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What was the most frightening thing that happened to you?

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  #1  
Old 12th February 2009, 23:40
Arthur Jenner Arthur Jenner is offline
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What was the most frightening thing that happened to you?

Apart from the time I was nearly lost overboard in the middle of the night and the number of times we returned from a night on the turps and couldn't find the ship, my most scary time was while the ship was leaving a quay; going astern on a backspring to bring her head around; slowly easing out the wire which had about a turn and a half on the bitts. The wire sizzling and sparking as it tried to saw through the steel while I am wondering what would happen should the wire snap or should a snag in the wire catch the leg of my dungarees and take me around the bitts and through the fairlead. Glad I don't have to do that anymore

Last edited by Arthur Jenner : 13th February 2009 at 04:26.
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  #2  
Old 16th February 2009, 22:27
john mc ginley john mc ginley is offline  
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hello arthur. one of my scary moments was in goteborg in sweden.we were berthed in goteborg,awaiting cargo. it was midday and i had a bit of time on my hands.had a shower,went into my cabin.it was very warm,opened the port holes to let some air into the cabin.i heard a noise from the dockside.not thinking i put my head through the port hole,to see what the noise was. it was some dockers kicking a ball around the dock. i was watching the dockers having a kick around when i heard the waters starting to lash the side of the ship and the dockside.the after end ropes grinded up the side of the ship,( i pulled my head in just as the ropes scraped past the porthole )(I HAD NEARLY LOST THE HEAD). it turned out the swedes were launching a ship from the ship yard ,on the other side of the river gote , and we had not been informed.the river gote is not that broad a river ,so the waves from the launching was quite heavy .(COULD HAVE BEEN HEADS OR TAILS)?????
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Old 18th February 2009, 19:29
kudu kudu is offline  
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Hi Arthur,
One day,in late april I think whilst we were at anchor at Baie Comeau in
Quebec,I fancied a swim.It was very warm (for the time of the year) and the
water looked inviting.Me and a few others jumped in off the pilot ladder.The
water was freezing.It must have been melt water on top of the sea water.
I surfaced hyper ventolating,I also found myself many yards down stream
the current was very strong.I was a young man and quite a strong swimmer
but it took every ounce of strength to make it back to the ladder.I had thoughts of ending up in the mouth of the St Lawrence somewhere.
Kudu.
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  #4  
Old 19th February 2009, 01:04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john mc ginley View Post
hello arthur. one of my scary moments was in goteborg in sweden.we were berthed in goteborg,awaiting cargo. it was midday and i had a bit of time on my hands.had a shower,went into my cabin.it was very warm,opened the port holes to let some air into the cabin.i heard a noise from the dockside.not thinking i put my head through the port hole,to see what the noise was. it was some dockers kicking a ball around the dock. i was watching the dockers having a kick around when i heard the waters starting to lash the side of the ship and the dockside.the after end ropes grinded up the side of the ship,( i pulled my head in just as the ropes scraped past the porthole )(I HAD NEARLY LOST THE HEAD). it turned out the swedes were launching a ship from the ship yard ,on the other side of the river gote , and we had not been informed.the river gote is not that broad a river ,so the waves from the launching was quite heavy .(COULD HAVE BEEN HEADS OR TAILS)?????
The dockers might have ended up with 2 footballs john !
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  #5  
Old 21st February 2009, 21:33
john mc ginley john mc ginley is offline  
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The dockers might have ended up with 2 footballs john !
good idea Gareth if scotland played with 2 balls we may score some goals?????
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  #6  
Old 21st February 2009, 22:20
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paisleymerchant paisleymerchant is offline  
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I was on a cadetship anchored in the mississipi river coming back from a night on the bevy not pissed but quite happy.
The gangway was down and the launch caught the gangway pulling it out slightly from the ships side. A new Ch/Stwd and his wife was joining and ne being a good a/s had offered to take his suitcase up the gangway for him just as i was climbing onto it it unhooked from the launch and a gap appeared sure enough i went straight down between the gap right into the river luckily i dropped the suitcase and grabbed hold of the gangway though i did get soaked.
Mind you the lads were not too happy with me ! yep the Ch/Stwd had the mail in the suitcase last seen floating away. I nearly got lynched !...lol
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Old 19th January 2013, 05:39
bugeyes bugeyes is offline  
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Scaries Moment

Hey Arthur, I was serving on the Cable Ship Long Lines and we were heading home back to the states,I slept in the top bunk.The overhead was only about 2 ft above my body when lying down..we hit a storm in the north atlantic that was pretty rough.I woke up at 2am standing up in my bunk thinking that this is how i die..lost at sea.luckily the seas pushed us back over..Next day was still rough and i had asked the mate how much we rolled last night.he informed ne that the guage on the bridge showed 52 degrees.I went up to the bridge to see the guage and the deck dept was installing plexiglass windows in the bridge where the seas had busted them out..The bridge was 7 decks above the main deck.
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Old 19th January 2013, 12:46
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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Meeting my first mother in law , but by the time I met my third mother in law the fear had waned , and I had stopped sh****g myself.
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Old 19th January 2013, 14:03
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Tom,three m-i-laws! How many toasters does one man need?

For those addressing Arthur Jenner, sadly we lost him about three years ago.

John T
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  #10  
Old 19th January 2013, 14:13
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Without doubt, standing on a balanced tween-deck hatch board- over a queen beam- and finding myself clinging to the coaming by my finger nails, hoping there would be somebody to haul me out of this predicament.
Fortunately there was because there was nothing but a few tanks and jeeps in the lower hold. I never made that mistake again!
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  #11  
Old 19th January 2013, 16:17
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When a tg turbine came out through the casing. No one hurt.
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  #12  
Old 20th January 2013, 08:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur Jenner View Post
Apart from the time I was nearly lost overboard in the middle of the night and the number of times we returned from a night on the turps and couldn't find the ship, my most scary time was while the ship was leaving a quay; going astern on a backspring to bring her head around; slowly easing out the wire which had about a turn and a half on the bitts. The wire sizzling and sparking as it tried to saw through the steel while I am wondering what would happen should the wire snap or should a snag in the wire catch the leg of my dungarees and take me around the bitts and through the fairlead. Glad I don't have to do that anymore
Similar deal - leaving the berth in the Calumet River in Chicago, the aft tug decided to show off and applied full power away from the quay before we had let go the aft (wire)spring. Fortunately an unusual thing happened - it stranded before it let go. 2nd. mate hit the deck on the top of the aft accomodation, couple of deck hands disappeared through the door of the same, while I jumped into the open tonnage hatch, clinging to the coaming. When the wire parted it wound all the way up the aft starboard samson post, leaving a visual imprint of the lay of the wire in the paint. Way too close for comfort.
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  #13  
Old 20th January 2013, 14:20
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Gleo Gleo is offline  
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I was 1st Lecky on a RoRo in Italy, moored stern to. We were just about to leave the berth at 02:30 when the ship took on a Stbd list. Ballast was pumped to bring her upright whereupon shortly later she listed to Port very fast, went over approx 45 deg before the bilge keels hit bottom and stopped. I was on the Stbd boat deck with my wife and two young boys, a 2 year old and 6 year old. After a lot of nothing happening a decision amongst the guys we launched the stbd life-raft. At the same time the 2nd Eng and the 2nd Mate attempted to launch the port lifeboat. The 2nd mate ended up in the water having fallen quite a way when he released the fastenings holding the boat into its deck mount. He managed to climb back aboard up a Jacobs ladder and eventually they got the boat in the water. Meantime the rest of us were going down the Jacobs ladder on the Stbd side. I went down with my 2 year old under my arm and my 6 year old followed on his own next. More by pure luck no one was hurt and our lifeboat came round and took us off the life-raft and then across to the wharf. Not something you forget in a hurry, this happened just before Xmas 1981.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 23:20
Terry Worsley Terry Worsley is offline  
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Terry Worsley

Back in the late 40's Buenos Aires was a very dodgy place to be and many seamen were robbed by the police and put in jail for the night accused of being drunk. I had a somewhat different experience. I was in SS Sandsend and saw in the paper that the SS Riodene was also in port. As I had a good friend, Jack Carsley serving in the Riodene, I caught a bus and located the Riodene where I spent a pleasant couple of hours chewing the fat. Around 9.00pm I decided to go back aboard and as I was heading down the docks towards the gate, carrying with me some American magazine (Life, Saturday Evening Post etc) which Jack had given to me, I was stopped by a Marinero (Docks Police). He took the magazines from me one by one, flicked through them and through them on the deck. I bent down to pick them up and when I was upright again I found the Marinero had his revolver in his hand and was gesturing with it for me to follow him - not as I would have thought to the office at the dock gate which was only about 30 yards away and brightly lit, but back along the dockside which was extremely dark. One does not argue with a guy carrying a gun so I walked along with him. Eventually he stopped where there were steps going down to the water and I could just discern a boat of some kind at the foot of the steps. The Marinero called out and a short conversation went on in Spanish between the Marinero and someone on the boat. At the end of which the Marinero again gestured with his gun for me to go down the steps and onto the boat. By this time I was more than seriously worried - I had heard rumours of seamen being robbed and their bodies found floating in the docks so there was no way that I was getting on that boat. I stepped back a pace and lunged forward pushing the Marinero over the edge of the dock - whether he went straight into the water or hit the boat I didn't wait to find out and I ran like the wind. I was totally unaware of the direction I was heading, but luckily I spotted the funnel of the Riodene and I ran aboard. I found myself in an accommodation alley and I opened the first door I came across. The room was empty (it it strange what one does when in a panic, and believe me I was certainly in one at that time) I got into the bunk, covered myself with the counterpane and there I stayed. After what seemed an eternity, the rightful occupant of the cabin appeared and after he had got over the shock of finding a stranger in his bed and I had explained what had taken place he told me that the docks were crowded with police and Marineros, all with their guns drawn. My new-found friend then took me to Jack's cabin and it was arranged that I stay aboard that night. At around mid-day the following day, I went ashore accompanied by Jack and another guy I went ashore and out through the gate without incident when I caught a bus and went back aboard the Sandsend. I didn't go ashore again that trip. When I have related this story to different people I was often asked 'what happened to the Marinero' my reply was simple - I couldn't care less what happened to him or if he was alive or dead because I am convinced that if I had got aboard that boat I would have been the one who finished up dead. I never did find out out what happened to the Marinero and when I met Jack again months later he was unable to solve the mystery either, which is a pity.
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Old 22nd February 2013, 23:34
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John Rogers John Rogers is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kudu View Post
Hi Arthur,
One day,in late april I think whilst we were at anchor at Baie Comeau in
Quebec,I fancied a swim.It was very warm (for the time of the year) and the
water looked inviting.Me and a few others jumped in off the pilot ladder.The
water was freezing.It must have been melt water on top of the sea water.
I surfaced hyper ventolating,I also found myself many yards down stream
the current was very strong.I was a young man and quite a strong swimmer
but it took every ounce of strength to make it back to the ladder.I had thoughts of ending up in the mouth of the St Lawrence somewhere.
Kudu.
I done the same thing,water was black and freezing,took my breath away.
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Old 24th February 2013, 19:04
bgrace bgrace is offline  
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Originally Posted by Terry Worsley View Post
Back in the late 40's Buenos Aires was a very dodgy place to be and many seamen were robbed by the police and put in jail for the night accused of being drunk. I had a somewhat different experience. I was in SS Sandsend and saw in the paper that the SS Riodene was also in port. As I had a good friend, Jack Carsley serving in the Riodene, I caught a bus and located the Riodene where I spent a pleasant couple of hours chewing the fat. Around 9.00pm I decided to go back aboard and as I was heading down the docks towards the gate, carrying with me some American magazine (Life, Saturday Evening Post etc) which Jack had given to me, I was stopped by a Marinero (Docks Police). He took the magazines from me one by one, flicked through them and through them on the deck. I bent down to pick them up and when I was upright again I found the Marinero had his revolver in his hand and was gesturing with it for me to follow him - not as I would have thought to the office at the dock gate which was only about 30 yards away and brightly lit, but back along the dockside which was extremely dark. One does not argue with a guy carrying a gun so I walked along with him. Eventually he stopped where there were steps going down to the water and I could just discern a boat of some kind at the foot of the steps. The Marinero called out and a short conversation went on in Spanish between the Marinero and someone on the boat. At the end of which the Marinero again gestured with his gun for me to go down the steps and onto the boat. By this time I was more than seriously worried - I had heard rumours of seamen being robbed and their bodies found floating in the docks so there was no way that I was getting on that boat. I stepped back a pace and lunged forward pushing the Marinero over the edge of the dock - whether he went straight into the water or hit the boat I didn't wait to find out and I ran like the wind. I was totally unaware of the direction I was heading, but luckily I spotted the funnel of the Riodene and I ran aboard. I found myself in an accommodation alley and I opened the first door I came across. The room was empty (it it strange what one does when in a panic, and believe me I was certainly in one at that time) I got into the bunk, covered myself with the counterpane and there I stayed. After what seemed an eternity, the rightful occupant of the cabin appeared and after he had got over the shock of finding a stranger in his bed and I had explained what had taken place he told me that the docks were crowded with police and Marineros, all with their guns drawn. My new-found friend then took me to Jack's cabin and it was arranged that I stay aboard that night. At around mid-day the following day, I went ashore accompanied by Jack and another guy I went ashore and out through the gate without incident when I caught a bus and went back aboard the Sandsend. I didn't go ashore again that trip. When I have related this story to different people I was often asked 'what happened to the Marinero' my reply was simple - I couldn't care less what happened to him or if he was alive or dead because I am convinced that if I had got aboard that boat I would have been the one who finished up dead. I never did find out out what happened to the Marinero and when I met Jack again months later he was unable to solve the mystery either, which is a pity.
I had a near death experience in Buenos Aires in 57 or 58 , we went ashore heading for a club, a few streets away from us we could see large fires and a lot of gunfire and shouting, we later found out it was Peronists staging a revolt. We found a club and then one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside, there was a hell of a commotion and we were advised to leave quickly, I can still hear the noise of the bullets hitting wall by us as we ran for our lives, somehow we all made back to the ship but never went ashore again
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Old 24th February 2013, 21:08
sparkie2182 sparkie2182 is offline  
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"one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside"

Wasn't Evita's...........was it?

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Old 25th February 2013, 12:49
Davie M Davie M is offline  
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good idea Gareth if scotland played with 2 balls we may score some goals?????
Hi John, They certainly had more balls than that yesterday.
Davie
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Old 25th February 2013, 16:41
deckboypeggy deckboypeggy is offline  
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The first time i went into the ROUND HOUSE pub . i think it was KG5 royal docks over 2 swing bridges,up from Shaw Savellie berth however, i had never seen that many STEAM QUEENS.in one place.scary then but not frighting.
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Old 25th February 2013, 17:36
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#10

Precisely the same experience as Hugh. We were in ballast in North China (Hsin Kiang). Radnorshire (A-Class Blue Funnel, transferred to Glen Line).

In a dimly lit tween deck. Number one hatch. Port side. One hatch-board had been pulled to one side, to starboard, leaving a gap of about five feet above an empty lower hold, with a potential drop of about fifteen feet or more. Unknowing, unwary and in the dim light I stepped off the hatch board. Fortunately I was facing forward. My left leg went straight down the gap and my left arm automatically went up and out. Fortunately my left armpit fell precisely on the hatch-coaming, with my right leg from knee downwards still on the hatchboard; and the fall was thus arrested completely, with no injury. But it was a terrifying experience, never forgotten.

What made it worse was that I was alone and it would have been a long time before anybody would either have found me or even might have heard any shout from me.

Last edited by Barrie Youde : 25th February 2013 at 21:36.
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Old 25th February 2013, 21:10
bgrace bgrace is offline  
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Originally Posted by sparkie2182 View Post
"one of our crew went and squeezed a girls backside"

Wasn't Evita's...........was it?

if it had been, there wouldn't be much flesh, she died in 1952
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Old 25th February 2013, 22:32
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Pat Kennedy Pat Kennedy is offline  
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Originally Posted by deckboypeggy View Post
The first time i went into the ROUND HOUSE pub . i think it was KG5 royal docks over 2 swing bridges,up from Shaw Savellie berth however, i had never seen that many STEAM QUEENS.in one place.scary then but not frighting.
They were not Steam Queens, they were just plain old Fairy Queens.
Steam Queens were the laundry maids on the passenger ships, and those I sailed with were very desirable, but wouldnt consider anything less than a third mate.
Pat
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Old 26th February 2013, 05:37
portsidebob portsidebob is offline  
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Engine Room Fire

We were out of Seattle and in route to our assigned patrol area in the North Pacific at 15 knots when a fire broke out in the engine room. A fuel line to one of the main diesels cut loose spraying fuel over the exhaust manifolds of both.

At the time we did not know the cause or extent the fire only that we were dead in the water and and from my general quarters station on the signal bridge there was a great deal of smoke coming from amidship. Both small boats were swung out and lowered to the rail and rafts freed up.

It took about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire which was largely contained to the engine room. It took several more hours to figure out if we were going to need a tow back to Seattle or could get something on line. The diesels were toast but these cutters have two gas turbines as well and one still worked. So it was back to port on one shaft and straight into a shipyard for repairs. Fortunately no injuries.
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Old 26th February 2013, 06:25
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I know what you mean portside,engine room a'fire/ never experienced that fortunately but has to be a worst thing to happen.
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Old 17th March 2013, 13:32
munroejah munroejah is offline  
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What was the most frightening thing that happened to you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrie Youde View Post
#10

Precisely the same experience as Hugh. We were in ballast in North China (Hsin Kiang). Radnorshire (A-Class Blue Funnel, transferred to Glen Line).

In a dimly lit tween deck. Number one hatch. Port side. One hatch-board had been pulled to one side, to starboard, leaving a gap of about five feet above an empty lower hold, with a potential drop of about fifteen feet or more. Unknowing, unwary and in the dim light I stepped off the hatch board. Fortunately I was facing forward. My left leg went straight down the gap and my left arm automatically went up and out. Fortunately my left armpit fell precisely on the hatch-coaming, with my right leg from knee downwards still on the hatchboard; and the fall was thus arrested completely, with no injury. But it was a terrifying experience, never forgotten.

What made it worse was that I was alone and it would have been a long time before anybody would either have found me or even might have heard any shout from me.
Frightening moments? I've had a few to quote the song

Reminds me of when I fell 25 ft into the lower hold of no1 on the Benwyvis when I was cadet. We had arrived in Amsterdam after a very slow and tedious passage from Southampton the previous evening. By the time we had berthed all hands had worked hugely long hours and we were to start loading in the after end of no1 lower hold.
The mate appeared in the cadets cabin requiring one of us to work through the night lashing cars on the very top of the stow in the fore end and at the same time do cargo watch because under said cars was a treasure trove of cargo consisting largely of cigarettes and alcohol. I drew the short straw or to be more accurate the wrong playing card.
Down in the after end of the lower hold a gang of dockers were loading cartons of condensed milk throughout the night. By the time I had finished all the lashing it was well into midnight shift and I sat on the edge of the stow to carry out the remaining time cargo watching.... next thing I recall I was lying prostrate amongst the dockers. I never stopped to wonder who were the more surprised ... my new found Dutch friends who broke my fall or myself. I was badly shaken and shock set in but I was unscathed otherwise. Wouldn't you know, when I was got up on deck the powers that be decided that I should spend some time on the end of a broom sweeping the fore deck 'just in case shock set in'.

Another buttock clenching experience. Same ship, a couple of trips later. This time hanging under no2 jumbo table in a bosun's chair painting in all the dark corners. Nothing drew my attention to what had happened but when I realised what was happening it had my 100% undivided attention.
The splice on the lizard which I had made fast under the table and from which I was hanging was old and caked with paint. So much so that the splice had started to work it's way loose.
Was I in danger? Some of the old hands didn't think so but I was down from there as quick as I could.

The third occasion didn't directly affect me but I witnessed something which made my blood run cold. Again same ship, in Christmas Is during the H bomb (A bomb? can't remember) tests in 1957. We had a full load for there and this incident unfolded in the lower hold of no3That particular class of heavy lifter had long deep holds and if I remember the length of each of the three hatch tops alone was 84 or 85 ft. They were big and to get a lot of the big lifts under the jumbo hook it was necessary to bull cargo, particularly stuff in the fore end, into the hatch square. Picture one mate, who will remain nameless, standing on the tank top directing the driver on the bulling winch. The bulling wire led from the winch drum end to the cargo to be dragged via a snatch block on the after bulkhead. I guess by now some of you have a pretty fair idea where the mate was standing. Correct. In the bight of the wire. No prizes for guessing what happened next. The block parted company from the bulkhead and proceeded forward at supersonic speed in the direction of said mate. It should have hit him just below head head height........ at that precise moment,or to be even more precise, a microsecond prior, our hero bent down to examine something on the tank top...just as the block passed over him en route to it's rendezvous with the for'd bulkhead. I was frightened. The mate? I'm not so sure.
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