Case of Full Astern and Hard a Starboard Working


James Hill

Member
Feb 20, 2002
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My Granddad recently told me about this event that happened in the early 50`s when he was Senior Fourth engineer aboard the West India Line`s Campala.He told me that it happened when he had just came on watch to assist the Senior Second engineer.Then the telegraph rang Full Astern.My Grandad was very angry at the Indian oilers on watch as they spoke and read very little english.So my Granddad and the second engineer had to do all the work.Thankfully they managed to get the ships engines Astern.Then they just felt the ship turn to Starboard (The sistem that happened on the Titanic had been changed in 1928 I belive)A Qaurtermaster who was at the wheel reinforced what my Grandad felt.Apparantly what had happened up top was a smaller steamer was coming at a fast speed towards the Campala and the officer of the watch carried out theese actions.If anyone wishes my Grandad is happy to let his other stories to be told on the board.Several of them are quite amusing.One contains the Second engineer,a fire,a powerful water pistol and and a pair of glasses.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Hampstead, London
Attempting to follow Monica's advice and steer us into calmer waters in our discussion of 'hindsight', I have found this thread-end to pick up. We would like to hear further anecdotes of his Grandfather's, but meanwhile James has made reference to something of great importance in the story of Titanic. If rationalization of verbal directions to helmsmen was "changed in 1928", it was not due merely to differences of language, of course, but to previous misunderstandings that had arisen - and which were especially liable to occur in emergency situations. Hence, the wishful-thinking in the minds of many of us - since the dire consequences of it on the night of April 14, 1912 - that 'hard a starboard' had been simply the necessary communication of the decision as to which way the ship itself should turn. Had such been acted upon, then Titanic would not have grounded on the extending shelf of the iceberg's lower, 'dead-ahead' end. Also - because the iceberg crossed its path - the opposite and higher peak was the one further away, and cannot have endangered the ship. In hindsight!
 

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