After reading in another thread in the BP shipping forum about a safety issue that started a "witch hunt" brought back memories of one that happened on the Respect !
I was 3rd engineer on the Respect in 1979, some 5 years after the ship had been built! I was sat in the control room and the 2nd mate wandered in and asked if anyone knew about Co2 smothering systems, as he was doing planned maintenance on the system and he couldn't understand how it worked ?? "Dumb deckie" immeadiately springs to mind :-) but for the sake of harmony I said I did and would go and show him! He said he couldn't see how the gang release of the Co2 cylinders could possibly work ? On going to examine the system with him. I found out he definetly had cause for concern. the two primary? operating cylinders once operated,fed Co2 to all the cutting heads on the remaining cylinders, thus releasing all the Co2 into the smothering lines. Problem was that none of the follow up cylinders had the cutting heads inserts in the cylinders !!! when I informed the 2nd Eng of what I had just found, he thought I was joking. I told him to go and look for himself, which he did and confirmed I was right!!
To say the SH one T hit the fan after that was an understatement! A major investigation was launched by Head office. people who had previously signed the PM records saying the system was Ok including Resucitators Marine had their backsides severely kicked!! Investigations revealed that the cutting heads had never been fitted since the ship had been delivered!! The PM system was changed so that smothering systems were done by a senior engineer in future.
I dread to think what would have happened prior this if the Respect had suffered a major engineroom fire !