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Farewell MIKE FINK

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    Dale and Frank: All the above very true. And while we all bemoan the fact that the "government" intrudes into our lives, it's stuff like this that starts it and makes me glad they do. Government-mandated safety laws are intended to and do prevent accidents such as this. On any vessel nowadays, no one would dream of doing any welding without a gas-free certificate from a Marine Chemist. Any and all licensed personnel know this and in fact are tested on it as part of the licensing process. While shipyards, marine chemists, welders, etc. are expensive, I bet getting that gas free certificate and having a professional welder do that work would have looked like the biggest bargain in the world in hindsight to the owners and operators of the ISLAND QUEEN.


      Another Question

      Quote from Dale: In later years I heard GL Purser Bob Mcann, pilot/captain Jesse P. Hughes talk about the problems the IQ had with vapors from nearby oil bunkers filling the compatment where the explosion, ingnited by the welder spark above repairing a railing stancion, set the chain reaction of explosions when the powerful vapors were hit with sparks. My neighbor here on Burney Lane was Sue Pattison-Hoebel, daughter of Capt. Ben I Pattison. Sue repeated nearly the same story.

      This begs the question: Did anyone ever mention fuel fumes on the President? Did she burn bunker C while under steam, as I presume did the IQ?


        *Things were different back in 1947*
        Hi, to both Lexie and Bob,
        Bob offers great information from his professional experience and view. Things were possibly a tad different in 1947 compared to 2013. Capt. Bill Judd could possibly also offer more insights from his own experience. I do know that the present big 'blue water ships' have one or more technicians/engineers in their departments dealing with fuel fumes or fumes from cargo. The U.S. Navy also follows these guide lines.

        We live in a world of "what if's...possibly...could...perhaps...should have known," in hindsight. Who knows? The ISLAND QUEEN disaster was, possbily, a case of 'time and place, set and setting.' When the steamboat MOSELLE exploded her boilers with a tragic loss of life near Fulton in Cincinnati, April 25, 1838, a commetary was penned in newspapers of the day. One comment that has stuck in my mind was, "Oh, that instant!" The 'circumstances' with the MOSELLE was the result of men.

        Benjamin Disraeli, England's Prime Minister during the Victorian era, wrote a fine commentary I think fits many situations similar to the ISLAND QUEEN, TITANIC, HINDENBURG, ANDREA DORIA--possibly Pearl Harbor, 1941. "Man is not the victim of circumstances. Circumstances are the 'result' of men." In this case "man and men" refering to the human species. Well, again, what do I know?

        R. Dale Flick
        Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.