have all necessary postfire equipment at the scene
by the time the fire is out. This equipment should
include axes, rakes, cutting torches, an oxygen
analyzer, an explosimeter. You should
set the reflash watch with a charged
hose manned and ready to extinguish any
flare-up of the fire;
test the compartment for explosive gases
and oxygen content, in that order;
overhaul the fire, breaking up any areas
where danger of smoldering embers exists;
retest the compartment for explosive gases;
desmoke and retest again.
One of the most important damage control
measures is to control flooding. Drainage by fixed
systems or portable pumps is ineffective in
handling flooding caused by damage until the rate
of flooding has been controlled. The entire
pumping capacity of the drainage systems is
sufficient to care for flooding only when the leaks
are small. A hole in the hull, with an area of
only 1 square foot, 15 feet below the surface, will
admit water at 13,900 gallons per minute (gpm).
The total pumping capacity of the fixed drainage
systems in a large combatant ship, for example,
is only 12,200 gpm.
All pumping facilities cannot be used on any
single flooded compartment. Therefore, it is
essential that you isolate compartments flooded
by underwater damage by watertight subdivisions
before dewatering efforts can be successful.
Basically, two methods can be used in the
control of flooding: (1) restrict or entirely stop
the flow of water entering the hull and (2) confine
and remove water that has entered or is still
entering the ship.
Preparatory Measures to Resist
Flooding Before Damage
It has been wisely said that 90 percent of the
work of damage controlthe important part-
is accomplished before damage and only about
10 percent after the ship has been hit. Most
preparatory work consists of measures taken to
toughen the ship to resist flooding.
An important first step is for all personnel
concerned with damage control to learn what
features have been designed into their ship to
enable it to resist flooding. The most significant
of these features is the extent and type of vessel
subdivision. The subdivision of the vessel will
determine the extent and type of flooding that can
occur and the type of corrective measures needed
after damage. The DCA, repair party officers,
and repair party leaders should also know the
extent to which bulkheads adjacent to damage can
be submerged before uncontrolled flooding arises.
To combat flooding successfully, you need
speed and accuracy. To be effective in applying
corrective measures, damage control personnel
should be familiar with the equipment provided
to control list and trim and to improve stability.
All hands should learn the general effects of
a torpedo hit or other underwater damage to their
ship. Since a single hit may wipe out entire repair
parties or possibly carry away the damage control
central station, ships may have to depend on other
than repair parties to confine the flooding, to
fight fire, and so forth. More important, vessels
have been lost because personnel escaping from
damaged areas left doors and hatches open behind
them, thus permitting rapid spread of loose water.
All hands should be trained to confine flooding
by securing doors and hatches, lest stability
efforts be too little or too late.
Certain material preparations are vital in
toughening the ship to resist flooding. They
maintaining watertight integrity of the
properly classifying closures and fittings,
properly setting material conditions of
providing adequate and well-distributed
operable damage control equipment.
Types of Flooding
There are two major types of flooding: solid
SOLID. If your ship has received severe
underwater damage, compartments will be badly
ruptured and completely flooded. Little or
nothing can be done to correct this damage.
Isolate the compartments to permit concentration