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post #17 of Old 05-21-2008
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Here's an "old" C&D canal sea story:

In my younger days (1960s and 1970s), I was a licensed engineer on US flag cargo vessels. I was on watch in the engine room of a 600 ft steam turbine powered dry cargo vessel as we were transiting the C&D Canal on the way to Philadelphia from Baltimore. I suddenly felt some light bumps and then got a lot of frantic "bells" from the bridge on the engine order telegraph, asking for full astern, etc. Seems the canal authoriy had sent us and another ship going the other way though one of the bridges at the same time. Since it was wide enough for only one large vessel at a time, we touched bows and our ship ended up aground. Luckily damage was minor an we were able to proceed to Philadelphia where the USCG met us. Since I was the engineer on watch, I was interviewed and they compared the bridge bell book to mine in the engine room to verify that I had responded properly to the engine commands from the bridge. I was in the clear, but it was a very tense time for a young junior engineer.
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