Ship-to-ship passenger transfers

In a recent rerun of Hawaii Five-O (episode "Murder–Eyes Only, 1975 season premiere), Commander Steve McGarrett is doing a two-week stint in the Naval Reserves. Of course, where McGarrett goes, trouble follows–[sup]1[/sup]often in the person of the nefarious [sup]2[/sup]Wo Fat.

To investigate a murder (whose trail indeed leads to Wo Fat), McGarrett is transferred from one warship to another in a ski-lift-looking contraption that is bridging the two ships.

The question then: How do they get the ships linked together in the first place? (Not that I think it’s hard, I’m just wondering about the procedure, since I don’t think you want to get these [sup]3[/sup]behemoths too close together.

[sup]1[/sup]Actually, only 11 times in its 12-year run.
[sup]2[/sup]Portrayed by Yellow-Peril-at-large (and non-Asian!) actor Kenneth Dickerson from NJ!
[sup]3[/sup]I know.

The art of putting two underway ships that close together is a dangerous and tricky thing, one our navy does many times a day. I don’t think a lot of other navies (if any, ChiefScott?) do unrepping (underway replenishment) because it’s so dangerous. Most unrepping is done for fuel as oil fired ships can’t go that long without it.

Unrepping was also the cause of the only ship collision I’ve ever been in. Early fall '83 on the second day of the ill fated Ranger cruise to the Indian Ocean. Most of the day shift was still in the rack at about six when we were awoken by the GQ klaxon. Hearing someone scream over the 1MC (pa system) “general quarters, all hands man battle stations, this is not a drill” really puts a pucker in your butthole.

We were taking on fuel from the Wichita when a swell caused the two ships to bump. The Witch did an immediate breakaway from our starboard side, tearing off fuel hoses and lines. The collision damage wasn’t massive, some mangled railings and a smashed compartment in my squadron’s line shack just under the flight deck. The most serious thing was the damage near the bomb handling area. No bombs but a ruptured 35 liter container of liquid oxygen. Fortunately the LOX didn’t hit any oil and we managed to dump it over the side.

I’ve never seen or heard of anyone using the Boatswain’s chair in the time I was in. Helecopters are much safer and quicker. I think I actually remember that episode as I was a loyal Hawaii Five-0 watcher. The Bridges at Toko Ri also has a scene with a boatswain’s chair transfer.

It starts with a coil of 1/4 inch rope tied to a softball sized object. The object is “shot” with a gun to the other ship. It has a range of about 300 feet. Use the quarter inch rope to pull over the larger rope that will be used in the crossover.

The lead ship’s goal is to maintain a steady course and speed, the same speed as the waves. The 2nd ships goal is to maintain a steady bearing and range from the first ship.

That’s just freaking GREAT! Now I’m going to have the Ventures playing that theme song in my head all day long. :smiley:

A little hijack…

I’m just a little ticked at The Ventures. Apparently they’re a BIG HIT in Japan, so any albums that they release NOW of new stuff automatically carries an “import” price tag, making it unaffordable for their American fans.

Now back to your regularly schdeuled thread… S


It’s been 25 years since I’ve ridden one of those things, my recollection is that the shot line (per bizerte’s post) was about the size of parachute cord. It was fired from our ship, (a destroyer) to the transfering ship (a carrier, oiler, or supply ship) they fastened it to a messenger line (1/2 nylon) which was fastened to the traveler and the actual king line 2 inch nylon. We fastened the king line to the king post, the other end was attached to an automatic tensioning device on the transferring ship. The messenger line was taken around the capstan and used to haul the traveler back and forth. 30 feet above the waves strapped into a metal basket is no way for any sane man to travel. :eek: :smiley: