1977/1917.- Poisonous Atmosphere - Apparatus for Entering Compartment Filled.

(N.S. 38190/16. - 25.5.1917.)

Attention should be given to the following points when entry into a compartment filled, or supposed to be filled, with a poisonous atmosphere is contemplated :-

  1. The Antigas Respirator will not protect against carbon monoxide or deoxygenated atmosphere which may be expected in Coal Bunkers and enclosed spaces on board ship.
  2. The shallow-water diving apparatus (Patt. 200) a t present supplied to ships can be made quite efficient for use in a compartment containing carbon monoxide or any noxious gas by simply putting the loose part of the jacket beneath the ordinary uniform trousers as worn by Officers and men, and tying the belt provided with the apparatus firmly over the la tter. The rubber trousers employed for diving purposes need not be used.
  3. One charge of "oxylithe," as supplied with the apparatus, will last for three-quarters of an hour (see Diving Manual, pages 72 and 74).
  4. The wearer can safely do a limited amount of manual work such as rescue work when wearing the Helmet in the above manner.
  5. The most satisfactory manner of treating a Compartment containing carbon monoxide gas would be to remove the la tte r by means of a powerful fan attached to a Hose Pipe of large diameter, the gas being exhausted into the open air of the upper deck and not into any closed compartment. This method has been employed on board a ship in the case of carbon dioxide gas with success. After the pump has been in use, a bird or small animal, such as a mouse, rat, or cat, if available, should be kept in the compartment for half an hour before anyone unprovided with protection should be allowed to enter. Small birds such as canaries are very sensitive to carbon monoxide.
  6. The Patt. 200 diving apparatus could be used for any rescue work that is necessary during the time that the chamber is being cleared by the above method.

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