Naval Safety Center
It starts with a couple of sober Sailors bucked up and driving; so far, so good. But, as is so often the case with the mishap reports, salient details are missing which leaves the Safety Center to speculate on exactly what happened next.
One guess, these Sailors were participating in some sort of driving lesson or in a new-car demo.
According to the mishap report, just before the “you-know-what” hit the “you-know-what,” both driver and passenger were noted as “looking down to shift the car from fourth to fifth gear.” The car, left to its own devices, ended up making a bee-line for the concrete base of a light pole.
The driver suffered a broken rib; the passenger, a broken wrist, a jammed hip, a strained back and some internal bruises.
Was the driver really trying to shift from fourth to fifth gear in a parking lot?
Next up, consider the saying, “when you own a boat, it’s like a hole in the water that you pour money into.” The same can be said for time and energy.
For example, an engineering duty officer had to replace some decking. While he was fully togged out in the requisite personal protective equipment (PPE), or as the narrative summed up as gloves, hearing and eye, until he had trouble getting a grip on a plank.
So, he took off his gloves which earned him a rusty staple puncture on his finger. He spent a day in a hospital and received nine days of light duty, allowing him time to study up on work gloves that guard hands and make it easier to grip.
Remember, the first “P” in PPE doesn’t stand for “Part-time.”
This one happened on an amphib as Sailors were painting a space in which there was a ladder well. Because the safety chains were in the way, the Sailors decided to take them down and then covered the top of the ladder well with paper.
The supervisor, a culinary specialist second class, apparently didn’t realize the danger that lay ahead from this booby-trap because he failed to broadcast a hazard alert after the chains were taken down.
While the paper could prevent paint spatter down the ladder, it couldn’t support the weight of anything heavier than a drop of paint, and certainly not a Sailor. An oblivious Sailor, who was looking up while painting the overhead, suffered from a case of sudden-onset dropsy, fell onto the hidden ladder and sprained her thumb.
This last mishap was a special delivery from a correspondent in the fleet.
Aboard Navy amphibious assault ship in the enlisted galley, a pair of culinary specialists third class were making lunch. One of them decided to toss a can of menudo to the other but failed to forewarn him with something along the lines of: “Head’s up, incoming tripe.” Add to that, it would have also helped if the can was actually thrown to him rather than bouncing it off an overhead vent.
Needless to say, the can caromed off the vent, banged into his forehead and left a gash that required five stitches.