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Boiler explosion question

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Old 04-05-2008, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Paragould, AR or on m/v MAGNOLIA
Posts: 1,418
Blog Entries: 4

Lex, as you no doubt remember, the paint locker on the DQ had a steam smothering fire extinguishing system, simply a valve that could be opened (after the door was locked) to flood the locker with steam and smother any fire there.

A story that circulated on the boat amongst the crew in the 1970's was this: Capt. Wagner had asked Capt. Chengery (running Mate) to clean the paint locker after midnight one night. It was also used to store some oils and greases, and was quite a mess inside. Capt. Gabe had the bright idea to get everything out of the locker, close and secure the door, and shoot the steam to it, thereby cleaning the walls and softening the grease and dirt. They did this (no doubt feeling a bit smug at their cleverness!) but did not take into account that the steam and heat would set off sprinklers in the vicinity. What they ended up with was a much larger mess than they had in the first place, alarms going off, a sprinkler head that had to be isolated and replaced, causing much cussing and irritation from First Assistant Engineer Jim Bryeans. Of course, the Big E heard the story the next morning at the breakfast table, and the mess probably was still not cleaned up. Dave Tschiggfrie was, I think, a party to this debacle, and can possibly add more details.
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