September 2015, #4: Caution – Steam Leaks
1.Welcome to the latest edition of the Summary of Mishaps, in which we calmly examine a trio of folks who didn’t know how to breathe deeply and/or count to ten.
A. In his enlisted quarters overseas, an E-5 got bad news from his family stateside. He got upset (apparently, the fact that it was New Year’s Eve wasn’t enough to keep him in a festive mood). He punched a wall and broke his hand.
Great. Then his command could send bad news back to his family, and then maybe one of them could punch something hard and unyielding, and then… well, you get the picture.
Emotional thunderstorms come and go, but in the interest of long-term success (read: evals), you want to come back after a holiday leave period rested and ready to work. Don’t start with two weeks of a self-inflicted cast or crutches. Supervisors hate that.
B. Then there was the sonar technician on a destroyer who was frustrated about what the mishap report summarized as “lack of manning and passing certifications.” He socked a chair, broke his hand and needed surgery.body
There’s nothing that helps a lack of manning so much as having someone on light duty.
C. And to conclude this week’s “Ahh, That Feels Better!” department, an E-4 (also a sonar technician, but on a submarine, not a destroyer like that last guy) was getting off work. He was “frustrated with what happened that day,” the report vaguely said. The E-4 punched a diesel generator. He broke his hand and needed surgery.
Please refer to the comments at the end of the previous two sections. I’ve exceeded my quota of sarcasm for this topic.
D. A senior chief aviation electronics technician was riding her Harley to work one morning. She made it onto base, but when she tried to make a left turn on a wet road, she hit a puddle and her rear tire started to skid.
We have, in the past, described the bucking-bronco-style wreck where a rider loses control, starts to slide off the back, twists the accelerator and unwillingly does a wheelie. Our E-8 logged in a variation. She tried to “compensate for the skid and accidentally actuated the cruise control lever,” the report said, or in this case, a cruise-out-of-control lever. The ensuing burst of acceleration ended at the nearest fence. The E-8 broke bones in her leg, shoulder, wrist and ankle.
She had completed the basic rider course nine weeks earlier, although the mishap report said she had a year of experience. As always with motorcycles, experience is good. Surviving the process of gaining experience is the hard part, and most of the time, you can see who is to blame by looking in a mirror.
2. That’s all for this time, shipmates. Next week you’ll need your earplugs and body armor. Consider yourself warned.
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