Just another day of duty on the ship, of course its on a Saturday, while the officers are off at Busch gardens riding rides, I am stuck on the ship miserably waiting to stand my watch which was from 0200-0800. Normally the watch is 5 hours long but this week we were down people in our duty section so we were forced to stand 6 hours of watch.
The whole morning I was wide awake and luckily I brought my laptop and some war books to do research for the two briefs I’m giving at the end of May, beginning of June. One was for the Battle of Midway and the second was for the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.
I was sitting in the wardroom working diligently, eating sunflower seeds, and rocking out to music when I decided enough was enough, I was going to eat lunch and then go to bed for a few hours. I scarfed down my food and then had literally just took all of my crap back to my stateroom, when a rapid ringing of the bell came over the 1MC (speaker system) followed by ding ding ding FLOODING FLOODING FLOODING forward in sonar 3.
Since that was one of my spaces I immediately was out the door and took off running straight for the space. There’s a lock on the door so I knew the DC men and engineers would not be able to get in unless someone knew the combination, which is why I was running so quickly.
When I got down the ladderwell and took off running I was already trailing four people. Man, those guys are fast.
When we got to sonar one I opened the cipher lock and ran in and down the hatch showing them where sonar 3 was located. I stayed one hatch above, because the space wasn’t electrically isolated yet and I didn’t want to take my chances, and I did not want to fall into the water. There was only about 4-5 inches of water on the deck but it was in the most in-opportune space with no drainage and we couldn’t figure out exactly where the water was coming from.
I ordered everyone out of the space since we couldn’t do anything without getting it electrically isolated first and told them to report to repair 2, the closest repair locker in the vicinity. I went back up as well and manned the damage control net establishing communications with the quarterdeck, the mess decks, and CCS (engineering central control station).
Once we found the leak, which seemed to take forever and a day, and isolated it by shutting off certain valves, we all knew that getting the water out of the space was going to be an absolute bitch. We were almost thinking that we would have to have a bucket brigade, so as to not damage the equipment in the space. Needless to say we did not have a bucket brigade, but it was a long process and took a better part of the afternoon.
After we finally got the water out and the emergency was over, I knew I had to go to bed if I was going to be standing outside all night so I tried, but I could not. I barely slept before taking the watch at 01:30, but it wasn’t absolutely terrible, and somehow the time did pass.
As it were, this was one of my first real evolutions and since I was able to help out, I was quite excited. I was also very happy that my duty section took control so easily and we got the job done efficiently. I guess I’m finally starting to get a hang of this job, one day at a time…