Fireballs out of the DC Generator Board !!!!!    

     One night I was standing Electrician of the Watch at Main Control in the Engine Room.  The seas were running very heavy.  The ship was taking the waves head on and she was pitching from stem to stern.  I had managed to get a cup of coffee from the pot near the DC generators.  Looking down at the coffee, I could see the familiar "oil slick" floating on top of the brew.  I sat down between the two DC's and tried drinking the joe while holding on at the same time. 

     Everyone could feel the ship heave up on a huge wave and I remember saying to myself "This should be a good one".  The ship reached its high spot and gravity took over.  We fell back down with a shutter and a boom.  At that same instant, a huge fireball came out of both DC Generators.  I said Wholly Shit and ran over to the switchboard at Main control.  Both voltage meters said 240 volts but... NO load.  We had lost the DC generators!  MM's were scrambling to start steam backups.  As most of you know, about the worse thing to happen in heavy seas is to loose propulsion.  I grabbed the circuit breaker handle and pushed it up.  While pulling it on the way down it should bring the generator back on line.  Wam!... Another fireball appeared from inside the switchboard.  I looked up after the second fireball and there was EMC Law.  There he skivvies and flip flops along with LT. Whiteford, the Chief Engineer.  Chief Law took over.  Up went the main circuit breaker and back down again. WAM!.... another fireball jumped out at us.  Chief Law was sweating when I first looked up.  But now, the sweat is pouring off him like a Hollywood shower!.  I happened to notice that all four cargo holds were still energized and suggested that we turn them off.  The LT. said yes... "turn 'em off".  I did.  Chief Law grabbed the handle again up then down and ahhh..... the generator purred back on line.

After that, everything went back to normal.  Chief Law went back to his rack.  The Lt. hung around for a while.  I suggested that we could find out what happened by turning on each cargo hold breaker one at a time until the generator goes off line again.  He agreed.  On went No.1 nothing..., No.2 nothing..., No.3...  WAM!...... another fireball bounces across Main Control and the generator trips off line.  I quickly shut off the breaker and put the generator back on line.

 Submitted by John Train EM2