Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Punchline In Search Of A Joke...

Open hatch sank Port Authority's $500G boat
A $500,000 Port Authority patrol boat sank this month after a veteran police sergeant took the advice of a clueless civilian safety instructor — and opened a hatch while it was under water, The Post has learned.

“It was like opening a window during a carwash,” one PA insider lamented of the screw-up off Breezy Point, Queens, that left 11 people scrambling for their lives.
Um... Really? Isn't the joke about a submarine and a screen door? Something like that? I'm trying to figure out how someone that would allow an underwater hatch to be opened managed to survive to adulthood without drinking out of a bottle with a skull and crossbones on it or using a hair dryer in the shower... 

Go read the article - there are pictures. Just remember one thing while you're laughing at the gross idiocy on display - this guy will more than likely not lose his job. Imagine if you screwed up at work and cause a half-million dollar piece of equipment that kind of damage. Now imagine your boss not firing you. Imagine just losing vacation time. Which, more than likely, your union will get back for you anyways...

Stopped laughing, didn't you?

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)

13 comments:

Ruth said...

The worst part, the guy who opened the door is doomed, and rightfully so since he's supposedly experienced, but not anywhere does it say anything about the "inexperienced safety officer" who told him to do so! I sincerely hope that means they fired the idiot already....

Yankeefried said...

The best part is at the bottom:


The PAPD is already reeling because its high-tech $100 million airport security system, the Perimeter Intrusion Detection, has been a bust.

In August, a man whose Sea-Doo ran out of gas in Jamaica Bay climbed a JFK fence, crossed two active runways and flagged down a baggage handler for help — all without being detected.

Paul, Dammit! said...

My old captain on my first tanker, a crusty old sailor, used to torture the safety management people when they came aboard. He liked to remind them that he was already a captain when they were born, and that if they ever suggested anything stupid, or in a less than polite fashion, he would see them shackled and locked in a dry goods locker until someone called looking for them, which was well within his power as master after God on his own ship.

For maritime issues, safety and security theatre employs far more people than does the actual industry in which they are granted oversight. This alone explains perfectly the lackluster response to maritime piracy, and the exponential cost increases in port security, despite the fact that there has NEVER been a legitimate security breach in US waters.

Glenn B said...

And to think, they had te nerve to give the boat the number 7211 then assign an asshole to command it. 7+2=9 followed by 11!

Geodkyt said...

Seriously? Who the frack decided to have a below the waterline hatch that opens inward?

I mean, if it was an outward opening hatch, as soon as the seal was cracked, it would start leaking; actually opening it would start flooding -- but just letting go of the hatch would slam it shut under pressure, easy to seal & dog. That's why hatches like that are outward opening, preferably clearly marked as such with a notice as to the expected environment on the far side. (This is also why the "let’s put a warp drive on a submarine" cliché in Sci-Fi only works if you flip the hatches around -- where you are running a pressure differential between the "survivable" and the "lethal" sides of a hatch, always, always, always have the hatch open out towards pressure, unless it's a clearly marked escape scuttle, preferably with a highly visible frangible latch or seal on the dog mechanism that breaks under normal opening force.)

Did he think the water rushing IN, or the bubbles rushing OUT were a good idea? (Wet stuff in dry spaces = bad)

If it was a soft patch, it should have started leaking LONG before it was displaced enough to be unrecoverable -- and again, if you have a lethal environment on the far side of a soft patch, label the damned thing.

Who did they use for a design firm and construction yard, Wile E. Coyote Naval Architects and the Acme Shipyard?!?

Bubblehead Les. said...

Wait until they decide to replace the Maritime Patrol Agents with the TSA. Then we'll be Really Safer!

Geodkyt said...

It took a half hour to sink -- that tells me it was likely a perfectly recoverable screw up for at least a minute or two --plenty of time to close any inspection hatch he could get open while below the waterline.

So, Captain Nemo apparantly just LEFT the damned thing open. . .

Anonymous said...

+1 Geodkyt,

Typically on boats, if you get them up on plane and get pumps running, your our of trouble pretty quickly. (don't ask how I know)

So it appears the PANYNJ Naval forces did hear the bilge alarms or disabled them as they took on water. They didn't hail the USCG who could have pumped them dry in minutes.

Pretty piss poor performance by all on board.

Gerry

Ian Argent said...

Hmmph. Blame placed on non- agency "instructor." Since this is a sea story, I'll respond, thusly: tell it to the marines.

Ken O said...

God bless you for the entertainment , Jay. Since I work at the port, I will have to post this for my buddies and co-workers to ridicule.

R said...

These type of hatches are not uncommon as other commenters seem to think they are. Typically they are only useful if the boat is lightly loaded and in calm conditions but they can make it possible to maintain the running gear or un-foul propellers without diving our hauling the boat. The suggestion to use the hatch isn't as crazy as it seems but obviously wasn't pertinent to this boat, probably because it was carrying extra people and equipment.

wrm said...

> I'm trying to figure out how
> someone that would allow an
> underwater hatch to be opened
> managed to survive to adulthood
> without drinking out of a bottle
> with a skull and crossbones on it
> or using a hair dryer in the
> shower...

Nanny state. The DDT has been replaced with something which is not actually, well, you know, poisonous, and the bathroom power socket is on a ground fault interrupter circuit.

Geodkyt said...

R --

Equipment access hatches designed and intended for use solely in drydock are not going to sink a boat this size if you (and your boat builder) have enough neurons to make a synapse.

If big enough to sink the boat before you can notice and recover, they are either really freaking obviously not intended to be open at sea or impossible to open without diving overboard (if even something you can open against pressure without power assist).

If small enough that you can notice and fix the problem before you sink, it's really freaking easy to tell you made an OOPSIE and close the door before you become half a submarine ("she go down, but she don't come up").

I mean, if you pull a scuttle plug, and just stand there, watching the pretty fountain, do the gene pool a favor, and go down with the ship. Please.