Great  Balls-O-Fire
by  Kenneth  DeKing
27  Jan  2006
We had a first class EM called Ski who was in charge of the main power on the boat. Ski
was very careful about his main power cage in the maneuvering room. One day, Ski and I
were on duty as he was training me to be junior controllerman. Ski had told me several
times, if we get a bell for all ahead flank while submerged, how to throw the lever to put the
batteries in series for maximum voltage. He told me to put all of my a__ behind the lever
and do not, under any circumstances, let up until the lever was all the way forward and
locked. It must have been planned, because on that same watch, we got the bell for all
ahead flank. When I went to throw the lever, I was not ready for how hard it really was. I
got the lever about halfway and did not have enough weight behind it to get it forward and
locked. As I eased up to get more a__ behind it, huge balls of fire came out of the cage and
bounced around the maneuvering room. Ski was not amused! I had totally burned up the
breakers that made the connection and we could not answer the bell. I got a thorough
chewing out by Ski and when we got to port I had a good lesson on how to replace the
breakers. I could not believe how burned up they were! Needless to say, from that day
forward I always put all I had behind that lever.