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WITandWISDOM(tm) - March 16, 1998
Fear is that little darkroom where negatives are developed. - Michael Pritchard, Signs of the Times, August 1993 http://www.pacificpress.com
(Shared by Dale Galusha)
~~~~~~~ SPECIAL THOUGHTS:
Man finds it hard to get what he wants, because he does not want the best; God finds it hard to give, because He would give the best, and man will not take it.
(Shared by "Dawmbw")
~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:
ADMIRALTY BOARD OF INQUIRY - Part 1 of 2
Queens Gate, London 04
As everyone is aware, the British Merchant marine with their high standards rarely becomes involved in marine accidents. However, on occasion, British vessels become involved in minor incidents, and I thought that one such event would be of interest to everyone.
The attached was obtained from a British Shipping friend on the understanding that the Company, Master and Vessel would not be revealed.
Blank Blank SS Co.
9763 Leadenhall Street
London, EC 3, UK
It is with regret that I write this letter to you, regret that such a small misunderstanding could lead to the following circumstances, and a I write you in haste in order that you will get this report before you form your own preconceived opinion from reports in the world press, for I am sure that they will tend to over-dramatize the affair.
We had just picked up the pilot, and the apprentice had returned from changing the "G" flag for the "H" and being his first trip, was having difficulty in rolling the "G" flag up, I therefore proceeded to show him how, coming to the last part I told him to "let go." The lad although willing is not to bright, necessitating my having to repeat myself in a sharper tone.
At this moment the Chief officer appeared from the chart Room, having been plotting the vessel's progress, and thinking that it was anchors that were being referred to, repeated the "let go.." to the third officer on the forecastle. The Port anchor, having been cleared away but not walked out, was smartly let go. The effect of letting the anchor drop from the "pipe" while the vessel was proceeding at full harbor speed proved to much for the windlass brake, and the entire length of Port cable was pulled out by the roots. I fear that the damage to the chain locker may be extensive. The braking effect of the port anchor naturally caused the vessel to sheer n that direction, right towards the swing bridge that spans the tributary to the river up we which we were proceeding.
The swing bridge operator showed great presence of mind by opening the bridge for the vessel, unfortunately he did not think to stop vehicular traffic. The result being that the bridge partly opened and deposited a Volkswagen, two cyclists and a livestock truck on the foredeck. My ships company are at present rounding up the contents of the latter which from the noise I would say were pigs. In his efforts to stop the progress of the vessel the Third Officer dropped the Starboard Anchor, too late to be of practical use for it fell on the swing bridge operators cabin.
After the port anchor was let go and the vessel started to sheer, I gave a double FULL ASTERN on the engine order telegraph, and personally rang the engine room to order maximum astern revolutions, I was informed that the sea temperature was 53 degrees and asked if there was a film tonight. My reply would not be a constructive addition to this report.
Up to now I have confined my report to the activities at the forward end of my vessel, down aft they were having their own problems. At the moment of the port anchor was let go, the second officer was supervising the making fast of the after tug, and was lowering the ships towing spring down onto the tug.
The sudden braking effect on the port anchor caused the tug to "run under" the stern of my vessel just at that moment when the propeller was answering my double "FULL ASTERN". The prompt action of the second officer in securing the inboard end of the towing spring delayed the sinking of the tug by some minutes thereby allowing the safe abandoning of that vessel.
It is strange but at the very same moment of letting go the port anchor there was a power cut ashore, the fact that we were passing over a "cable area" at that time may suggest that we may have touched something in the riverbed. It is perhaps lucky that the high tension cables brought down by the ships foremast were not live, possibly being replaced by the underwater cable, but owing to the shore blackout it is impossible to say where the pylon fell.
It never fails to amaze me, the actions and behavior of foreigners during moments of minor crisis. The pilot for instance, is at this moment huddled in the corner of my day cabin crooning to himself and crying after consuming a bottle of gin in a time that is worthy of inclusion in the Guinness Book of Records. The tug captain on the other hand reacted violently and had to be forcibly restrained by the Steward, who has him handcuffed in the ship's hospital where he is telling me to do impossible things with my ship and my person.
I enclose the names and addresses of the drivers and insurance companies of the vehicles on my foredeck, which the third officer collected after his somewhat hurried evacuation of the forecastle, these particulars will enable you to claim for damage that they did to the railings at the number 1 hold.
I am closing this preliminary report for I am finding it difficult to concentrate with the sound of police sirens and their flashing lights.
For weekly accountability reports I will assign the following Casualty Numbers T/950132 to T/950177 inclusive.
(Shared by Just 4 Laughs! Http://www.GeoCities.com/Hollywood/Set/6993)
~~~~~~~ KEEP SMILING:
f u cn rd ths, u cn gt a gd jb n cmptr prgrmmng.
He looked at me as if I was a side dish he hadn't ordered.
I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn't know. --Mark Twain
(Shared by Keith's Mostly Clean Humor & Weird (McHaw) List KSullivan@worldnet.att.net)
Pound for pound, hamburgers cost more than new cars.
(Shared by Just 4 Laughs! http://www.GeoCities.com/Hollywood/Set/6993)