All these stories are true and happerned to either me or friends/work colleagues of mine

Barking up the wrong dog

Late one night, when returning from ashore, the fourth engineer began darting from corner to corner 'machine gunning' his two young companions- his hands forming the gun, mouthing the requisite noises. A closed portacabin was situated at the entrance to the docklands, the guard was absent. The increasingly excited fourth ran up the steps to the darkened cabin, booted the door in then dived inside into the darkness and began 'machine gunning' the interior.

'Dagger,dagger, dagger" he went. "Dagger, dagg....." Suddenly he was silent

The two companions, who were stood outside, were startled to see a huge alsation with a perfect 'what the f**k was that' expression come bounding out of the cabin. The dog began to get its head together and started looking for someone to growl at.

As the two companions edged away the reappeared fourth , with a brave smile and saying 'whose a good boy' in a shakey voice, tried to placate the now very, very upset big mean dog.

In a great show of loyalty, the two companions legged it

Normal service will be resumed

A cadet training officer believes he has the God given right to wind up his brood, unfortunately it can sometimes backfire.

On a whim the cadet training officer and the fourth wound the newly arrived cadets- twelve pieces, that the ships master held sunday service on the bridge. They were expected to attended at 10am sharp in full uniform.

Things being what they are, they forgot all about it-------until.

Sunday duly arrived, the cadets turned up on the bridge, the Master et al was there. Much side ways glancing went on for about half an hour until the Master (unfortunately not one noted for his sense of humour) demanded to know what the hell was going on.

Fishing for trouble

Ashore with the Norwegian third proved a handful for the Fourth Engineer.

On a warm summers afternoon, sat in a bar in Gibraltar, and despite the fourths protestations, the third decided to entertain himself by baiting the British Army soldiers who were there having a quiet drink with their girl friends.

Surprisingly they took it all good humour. Eventually however, one came over and asked him to quiet down a little, adding jokingly that he was after all in a part of their country.

"Ah yes, nice little spanish fishing village you have here " came the maximum volume reply.

Only the (reluctant) intervention by two off duty CID officers prevented too much damage being caused.

Caught cat napping

Tired following a full days work on a poorly supply boat, the intrepid port engineer made his way to his car late one night.

Got in,started the engine---then all hell broke loose.

Two cats had entered though a part open window and had settled for the night on the back seat. On being awakened, one threw itself at the windscreen, jammed its head in the edge where the glass meets the dash and clawed like mad to get out. The other, not be out done, was doing somersaults in the back spraying feaces and urine in every direction.

The poor Port engineer, once he had let the cats out, then had to drive home in his badly smelling company car with destroyed dash working out an explanation for the boss.


Vessel at OPL in east asia. After an emergency dry-docking and leak testing of a cooler the bilges are full of water. Under pressure from the powers that be the 2nd engineer decides to reduce below alarm level to allow UMS.

He is not unduly concerned as there is virtually no oil and the OWS is working perfectly. After half an hours pumping he wanders up for his lunchtime sandwich.

His tranquil mood is spoilt when he reads an article in the local daily news paper about a German Chief Engineer and Chief Officer have received a 2 year custodial and $50,000 fine for pollution in the OPL.

Now somewhat shaken he meets the Chief Officer in the alley way. " Did you see that article about the C/E and C/O being jailed for pollution", he asked.

"Yes, isn't it ridiculous with the state of the water. Just before this huge green cloud surrounded the hull", the C/O replied

The 2nd Engineer fell further into shock, of course they had been using floresceine in the water for leak detecting the cooler.

" Ah second, glad I caught you." said the C/E coming round the corner, "The divers have finished polishing and photographing the propeller "

Wet and Whingy

The third engineer was the torment of ths ship, for ever playing practical jokes

In the changing room at dinner time, scrubbing his forehead for the umpteenth time to remove the green food coloring that had seeped from his hard hat band, the second was determined to get his own back.

Grabbing the thirds shoes, he carefully filled one to the brim with water.

Unable to eat his dinner due to laughing so much the second sat in the control room desperately tring to keep a straight face but failing miserably.

One o'clock and in walks the third........SMILING!!! uh oh. thinks the second

In walks the huge Fourth with a face like thunder.

"Come on you have to take a joke" says the third. But the fourth was having none of it

The penny dropped, the second had filled the wrong shoe, now no longer troubled with mirth he manages to enthuse horror and disgust.

A Warm Welcome

Flying out to join his first vessel with his new company the third engineer arrives at the south american air port.He introduces himself to a gentlman holding up a sign with the name of his company on it.

The agent asks a few questions in broken english which the third duly answers affirmatively without really knowing to what.

Outside the agent takes him not to an expected minibus but a full on Limosine. From there, instead of going straight to the vessel he is taken to the main office. Here he is introduced to all the heads of department.

"I've cracked it here with this company", the third thinks, " There all so friendly!"

During his tour a weasel like man brushes past, and with a nod and a wink hands over a bottle of whisky.

Now sat down with a fresh cup of coffee, things start to get confusing. Sheet after sheet of ships drawings appear followed by complicated questioning on types of repair.

After about 10 minutes of this the office manager, looking perplexed ask him why he knows so little about the ship.

"This is the first time I'll be seeing it", the third replies. The penny drops

"So you are not the superintendent?", he is asked "Er, No", he replies. Ten miliseconds later he is thrown into the back of a minibus, without the bottle of whisky and watches the limosine screech off in the direction of the airport.

The Fall Guy

Some of you wont believe this one whilst others will give a knowing nod

The port engineer is showing a potential buyer around one of his companies vessels.

He has spent the last week having the ship, a supply boat, spruced up as best as possible with everybody in clean boilers suits, oil spills mopped up and more than a lick of paint here and there

Now the port engineer knows the condition of this boat is poor, in typical supply boat fashion the wing tanks are hanging off, the main engines running on negative oil pressure and the deck equipment there in body if not soul. But hey, thats the same condition his company bought the vessel in several years before!

Up pulls the potential buyers limo, an expensive suited middle eastern gentleman exits and walks up the gangway. Pleasantry's are exchaged at the gang way and the Port Engineer leads the buyer up the main deck to the accommodation to begin his tour.

Half way up the Port Engineer turns to point out something of interest, but the buyer has vanished!!

Walking back up the deck a hole is seen where no hole was before. Peering down, with an air of resignation he sees the buyer spralled across the engine tops

No Sale!! Oh and the buyer sued the pants off the boat owner for his broken leg.

Worlds Strongest Idiot

Going ashore in a group the fourth engineer excitedly describes how he managed to start a large towed air compressor the night before. Hurt by the gails of laughter the extra fourth is brought in to confirm that this did indeed occur. More laughter.

Much drinking and merriment later the party is making its way back to the ships. Would you believe it , here was the self same compressor.

"Right, I'll show you", says the fourth " I'll bump start the bastard, just like I did last night" and proceeds to lift the tow bar of the compressor.

By an incredible act of herculaneum strength he drags this huge compressor some 40 yards down the road. As the fourth sank to his knees through the exertion the extra fourth pointed out the green start button he had pressed the night before.

Speaky English

The bear of a third was becoming more amd more frustrated removing a small motor from a centrifugal pump.

" Take the motor up to the work shop for overhauling ", he said to the chinese motorman

The motor mans brow furrowed " EH!!! "

" TAKE...THE..MOTOR.. UP..STAIRS..FOR..OVER..HAULING! " spelled out the third at top of his voice

Shaken the motor man grabs the motor " Yes sir, yes sir ", and disappears

Cleaning the base the third waits for the motorman to return. A little late but he duly does.

" All finished sir, all finished " , says the motoman looking pleased with himself

Now the third looks confused, " Finished what? "

" Yes Sir, Yes Sir ", says the motorman, making a throwing action with his hands, " I've Over walled it"

What goes around....

"I can overhaul these Purifiers with my eyes closed", the Second engineer told the first trip cadet.

In front of the incredulous cadet, he preceeded to do so.

A half hour later and having retrieved the tools from the bilges for the upteempth time, the second decides to carry on in a more conventional manner.

With the purifer now complete, the second runs it up. Trys to put it on line but- no go. Investigation seems to indicate that no oil is entering the bowl so he checks the pump, three-way valve, bowl is closed. He reopens the bowl and double checks the obvious. After an hour investigation - still no go.

The cadet has absorbed his "reality check", now leaning with his arms crossed he observes the actions of the second through half opened eyes.

The second is by now beginning to loose confidence and question his own abilities, everything he can think of appears normal. With nervous laughter he asks the cadet, "You did put a hole in the joint you made for the inlet pipe?."

" Oh God, I'm sorry, I'm sorry..........."

Had his chips

" Oh God, not again " the captain said as the steward brought out boiled potates and placed them on the table.

At the end of the meal the Captain marched into to confront the asian Chief Steward.

" Boiled potates again, how many times have I asked for different types of potatoes, every day its boiled potatoes. Please, tomorrow, I want to see a different type of potatoe dish on the table "

Tomorrow duly arrives, the steward enters carrying..................boiled potatoes!!!! " Right thats it ", shouts the Captain and storms off after the Chief Steward.

" What did I tell you " the Captain bawled.

" But Captain , come ", replied the steward grabbing the captains arm and draging him into the vegetable cold room

" Look!! ", he exclaimed, pointing at the mound of potatoes, " We only have one TYPE of potatoe "

And there off!!!

The engines of the small 12 seater plane laboured hard to recover height after a sudden downpour had caused the pilot to abandon landing with the wheels within a couple of feet of the runway

The well travelled third smirked as he saw the fear in the eyes of the adjacent passenger, although he had not been this route before he felt pretty experienced.

The engines laboured hard to recover height after a sudden downpour had caused the pilot to abandon landing with the wheels within a couple of feet of the runway- for the fourth time. The well travelled thirds eyes bulged and his mouth flapped wordlessly-the passenger in the adjacent seat murmurred comforting remarks.

Having recovered his composure the third sat in the transit lounge happy that the next aircraft was of a more substantial size and about 100 seats. Noticing that the boarding card had no seat number the third queried this and was told that this was ok and he could sit where he liked.

After the 'now boarding' call he was led with the other passengers onto the skirt about 50yards from the aircraft, a rope prevented further movement. Suddenly the rope was dropped and passengers flew off like the start of a marathon. Initially the third tried to remain calm walking normally, three paces later he took off like a scalded cat arriving near the back of the group at the aircraft having managed to overtake a couple of women carrying children.

Onboard he desperately tried to find a vacant seat finally managing to sit next to a Japanese gentleman with a surprised look on his face. Some moments later a japanese lady turned up, the gentleman asked was it possible for the third to find anouther seat as the lady was his wife.

Peering round the third couldn't see any spare seats. " No Way ", he replied.

The 40 minute flight was spent in stony silence under the unblinking stare of the red faced japanese gentleman

Bird man

Settling into the comfortable arm chair by the real coal fire the second mate felt most most pleased.

He could hear his young girlfriend busy in the kitchten, her parents had gone out for the evening and he was looking forward to some fun and games.

The only dark cloud was the pet Budgerigar which his girlfriend had insisted in letting out of its cage for " a little fly around ", he tried his best to ignore it.

Deciding it had had enough of flying the bird looked for a place to land- it chose the balding head of the second mate

" You little b*****d ", screamed the second mate in pained surprise. flapping at the bird with his hands he managed a perfect swipe knocking the bird at some speed away......and into the fire.

Rising like a phoenix the budgie took off like a flaming arrow up the chimney.

The third stared horrified, which quickly turned to awe, then appreciation.

"Brilliant" he said.

Going to sit back down his eyes wandered to the doorway, in which was stood his girlfriend with two cups of tea, her mouth open in a silent scream.

Needless to say no fun or games that night, or any other night after that between them

Going Home

'Now are you sure you want to do this', the chief engineer asked the third engineer.

The vessel was on its way to Iraq and the Third Engineer was due off. The choice was to stay on and get off the boat as it passed dubai on the way out or jump on to a small supply boat that was on its way already.

The third picked the latter. Things had started really well, the third had found a comfortable spot on the deck along with the several other personnel who where on there way home from different places. The case of beer he had taken with him had been shared out.

Problems has started when the vessel suddenly slowed from its meandering 8 knots to more like four. "Little problem with one of the engines ", the crew man said.

Then the vessel had changed course on the second day.

" we have to just take some supplies to an installation", the crewman had told them.

It was now into the third day, a metallic sound caused everybody to awaken- somebody had food. Several people jumped on to the unfortunate who had opened a can of corned beef. A fight broke out.

Dismayed the third leant on the hand rail.

The vessel he had left steamed past............ he was still anouther two days from dubai.

Wrong turn

Last year whilst on my second trip as a cadet on a tug, I was given the task of shutting down the main engines after we had tied up in Falmouth - under the watchful eye's of the Second and the Chief. As it was a task I had assisted in several times before, I felt fairly confident.

After transfering power from the shaft generators, I began to turn the dial to reduce the revolutions on the engine - odd - no change in engine tone. I increased the revs, then decreased - still no change in engine tone. This went on for maybe twenty seconds until we fell into complete darkness.

Not knowing what had happened, the Chief rang the bridge, to be told that the Captain had hit the emergency stops as we were churning up water and straining the ropes - sending deck crew running for cover in all directions.

The Chief shared visions of having a long night ahead of us stripping down the gearbox, until the Second spoke up - "Ian, which of the three dials were you turning just then?". With a sollemn look I reallised I had been adjusting the proppellor pitch. Needless to say, after much piss-taking, a proper bollocking, and many pints later that night, normal service was resumed.

Now when I shut down, the Second takes out a large dead-blow hammer and hovers over my hand with it! It's true, worse things happen at sea!

Ian, second year cadet

Raising the Union Jack

Two cadets during summer recess in Plymouth take the ferry to Roscoff for a walking holiday with tents strapped to their back

One Night, as cadets do, they get plastered. Before settling down one goes to the 'squat,thrust' toilet. After pebble dashing the basin the cadet realises to his horror that there is no toilet paper. But he is resourceful, he uses his underpants which barely cope with the load.

But now what to do, their are people outside the communal toilet some no doubt waiting to use it. He has no choice, he takes the undies with him aiming to throw them into the bins

He approaches the bins-quick look round, all clear. He takes the undies out of his pocket and............

Four girls walk round the corner.

What can he do, he looks left, he looks right, there is no escape. He makes the only decision posible, bravely he raises the undies to his face and blows his nose and quickly moves on.

Back at the tent with the offending article still in his hand he angrilly launches it over the two tents, and settles down for the night.

Morning comes and the two cadets appear and make their way to the washing facilities for their three 'esses'.

"Morning, bon martin ", they shout out cheerily. But all the campers the had built up a friendly relationship either stared at them stonily or ignored them completely. Totally confused they clean up and make their way back to the tents

All becomes apparent, behind the tents is a small tree, and fluttering in the wind hanging from it is a pair of white, bown and yellow underpants. Like a kind of regimental flag. Which I suppose it was.

They passed over making excuses and left-quickly.

I would like to say this was the most embarassing thing that happerned but there was so much more. Begging for cash from other campers, waking up in the train station of a small village as the locals had ganged up and them and frog marched them to it the night before, the mule.......

Oops, I did it again

The third engineer stood man apart from the other engineers. He had been for many years senior second engineer on a famous steam passenger ship before it was sold off. Now he was sailing with motor engineers whose combined age-including the chief, added to not much more than his.

In port, mate screaming for cargo pumps and the boiler needed to be lit.

"I'll do it !!" said the old third, and off he pops.

The boiler is a medium sized front fire D type with ingitors long since inoperable. Instead was a large shallow tray into which strips of rag where placed then the whole thing soaked in gas oil. ( okay , you know where this is leading but stay with me)

The Chief and fourth gave the third a good head start then follow him down. As they arrive the third has just opened the steam and fuel on the first burner and is introducing his flaming rag on a stick. The chief was now standing on the boiler platform, the fourth standing with his back to the ladder.


Disapointed the third pulls the rag on a stick out and finds it coated in heavy oil. He then patiently starts to wrap a new rag round the stick. The fourth backs to wards the ladder.

KerboooooooooM!!!!. The Third has reintroduced the stick with its new flaming rag into the boiler, which has been pouring oil into the furnace without purging. The fourth, turned to run up the ladder but was pushed onto the ladder and then pinned by the cief who was trying to clamber up the back of him.

Freeing himself the the fourth turns to see the third looking at him with something approaching disgust, framing him was the huge fire he had managed to start when he threw the still lit rag on a stick into the gas oil soaked rag tray.

The third demonstrated his lack of respect for the Chief engineer each night before he went to bed. He would take his bin full of empty beer cans - of which there where many, and dump the lot into the chief engineers day room.

Snooker Loopy

Having sailed with the malaysion colleagues for a couple of years on a few ships of the same class the British Third had built up a very friendly working relationship.

When the news came through that he had to stop for four days in Kuala Lumpar whilst transferring ship was greeted with much excitement with his colleagues.

A little surprised but mainly pleased with the reaction the Third duely paid off and went to the Hotel.

After a very short period of settling in there was a knock at the door, opening he was greeted by a small group of his old chums with their partners.

"Were are we off?", he asks- expecting a name of a restaurant, or a club as a reply.

Looking a litle surprised one of the groups replies "The Local Snooker club".

Initially non-plussed the Third suddenly began to remember having mentioned he regularly played snooker at his local Men's Club. Factoring the malaysian obsession with the game he realised he was in trouble....or was he. A couple of beers, smack a few balls aroud with a few mates, what the hell he thought!.

Arriving at the hall he was confronted by a large number of tables all in use. "Oh no he thought".

He heard his colleagues conversing in Malaysian with some of the others, like a wild fire a murmur ripped through the room and a large portion stopped playing and walked over to the best table in the room. The Third felt faint.

The table cover was removed and a box of perfect snooker balls reverently brought out and laid down. Before he could grab a club cue one was offered.

Standing to break off, surrounded by a group of people all waiting for what they believed was going to be the highlight of their day/month/year, the third accepted his fate. He stepped up to the table.......... Well all I can say is that it was bad, really really bad.

Good Samaritan

The Crane driver was returning his 120 tonne class crane ATV vehicle to the yard ( big piece of kit).

He was a big bloke and had got in trouble with the company several times for aggression therefore he was determined to keep a clean sheet

The drive back had been uneventfull and he had allowed his mind to wander--------coming round the corner he saw a cat in the middle of the road, he swerved this way and that but couldn't avoid going over the top.

Shaken, he looks in his wing mirrors but sees nothing.

having stopped he walks back to about were hebelived the cat should be-nothing! He looks around and movement in the verge cathces his eye. He knew it was a cat, it must have been the cat he had hit. Trembling with emotion he walks back to the lorry and picks up a shovel.

With tears in his eyes he gives the cat a well aimed blow finishing it off.

Back in his vehicle he is several miles down the road when blue flashing lights and siren of a police car make him pull over.

"Out of the vehicle, sir" says the obviousy very annoyed police man.

"Whats the problem" he asks

"We have had a complaint from a cat owner that you killed there cat that was playing in the verge outside there house. They all saw you do it, the little girl is traumatised"- the policeman says

"Yes", the crane drive says " I had no choice, I........". It was at this point the crane driver noticed the remains of a cat still embedded in one of his wheels. He then begins to think that he couldn't actually remember seeing any injuries on the cat he had spaded...........