Thursday, September 3, 2015

Near Sinking on West Pier

By Ron Moreland
In late July a home on West Pier came very close to sinking. Disaster was averted only because of the efforts of fellow residents, especially John O’Dea from East Pier. John was walking past the house, noticed the extreme list and immediately knocked on the door. Even as John was speaking to the home's resident the list increased to the point water came close to overflowing the top of the barge. John ran for his pump and immediately began pumping liquid over- board. He called other residents for help, who showed up with their own pumps.

The Fire Department was also called, but fortunately by the time they arrived the situation was under control. What happened? As with almost all flooding cases, it was a fresh water leak, not salt water. Or at least semi-fresh water, as it turned out the problem was a sewage tank overflow. The owner had been moving stuff in the hull and accidently bumped the electric cord for the pump.
What is the moral of this story? Make sure the electrical connection for your sewage pump is secure. Always have a backup overflow alarm on your sewer tank. Even when plugged in, sewage pumps can and do fail. Also, be extremely careful with any interior hose connection. Especially vulnerable are the hoses to your clothes washer. My connections are flexible stainless steel hoses. Some people even turn off the water to their homes when away on long vacations. If you have bilge pumps, make sure they are working. And if your home is listing more than usual, there probably is a good reason for you to check it out.