GDU  Accident
by  Bruce  Schofield
19  May  2006
While standing watch in the galley during that horrendous storm in the North Atlantic on our
way to Ireland, I had a mess cook open the GDU (Garbage Disposal Unit) so I could
deposit some galley trash. Seeing it was a small amount he didn't bother to secure the
hatch; he just held it open. Since the GDU was almost full, I had to compact the incoming
trash  with my hand. You guessed it; the ship took a bad "pitch", the mess cook lost his grip
and the hatch crashed down on my hand.  Fortunately, as I yanked my hand out, the hatch
only caught the end of my fingers.

I was able to get to the galley sink and the injured fingers under water before I passed out
from shock.  When "doc" got me back to  the  med locker I passed out again.  When I
regained consciousness "my bladder was empty" . . .

When we arrived in Garelockhead, outside Londonderry, Ireland, I spent a night  in the
British naval hospital where they x-rayed and treated the smashed "digits".  I also had my
first cup of British tea.  "Welcome to the British Isles, Yank" . . .