18 JANUARY, 2020 - THE DREDGER ATE MY BOAT - PART TWO
I sleep for 1/2 an hour, when the sun gives us light (at 0700) I can finally go out to "see" the situation.
No one around anywhere... so I am able to inspect the dredge pipe, tie downs, cleats and figure out what happened.
Always critical of people and the unqualified, In the process of looking around, I have two deja vu-like recalls...
One is remembering the day earlier as I sat in the galley watching the dredge crew shut down and secure for the night, I watched a no cross-tie of the dredge occur, and a stand up "puppeteer" of the dock line holding the pipe, around the cleat. (which had reminded me of a cowboy swirling a lariat just above the earth as a show of mastery)...AND ...
Two, in remembering what happened when the St. Lawrence Seaway (River) Dredge crew, got behind schedule and called in the Lake Ontario (Lake) dredge crew and equipment for support, these were "big" Ellicotts- one was a bucket dredge, their very first day on station the Lake crew's problems began.
Unaccustomed to dealing with tidal rise-fall or river "flow", the stationary wharf we all tied equipment to became an overnight (unattended) disaster, the Lake crews half-witted tie-downs were undone by morning, and (just like here) their outpipes broke loose as did their skiffs, and 1/4 mile of float pipe all went downriver.
In the night, a freighter took their slurry line, floats and all, 30 miles upstream before cutting it free.
We had a knot tying and tie-down school that next day, and we simply had to be sure a final check was made of all their tie-downs before ever leaving the docks at night.
-------------- Observing the process in place here, it would not have passed muster for our crew back then... 'nuff said. what happened was the cowboy knot slipped 20 foot allowing the outpipe to follow the tide flow,the harder it pulled-the more the knot slipped.
Obviously, some sort of damage control ass-chewing occurred, because last night they did a satisfactory job on securing, and we slept well. We will see about future nights.
Never trust a crew working any boat (tender to full size) that does not have night-work lights fitted... No one ever took the courtesy time to stop by and say ... OOps, we messed up. it tells you a lot about the company, crew experience levels, safety and work ethic.
Brien Mill our Port Diver will go under So...fea for a conditional inspection, just to be sure, and we hope that finally (possibly ?) the port will take action to establish a serious 24-hour overview of their harbor and emergency response.