I had intended to post this on or about Christmas Day, but we got busy entertaining and visiting. On my first ship, I was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Christmas. I had the 02-07 sounding and security watch on Christmas morn, and I was telling my under instruction watch how cool it was to have the early watch on holiday routine, “Up for breakfast, sleep all day, etc..”. Right about then, to steal a phrase from LawDog, things went rodeo. I was using the phone to report all conditions normal, and was summoned to Central Control, the station I answered to. We showed up, and were given ominous news. One of our boarding teams was on a ship that was being scuttled by the bad guys. They would rather sink their own ship, with our people aboard, than get hanged for smuggling.
“Wake up the Flying Squad(of which I was a member), we have Rescue and Assistance(R&A) to do.” So, we began waking up the HTs, DCs, and the one MR. We spent 27 hours pumping crude oil out of the bilge of an unregistered tanker. The HTs there were trying to stabilize it so the BMs could take it under tow. Our fire pump, according to specs, can run for 1.7 some hours on one tank of fuel. They ran that thing for 27 hours, using hot refuel methods. The mufflers busted, the engine was hot to the touch, but it worked. We had four men on there, and eight more running parts to the boat deck. S-type pumps, JP-5 cans, and etc. We finally stabilized it and had the BMs take it under tow. Later on, when we tried to restart the fire pump for freshwater flush, it stood up and gave us the finger. We had to trade our busted pump, for a good one on an outbound warship.
Now for the difference in ships. A Tico cruiser is one of the most heavily armed warships in the US Navy. Our job is to kill bad guys and break their stuff. Yet, we have working plumbing. This haji merchant ship’s plumbing involved a hole cut in the deck so you could go 10-200* directly into the tank.
* Bonus points if you know where the 10-200 reference came from.