us have seen the fire safety film entitled 'Fire Down Below' and wonder if any members know any of the details behind it, i.e. what ship, when made etc?
I suspect the ship in question was a '12' and was shot in perhaps the early 60s.
Certainly I recall seeing it as late as 2001 aboard the 'British Skill' and it was in VHS format, alas I never liberated a copy. I wonder if anyone knows where to get hold of one?

non descript
27th April 2009, 17:29
This (http://www.walport.co.uk/public/catalogue.10.31.php) maybe the one...

James_C
27th April 2009, 18:55
Mark,
Thanks for that, but alas it's the wrong film. I've also seen this one and it's a more modern (1990's) effort about a fire on a general cargo ship.
I think I'd better stand back and reflect on how sad it is that I can actually remember the plot of Walport safety films...
:eek:

K urgess
27th April 2009, 19:11
A bit pricey at 195 for a 25 minute DVD. (EEK)
Plus shipping costs!

John Crossland
28th April 2009, 04:42
........... I think I'd better stand back and reflect on how sad it is that I can actually remember the plot of Walport safety films...
:eek:

Yes Jim, very sad (Jester)

Although I must admit I remember it too :sweat:

derekhore
28th April 2009, 08:39
You could always try contacting Walport direct....they may have a copy in their cellar!

http://www.walport.co.uk/public/

James_C
28th April 2009, 11:02
Yes Jim, very sad (Jester)

Although I must admit I remember it too :sweat:

Yes John the religiously observed Sunday 'exposure' of such films seems to have made an impression. The old version of Fire Down Below stuck in my mind as it tended to invoke much 'discussion' in the TV room, especially when certain individuals on the film were recognised!
The other one I remember was about (I think) the ISM code. As I recall it was the one with the dolly bird in a bikini frolicking around on the beach/in the shower...
(Jester)

Vital Sparks
28th April 2009, 11:04
Was the the one involving Greaser Martin and a fire on the fridge flat or was it the one in which Frank Windsor played the part of "DDOA, The Devils Director of Accidents or definately dead on arrival". Don't remember any of the safety stuff though.

James_C
28th April 2009, 11:13
Vital Sparks,
I think it involved a Greaser, however memory tells me that the fire was due to him overloading the electrical supply to his cabin (down aft).

chrishandel
28th April 2009, 20:14
Does anyone remeber the film 'Drugs, better dead'? whilst showing this a deck cadet of the strong, bronzed type just passed out!

Macphail
28th April 2009, 20:57
Going back to "Fire Down Below", the fire started in his cabin, he was drying wet gear over a radiator.

John,

John Campbell
28th April 2009, 21:57
Yes John the religiously observed Sunday 'exposure' of such films seems to have made an impression. The old version of Fire Down Below stuck in my mind as it tended to invoke much 'discussion' in the TV room, especially when certain individuals on the film were recognised!
The other one I remember was about (I think) the ISM code. As I recall it was the one with the dolly bird in a bikini frolicking around on the beach/in the shower...
(Jester)

Yes James we must unearth this special film as it most abely demonstrates what the MN was about in those days.

I carried a spool of that very film when I was on a safety assignment with Texaco and I had to ensure it was shown on every ship I boarded on the fleet. I must have seen it more than twenty times.

I thought it was one of the best safety films, of that ilk ,ever. Best of luck with your search'
JC

Jon Vincent
29th April 2009, 00:21
If my memory serves me right the original "Fire Below" as "James C" correctly states was started with an overloaded electrical system, he had all sorts of multy plug abapters pluged in, one even on the overhead light fitting. The film was made on the laid-up ships in Swansea, the old "Sailor/Soldier" class vsls and BP staff act in the films.

Tony Maskell
29th April 2009, 08:03
The actual filming took place in Queens Dock Swansea with a "laid up" ship on the 'staithes'. The actual scenes when the flames looked to be leaping up the side of the accommodation, were made by setting fire to a film of kerosene, laying in long metal tray in the scuppers, under the lifeboat amidships for one and then having the camea below this level to simulate the whole being on fire. The ship from memory was a 12,250 dwt its name now escapes me- it must be 57 years ago!
Tony M ex BTC(K)

rodhaigh
29th April 2009, 13:06
Hi,
I'd forgotten about the film 'Fire down below' but remember seeing it a number of times.
If I remember rightly, I believe the vessel involved was the 'British Princess' while she was laid up in Swansea.
Cheers
Rod H

david freeman
29th April 2009, 19:35
My memory serves me badly, but with my time with BP when Capt Peter Mason was Fleet Safety Officer. I was lead to believe the Fire/Safety Officer at the IOG BP Refinery was an ex serving Fire Officer and he advised on the making of the film: Maybe I am wrong the time was the late 60's very early 70's.

kevjacko
29th April 2009, 21:34
Casting my mind back now, I am trying to remember all the BP company safety info films they used to show before the reel to reel movies. One that sticks to mind is when the cook almost takes his finger off cleaning the meat slicer. The cook in the film was a Geordie fellow called Les Hawkins. I sailed with Big Les twice and the film was the bane of his life, mainly because he never did receive an oscar for his theatrical rolling round the galley deck clutching his partially dismembered finger. And of course the ribbing he used to get every time it was shown. LOL
Anyone remember any more? sure there was one involving a lifeboat, and one with a stage and some rigging that went a bit awry.

Phil Williams
6th May 2009, 06:16
I think that Rodhaigh is correct, that the film was made in the "Princess"and it must have been about 1960/61 as the Master I was with in 62, Captain John Huston Thompson, had appeared in it briefly, he said that the scene when the "greaser", played by an actor, opened his cabin door to be met by a wall of flame, needed no acting, as the "greaser"was really terrified!

Phil

holystone
6th May 2009, 14:08
Re JH Thompson, believe that was the Captain I was with aboard Oak in 59/60. Although very stern at first we all thought he was the best OldMan we ever sailed with. I recall him as dark hair, liked to do haircuts and but gave our 3/O a very hard time. Do you know what happened to him or have any photos.

Mike F

sidsal
6th May 2009, 17:08
Never mind a simulated fire in Swansea. Wot about a real one in Swansea.
In 1944 I joined a Brocklebank ship in Swansea ( 3rd trip apprentice). We were loading ammunition and subsequently sailed in a convoy of 2 ships to MIlford Haven to join a big convoy ( armed trawlers escorted us).
Big panic when fire broke out in store room behind the galley - it filled the galley with dense black smoke. Before the 5 or 6 fire engines arrived alongside the mate shouted to me and the chippy to get the smoke apparatus. Being newly joined we had ajob to find the big red box but eventually found it under the focsle head. We heaved the box to near the galley and the mate flung it open, donned the mask and rushed into the galley trailing the air pipe and safety rope with him. In the meantime the chippy and I searched for the handle to wind the air pump - but - NO HANDLE
Chippy disappeared to find a spanner or soemthing to turn the handle. Whilst I tugged at the rope to try and signal the mate to come out. After some minutes the mate staggered out, his mask was misted over and he was shouting some muffled words inside the mask. The silly billy didn't take the mask off for a few seconds and when he did he was red and sweating and gave us a hefty rollocking, On reflection it was quite funny but I am told that it would have destroyed a goodly part of Swansea docks if the fire had taken a real hold !!

Satanic Mechanic
6th May 2009, 17:45
THE ABSOLUTE NUMBER ONE

Is a safety video set in the 90's on a ,lets say mid 1970's, BP tanker with many well known faces from the 90's. It goes on about correct safety methods and practices as the Chief Officer walks by a very badly hidden BARBECUE that was most definitely not partof the film.

A classic moment.

barnsey
12th May 2009, 05:28
The song that went with the film ran along the linbes ....."so fetch a bucket of water Joe, Threres fire down below"

The fireman when he went back to his cabin flipped a towel over his improvised drying line in his cabin next to the naked light bulb. That started the fire .....

The Drip trays with Kero ...one was also placed in the top of the engine room ?

Someone surely must have a copy .... we cannot rely on our full colour instant recall dodgy memories .... mine begions to grind with age !!!

borderreiver
12th May 2009, 10:07
used to be a copy at warslash

Pat Thompson
12th May 2009, 10:30
Greetings,

There was a book called something "Fire Below" written by a cham that ended up as Chief Fire Officer at McDonald (I think) Road Fire Station Leith. They used to run the Merchant Navy Fire Fighting Course there (perhaps still do) that I attended in 1968. Anyway I have a feeling that the author of the book was involved with the production of the film and that a call to that fore station might help in your search.

By all accounts this chap was involved, as a junior firefighter in the Empress boat fire in Liverpool (where the ship became unstable and turned over) and this, I was told on the course, generated his interest in harbour fire fighting practice.

Terry Burke
12th May 2009, 10:43
Fire Down Below was a must in it's day. Shown by the Liverpool Fire Brigade at Speke Airport as part of the Four Day Fire Fighting Course. I seem to recall Alan Whicker was the narrator. As well as Greaser Martin there was a seaman Hegarty whose shoes came in for some stick. (He was wearing winkle pickers which dates it back to the 60's)

Steve Woodward
12th May 2009, 11:42
Greetings,

There was a book called something "Fire Below" written by a cham that ended up as Chief Fire Officer at McDonald (I think) Road Fire Station Leith. They used to run the Merchant Navy Fire Fighting Course there (perhaps still do) that I attended in 1968. Anyway I have a feeling that the author of the book was involved with the production of the film and that a call to that fore station might help in your search.

By all accounts this chap was involved, as a junior firefighter in the Empress boat fire in Liverpool (where the ship became unstable and turned over) and this, I was told on the course, generated his interest in harbour fire fighting practice.


The book you are thinking of I feel is Frank Rushrooks Fire Aboard
Descriptions of ships lost through fire, modern fire-fighting equipment and techniques, maritime law and more. The most comprehensive book of its kind.

Steve

Roys1
12th May 2009, 12:07
Fire Below, we still have a video copy kicking about here in NZ at the Maritime School and I think the old 16mm reel is stashed away behind the simulator screen.

Thats right, Seaman Haggerty was sent to fight the fire while Greaser Martin ran for help. " So you sent Haggerty" the lawyer asks. Alan Whicker does the commentary, Cy Grant sang the song, "There is fire in the galley, there is fire down below, fetch a bucket of water boys, theres fire down below".

I think some of the old training videos were better than the new computer graphic ones, certainly more realistic.

Ryder
16th May 2009, 00:55
This thread brings back memories. Yes the Princess was used for the fire scenes, but the shots at sea were filmed on one of the 16's, but can't remember which one. John Thompson was the old man. I remember that we had orange filter screens on the wheelhouse windows and that John ensured that he "hogged" the bridge shots. I was an apprentice at the time and got about 10seconds of glory with a fire extinguisher.

Tony White

Dickyboy
29th May 2009, 18:07
Casting my mind back now, I am trying to remember all the BP company safety info films they used to show before the reel to reel movies. One that sticks to mind is when the cook almost takes his finger off cleaning the meat slicer. The cook in the film was a Geordie fellow called Les Hawkins. I sailed with Big Les twice and the film was the bane of his life, mainly because he never did receive an oscar for his theatrical rolling round the galley deck clutching his partially dismembered finger. And of course the ribbing he used to get every time it was shown. LOL
Anyone remember any more? sure there was one involving a lifeboat, and one with a stage and some rigging that went a bit awry.
I remember a short safety film about working aloft with tools. One bit of it shows a bloke aloft who drops his deck knife. The bloke sunbathing on the wooden deck below nearly loses his very vital organ as the knife blade "Thunks" into the deck between his legs.
Also one where a bloke doing the washing up in the galley grabs an unseen knife, and stares down as the water gradually turns red.
I remember the Greaser Martin one as well. I remember being told that the tanker involved was actually gutted during the making of that film.

derekhore
30th May 2009, 13:12
Anyone remember the First Aid film ...

.....showing the 'sucking wound to the chest' ....caused by the young lad coming out of the sea with his snorkel and flippers, and a loaded spear gun .. then tripping up and firing the gun into some blokes chest!!

Wicked!!

derekhore
3rd June 2009, 14:45
Obviously not!!

(K)

kevjacko
6th June 2009, 11:11
Obviously not!!

(K)

Would'nt mind seeing it though, sounds a hoot.

Billieboy
9th June 2009, 06:22
"If you don't know now, you'll never know!" what a safety slogan!

I had my own for Hot Working tankers and OBOs, "If you think you're safe, you're dead!"

Tony Maskell
11th June 2009, 06:59
The short safety films were made on the laid up ships in the River Fal in 1960/61, each finished film showed for about 5 minutes, but each one took anything up to 2 days of rehearsals and then trying for different camera angles. The body falling out of a Bos'uns Chair was a dummy!. I was there at the time in charge of the British Marquis, fully loaded with fuel oil, there were four trots of BP Tankers laid up in the Fal at that time.
Tony Maskell

kevjacko
13th June 2009, 23:34
The short safety films were made on the laid up ships in the River Fal in 1960/61, each finished film showed for about 5 minutes, but each one took anything up to 2 days of rehearsals and then trying for different camera angles. The body falling out of a Bos'uns Chair was a dummy!. I was there at the time in charge of the British Marquis, fully loaded with fuel oil, there were four trots of BP Tankers laid up in the Fal at that time.
Tony Maskell

I think, could be wrong mind, one of the AB's in the bosuns chair one was Archie Biggins. Sailed with him as Bosun on the Avon in 82.

Klaatu83
14th June 2009, 00:55
I recall that film from my cadet days in the U.S. It was presented as an example of what NOT to do in the event of fire at sea. I don't recall the name of the ship it was made on, but it was undoubtedly British because the central character was a "Greaser", which is definitely not an American engine room rating. In those days we had "Oilers", but I'm not at all sure that "Oilers" and "Greasers" were the same. Indecently, in the U.S. the word "Greaser" is a disparaging term for any person of Latin-American extraction. The word would never be used to designate an unlicensed member of the Engine Department on an American merchant vessel because it would invariably be mis-construed as a racial epithet.