>MUNRO Ship’s Journal – BMC Greg Papineau

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My name is Greg Papineau and I am the Chief Boatswain’s Mate aboard the MUNRO. I have approximately 35 non-rated personnel that work for me. “Non-rates” are people who come straight out of boot camp and have yet to decide which specialty (rate) they want to pursue in the Coast Guard. In the meantime, while they wait for their school, they perform duties as mess cook, helmsman and lookout watches, and general painting and cleaning.

We conduct drills at sea to maintain proficiency in emergencies. One of these emergencies that we practice is called Man Overboard. Just the other day, while we were over 20 miles offshore, we conducted a Man Overboard drill. When the ship was maneuvering close to ‘Oscar’ (the name given to the manikin, which is also the name of the flag hoisted when this emergency occurs), several non-rates throw what is called a heaving line towards the person in the water. The person in the freezing water can then grab these lines so they get pulled closer to the ship to be rescued. The drill stops when the lines are thrown out towards Oscar. Well, the lines went over towards our Oscar, but one of the non-rates got a little carried away and yelled “Heads up on the Pier”. We all started laughing, especially since we were 20 miles offshore with no pier in sight. The term ‘Heads up on the pier’ is used when a ship makes an approach to a pier to moor and a heaving line is thrown to people on the pier so they can get the mooring lines attached to the pier and tie the ship up.

Photo: Crewmembers in MUNRO’s Deck Department practice throwing heaving lines on the flight deck.

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