NEW YORK FIRE COLLEGE COURSE, Edited by
(Continued from page 237.)
Another thing to be remembered; when ship is at dock or in the harbor and cargo has been removed for one consignee from the lower deck, the boat is apt to be top-heavy and there is danger of it overturning. Use the water ballast tanks for aiding the boat to keep an even keel. Connect lines from the engine to fill up ballast tanks.
Sound how much water there is. If the boat draws 15 feet and is 15 feet above water, you can put her down in 30 feet of water. Be careful of the bottom. It should not be stony for the weight of the boat going down on sharp stones will rip her open.
There are many times where you can get at the fire from both ends. Where fire is in the center and ventilation in the center, this is possible, but where the ventilation is at either end, there is danger of one company driving the fire toward the other. In any case get ventilation and the men can work close up to the fire and do more effective work.
Pile Cargo Evenly in Shifting It.
In the case of fires on boats carrying sugar or similar materials and where they must be shifted, be sure to pile the cargo evenly so that the center of gravity of the boat will remain midway between the two sides and well below the water level; otherwise the boat may capsize. Take the weight off the top instead of the main deck so that the stability of the boat will not be affected.
Where railroad cars are burning on floats, the first step is to close the many hatches, for water will get into the hold and cause the boat to tip over.
The buckling of plates frequently causes the seam to open from end to end of a boat and an inrush of water results if the boat should take more water or list.
Copyright, 1018, by Fred Shepperd.
It is very often possible to tell the location of the fire if it has gained headway by the color of the plates above the water level.
Questions and Answers on Steamship Fires.
Q. On arriving on board a steamship that is on fire, what is the first thing you do?
A. Locate the fire.
Q. How would you proceed about it?
A. The ship’s officers are generally aware of the particular part of ship or cargo on fire. One or more hatches should be removed on each deck, until each compartment on fire is reached. A very excellent precaution is; while this is being done to have the ship’s officer get the diagram of ship. Bulkheads and com-
partments can be easily located by this diagram, as also the particular cargo which is in that part of the vessel.
Q. Assuming the fire is in the lower hold; how would you proceed to extinguish it?
A. If the fire had gained considerable headway, it would be necessary to flood the compartment.
Q. What is necessary before proceeding to flood the compartment?
A. See that all bulkhead water tight doors are closed, as well as the deadlights.
Q. Why is this a precautionary measure?
A. Because the compartment as it fills with water, is in all probability liable to cause the boat to list. Should the cargo or other ports be left open she would fill with water and sink. Should the bulkhead doors be open the water would flow from the compartment and flood the entire length of the ship, thereby doing unnecessary damage to cargo and other parts of the vessel.
Q. How would you flood the compartment?
A. By stretching 3 1/2-inch hose from fireboat, dropping them down into compartment with open butts, and maintain about 40 pounds pressure on the boat pumps.
Q. Assuming that you cannot get the hatches off, is there any other means by which you can get water into the compartment?
A. Yes. It will generally be found that one ventilator leads to each compartment. This can readily be distinguished by the heat and smoke pouring from it. The hose can be dropped into the ventilator, and the water pumped into the compartment on fire.
Q. If there is no ventilator, is there any other means?
A. Yes. In some ships, especially those of single bottoms, it is possible to flood the lower hold through the sea valves.
Q. Suppose the ship is in a condition where the greater part of the cargo is discharged; is there any particular precaution to be taken before starting to flood her?
A. Yes. A ship in the condition known as light, or partially discharged will take a very heavy list if water is poured into a compartment. So much so as to perhaps capsize. In order to avoid this, lines should be run to the ballast tanks and they should be filled at the same time as the compartment is filled, in order to keep the ship on an even keel.
Q. What precaution is taken when the ship is heavily loaded?
A. In order to determine the depth of water under ship, take soundings. As she goes down from water poured in and takes the ground, she is bound to take a very sharp list one way or the other.
(To be continued.)