This Day in Coast Guard History – Dec. 18

Friday, December 18, 2009

1912-The premier issue of The Lighthouse Service Bulletin (January, 1912), described an incident on board the lighthouse tender Amaranth in connection with a Pintsch gas buoy. According to the documentation: “On the morning of the 18th of December [1910], at the Detroit lighthouse depot, eleventh district, during a pressure test of the B III type Pintsch gas buoy, the buoy blew up, and John A. Dunbar, machinist attached to the tender Amaranth, was killed. The test was made with Pintsch gas at a pressure of 18 atmospheres (approx. 270 pounds), and the buoy exploded as Mr. Dunbar closed the valve, the compressor having been shut down about five minutes before the accident. The top of the buoy separated from the barrel portion of the buoy at or near the weld, taking the cage work with it. The cage carried away the mainmast of the Amaranth and fell to the dock. The cone landed on and broke through the roof of the lamp shop some distance away. The barrel portion of the buoy and counterweight went through the dock. Paragraph: ‘Test of gas buoys and tanks,’ page 34 of the Regulations of the United States Lighthouse Service [sic], provides for the test of buoys by hydrostatic pressure and not by gas or air. The bureau regrets the loss in the line of duty of an efficient and conscientious employee. This is the first buoy accident of this character in the United States Lighthouse Service.”

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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