Lifeboat launch

skymaster
21st February 2006, 14:32
How many members out there have actually launched lifeboats on real emergencies ex drills.I was on the SS Magdapur going up to Calcutta from Trincomalee when on one night watch we spotted flashing light.We hove to and determined it was a fishing boat in distress.They had set out from Chittagong for a short trip down the coast but had been swept out into bay of Bengal.We took them on board and to Calcutta.Needless to sat Skipper was pretty well P***** at the delay.Any other Magdapur crew remember.


Mike

Chief Engineer's Daughter
21st February 2006, 17:39
Silly me, I thought you meant launch a lifeboat as in RNLI terms! To much time spent coastguarding!!!

Skol
CED (K)

Coastie
21st February 2006, 18:00
Me too!

skymaster
21st February 2006, 18:23
Sorry to you both who do such a great job.I really meant on an ocean going vessel at sea where the launch was unusual.Its my age I guess think everyone can read my thoughts!!!!

Mike

Coastie
21st February 2006, 18:32
Silly me, I thought you meant launch a lifeboat as in RNLI terms! To much time spent coastguarding!!!

Skol
CED (K)

And she's just done it again!

Coastie
21st February 2006, 18:33
Sorry to you both who do such a great job.I really meant on an ocean going vessel at sea where the launch was unusual.Its my age I guess think everyone can read my thoughts!!!!

Mike

No problems Skymaster, it's us who get carried away and think "JOB"!

jim barnes
21st February 2006, 21:58
Silly me, I thought you meant launch a lifeboat as in RNLI terms! To much time spent coastguarding!!!

Skol
CED (K)
silly me too (Hippy)

Jim S
21st February 2006, 22:30
Not really an emergency but it was the highlight of that day :-
On Elders & Fyffes Chicanoa we came across a United States Navy liferaft about 500 miles off the US Coast. We circled the raft and sounded our siren.
A lifeboat was launched, raft found empty and was recovered onboard. The raft was landed at Baltimore and taken away by USN. No reason was ever given as to why it was where we found it.
Rather than use the motor lifeboat the mate elected to use one of the boats to give the deck crew some rowing practice.

sfmillsy
21st February 2006, 23:02
A couple of occsions spring to mind.

Once when on the container ship Dubai in late 1982 we rescued a lost fisherman from the top end of Sumatra. He was drifting out into the Bay of Bengal in his dugout after his outboard broke down. He looked mighty releived. He salvaged his outboard but let the canoe go. After a couple of days later we transferred him to another of the companies (UASC) ships to take him to Singapore.

Once on the Kazimah (Kuwait Oil Tankers but managed by Commons) we somehow managed to get salt water in the superheater tubes......the result was no steam and not going far. (actually going no where). we were running out of diesel for the gennies while we waited for the tug to arrive from Dakar and we got a top up from some 45 gallon drums shipped across from the Warbah, which happened (luckily) to be in the vicinity.

Then there was the case of the engine room fire while I was on the Border Shepherd. We had Indian crew and, bless them, they all got the boats ready to abandon ship while we tackled the fire. Happily the engineers did a great job and we didn't have to take to the boats.

Any body got an out of date barley sugar?

regards Steve Mills

vix
22nd February 2006, 05:27
How many members out there have actually launched lifeboats on real emergencies ex drills.I was on the SS Magdapur going up to Calcutta from Trincomalee when on one night watch we spotted flashing light.We hove to and determined it was a fishing boat in distress.They had set out from Chittagong for a short trip down the coast but had been swept out into bay of Bengal.We took them on board and to Calcutta.Needless to sat Skipper was pretty well P***** at the delay.Any other Magdapur crew remember.
Mike
First trip to sea, 'man over board', off Sydney, Cape Breton, water temperature was 40F...launched the lifeboat...engine wouldn't start & it got lost in the fog. When the lifeboat finally came alongside it was too late...very sorry to say we lost him...
Another time...on one of Constantine's...we were anchored in the river at Cartagena? (Somewhere south of Barcelona anyway!)...Jimmy the One had a brilliant idea (K) ...why don't I I I launch the lifeboat and I I I'll get those lazy seamen to row me ashore??? What a laugh...what a lurk...we did everything by the book, even made sure the plug was in...not that it made any difference...if it hadn't been for the davits and the fact we hadn't let go the falls...the bl^^dy thing would have sunk...as it was it went right down to the gunwales...appeared all of the planks had shrunk...I couldn't resist looking at Jimmy the One and saying in my sweetest, syrupppppy voice..."Please remind me who is going to row whom ashore tonight?" Had to put all of the lifeboats in the water...and...yes...they all sank! Vix (K)

Jim MacIntyre
29th March 2006, 16:36
Don't mind me - I'm still new and enjoying the old threads.
Couldn't pass this one up.
I sailed on the (Furness) Ocean Monarch between New York and Bermuda.
First thing we did on sailing was send out the AMVER message. Being a passenger ship with doctor on board we were called on to respond to the medical emergencies among others. There were a couple of incidents that stand out.
One - an engineer had severe facial and upper body steam burns from an engine room 'blowback'. The other - a deckhand had fallen from a bosun's chair while painting the mast.
Both occasions required lifeboat transfer.
Both were in fairly choppy seas - 8 to 10 foot waves. The lifeboat launch was not too bad, but getting it back on the hooks was a nightmare.

Recall another incident while with Shell on the Ninella - Friday afternoon heading up the Persian Gulf - Board of Trade Sports - Chinese crew - 3rd mate - after port lifeboat. Boat lowered - no problem - winching back to the davits one of the cogs on the winch breaks. Loud bang - Chinese crew disappear behind ER fiddley - 3rd mate standing there with wires whipping about his ankles as the lifeboat diappears into the water and both davits slowly bend toward the stern. Old man watching from bridge wing (I think his name was Doyle). Very glad I could not read lips.
Post bollocking, I (being unfortunate 3rd mate) had to see to rigging the main derrick on the foremast (hadn't been used in years), retreive the waterlogged lifeboat, stow it securely on the foredeck all in 110 deg F. heat with only the bosun, quartermaster and two bridge boys to help.
When that was finished about 2200 hrs had to stand the rest of my usual 8 to 12.
The good news was when we got back to Singapore it meant several days at Keppel (I think) to replace the davits and restow the lifeboat.

Cheers
Jim MacIntyre

Ron Stringer
3rd April 2006, 10:38
Medical Emergency

On E & F passenger ship "Golfito" somewhere in mid-Atlantic between the UK and the Caribbean, we were contacted by the US Coastguard AMVER service with a request to provide medical assistance to a Norwegian bulk carrier. Apparently a crewman was very sick and required the help of our ships' doctor.

A rendezvous was arranged and, when we neared the agreed position, contact was made on the VHF and the two ships hove to about half a mile apart, with the much larger bulk carrier attempting to provide a lee for the "Golfito". The Norwegian Master reported that his man was very ill and, in light of the heavy seas running at the time, he did not believe that it was advisable, or practicable, to transfer him to the "Golfito". He requested that we send our doctor to attend the patient.

Now our doctor was both very elderly and very frail. He had long retired and was enjoying the relaxed lifestyle of monthly trips to the Caribbean with a much reduced "practice" onboard, consisting of up to 100 passengers and about 100 crew. He could walk from his cabin to the nearby surgery and hospital area and up to the bar and lounge but that was about it. Descending rope ladders into heaving lifeboats and up the sides of in-ballast bulk carriers was really outside his normal sphere of operations!

Nevertheless that is what happened. A bowsing line was rigged on the lee side of our vessel and a motor lifeboat was lowered into the water. The ship was rolling quite heavily and the waves were between 15 and 20 feet high. Lowering the boat was fine but releasing falls was very tricky and there were several near disasters before the boat, under the command of the Chief Officer, took to the water. It was bowsed along to one of the doors in the side of the ship where a rope ladder had been rigged. The doctor climbed (or more accurately, was lowered) down the ladder with a lifeline securely attached. Once in the boat, his bags and boxes were lowered into the boat and off they went.

For much of the time the boat was out of sight in the troughs but it slowly crossed the water between the two ships. Eventually the lifeboat reached the Norwegian ship and made fast alongside. A cheer went up from the watching passengers when, some minutes later, we saw the doctor appear on deck and make his way to the accommodation. The next thing was a call from the vessel saying that the boat would be leaving on its way back to us. All was made ready to recover the boat, its crew and the casualty but when they came close to us, it became apparent that there was no one other than our crew in the boat.

A further very hazardous half an hour or so was spent trying to get both ends of the lifeboat hooked up into the falls at the same time. The boat was rising on the waves and swell so that there were several feet of the falls in the boat and then almost immediately plunging into the trough so that the blocks swung high above the boat. Our Captain was debating taking the boat crew back on board and abandoning the boat because the state of the sea was just too rough to recover it. After what seemed an age, with everyone in the boat nearing exhaustion, both ends were hooked up at the same time and the boat was hauled in. Once the boat was secured in the davits and everyone was stood down, the full story emerged.

On examining the "patient" on the Norwegian ship, our doctor found that he had been dead for at least 24 hours. He had been a diabetic who some days earlier had gone into a coma from which he had not recovered. The Norwegian Master wanted our doctor to attend and issue a death certificate, allowing the man to be buried at sea and avoiding unwanted bureaucracy at their arrival port and back in Norway. This was one of the few very occasions I can remember on which real contempt was voiced for another seaman. That man's selfish actions risked the safety of those very brave guys (including the doctor) of the "Golfito" crew who launched that boat in dangerous conditions. Only their skill and a good slice of luck averted a disaster.

Ron

R.Philip Griffin
4th April 2006, 01:54
Because of the massive blocks at the end of life-boat falls, that the boat hooks onto, we used to have a couple of 1x1fathom wire strops made of 1" FSWR and they lived in the lamp room ready for any time we had to use a LIFE BOAT as a tender, for what ever reason. They did work very well in a seaway, and the hand who was hooking on after the rescue whatever, had very little trouble handling the wire strop to hook on. The boat obviously did not house in the davits, but could be bowsed into the boat deck rail quite efficiently, and we still had the benefit of ready LIFE BOAT. I'm glad to say that the examiner of Masters and Mates like the idea, and let me have my Ticket. Grifmar

James_C
4th April 2006, 12:41
We used a similar system. Except, instead of wires we used thick Nylon strops.
Like you say it worked very well, and was a damn sight better than dodging swinging blocks in a seaway!

Rupert
11th April 2006, 16:51
"Thursday 4th March 1964" On board the Remuera (maiden voyage) We launched the crash boat to assist in the rescue of a number of people from the earthquake hit Azores island of Sao Jorge
Anyway we had to use the boat as a lift as weather conditions were to bad to allow the islanders to clamber up rope ladders. we took about 360 people off and other ships around us resued the rest. We then took them to the island of Terceria where we landed them into US landing craft to be taken ashore. Are final view was off a mass of waving scarves and handkerchiefs, as we headed back out to sea.