extremely knowledgeable in minesweeping
Personnel should never be permitted to lean
terminology and phone procedures. At all times, the
over, reach over, or handle sweep or depressor
wires while the wires are under tension or are
bridge must be kept informed of the situation on the
subject to tension.
Leather palm gloves are permitted in inclement
MOORED MINESWEEPING SAFETY
weather and at the discretion of the supervisor.
EXPLOSIVE CUTTER SAFETY
The following safety precautions apply to moored
minesweeping operations, in addition to the general
minesweeping safety precautions:
The following safety precautions apply to
explosive cutter operations, in addition to the general
A properly briefed lookout should be stationed
minesweeping safety precautions:
on the bow with a charged fire hose to spot
floating or shallow-moored mines. If the
Always treat cutters as a loaded gun and point
lookout spots a mine, he or she should
them in a safe direction.
immediately report the sighting and state the
mine's relative bearing and approximate distance
Face the anvil outboard when cutters are stowed
from the ship. The lookout should then proceed
on the deck in preparation for use, with safety
pins in place.
-- If the mine is floating, use the fire hose to
Disarm cutters when they are not needed.
direct a water stream into the water next to
the mine in a manner to force the mine away
Always fit a safety pin in a cocked, armed cutter
from the ship. The water stream should
and ensure that the pin cannot fall out. Do not
never be aimed directly at the mine in an
remove the safety pin until the cutter is
attempt to wash it away. Doing so might
positioned on the sweep wire. On recovery,
caused the mine to explode.
replace the safety pin before removing the cutter
or any debris from the wire. Ensure that the
-- If the mine is shallow-moored, have the ship
undertake evasive maneuvering.
safety pin is installed in the Mk 15 cutter before
removing the cutter from the sweep wire.
Personnel should never be permitted to stand or
work under a suspended load, or to stand
Use an arresting disc in the Mk 15 cutter in all
between a suspended swinging load and the
above-water operations to absorb any excess
taffrail or any solid object.
energy of the cutting punch. In underwater
operations, the arresting disc must not be used;
All gear should be kept working (under normal
the water absorbs the excess energy. In an
tension) while it is streaming. Normal tension is
underwater operation, an area within a 25-foot
approximately 500 pounds. Slackened gear can
radius of the activity must be clear of personnel.
become dangerous when tension is reapplied.
Way should never be allowed to come off the
If a cutter shows evidence of having fired and the
gear, particularly in shallow water. The most
cutting punch is still intact while the cutter is still
likely time of losing tension on gear or of the gear
on the sweep wire, immediately cock the firing
becoming dead in the water is during turns. The
plunger, remove the breech block, extract the
following rules concerning floats are the best
cartridge carefully, and jettison the cartridge
-- Keep the float abaft the beam.
Keep hands and body clear of the anvil.
-- Prevent the float from crossing the ship's
Ensure that the correct explosive cartridge is
Cutters, otters, or depressors should never be
Handle the stock cartridge according to
brought close aboard without being examined
appropriate safety precautions.
for mines fouled in the gear.