I figured this is a good subject to post the stories I have. Didn't really want to add more to the New Members one. Leaving that for really, new members.
Ok so couple of stories that came to mind tonight that I would like to share. Well one is more of a factoid then a story.
So everyone knows about the billion year contract you sign which is not very legal, however there is another legal contract you sign, same one you sign when you start at a class V org, the 5 year staff contract. There is also a 2.5 year one but in the SO you have to sign the 5 year staff contract and you are required to resign it every year. If you don't, well off to ethics you go. It's their way of purpetually keeping you under contract, I tried not to sign one year, basically hoping to let my contract run out and go oh oops I must have forgotten to sign this, well since my contract is up I will move on now. But that didn't work and of course it was back to the conditions and working my way through it. Of course the contract I signed I was underage. hehehe they didn't see that one coming did they now.
Ok enough of factoids. I'm gonna be jumping around a bit in timeline, since as I remember one thing something else pops in. Hopefully this doesn't bug people too much.
Ok this one might make you cringe...
Well it was another typical day on the ship, we had anchored off... runs to maps.google, don't quit remember I think it was St. Kitts but could have been Les Saints, wait that is another story, yes it was St Kitts. Anyway here we are, my buddy and myself out on the front deck of the ship. It was late afternoon, warm breeze and for a moment one could imagine just being on a cruise in the Carribbean without a care in the world. Anyway the day dream got shattered by the bell that we are going to be leaving soon and everyone was to report to docking stations.
Well my station along with my buddy and another crewman was the chain locker. Yep you got it, chainlocker time. Woohoo. Back then I was young and clueless but man thinking back on it I was holy crap WTF were we thinking.
The chain locker is in the front of the ship it holds the chain. Just think of it as a big storage bin and the chain drops from the deck above through a hold in the center of the locker and into the pit below. There is usually one locker per side of the ship. Anyway the duties for the sorry sap that has chainlocker duty is to climb into the locker through a hatch that is about 3' x 3'. With a small ladder welded on the side down to an i-beam, there are also some handles welded to the roof of the locker. And you get to stand on the i-beam and hold on to the roof with your hands, no safety belt or cord or anything, but as you will read later that is pointless too.
There is a light in the locker but that is usually, 99% of the time burn out due to the vibrations from the chain leaving the locker. So you stand there in the dark 3 guys, with someone on the radio up above shining the torch down so we can kinda see what is happening.
So here we are 3 guys, one of them kinda hefty fell but strong none the less. The job is, as the chain is dropped in, using your feet, push the chain around so that it doesn't pile up in the center, like a pyramid and block the pipe it's coming through above. Also to ensure that when they anchore is dropped, the chain and escape freely.
So hopefully everyone has the picture, big pit, dark, wet, standing on an i-beam with the bottom a story or so below, holding onto the roof with handles.
Anyway it's time for the chain to be lifted up, we are standing there and it starts to move, each link weights in aroudn around 80lbs so these are pretty hefty links. Don't quite remember how much chain was out but looking down it seems like a lot. Using our feeting and hanging from the roof we are pushing the chain around making sure it doesn't pile up, if it does the guy with the radio calls to the deck above and tells them to stop and if need be let some out.
So usually this is pretty uneventful but this time the anchore came up full of mud, so the guys up on deck figured, meh, we will just dunk the anchore a few times in water to clean it off. Meanwhile we are standing on the i-beam waiting impatiently to get out, this plus is nasty. 5 mins goes by and all we hear and see is the chain going up, then coming down, then going up then coming down. Finally the guy above us on the radio yelled down, I think you guys need to get out as they are going to be a while. So off I go heading for the ladder, climb up it, my buddy is right behind me and I'm helping him up then we both help the hefty guy out...
Well at that moment we were helping the last person out the chain slips and off it goes, anchore is dropping like a rock and little ripping the chain out of the pit.
Best way to describe it is like pull on the hose pipe that is coiled, the pipe will whip around like a snake hitting the sides on the way out.
This makes you realise why the light doesn't work, replace light, drop the anchorage, replace light, repeat.
This happens literally as we pulled the last guy out, as the chain slipped and we heard the noise we yanked him out, he almost lost a foot.
Anyway know you know what safety gear is kinda moot point.
But if we had stayed in there or took another 30 seconds to get out, someone was going to die. You would be this red smear on the chain as it flung out and I can just see the looks on peoples faces on the deck if they say body parts flying up. Mmmmm fish food.
This would have been really bad as public light to stand above the bridge and look down on the front deck at all the action, just imagine their reaction.
But we got out safe, all in a days work. I was shaking uncontrollably and my adrenaline was pumping.
Anyway thought I would share this with people. I know telling it and reading it isn't the same, you had to have been there to grasp the full effects.