CLASS RECORD: Passing on the kindness PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 30 January 2015 13:44

BY Christine Y. Guinacaran


The second-mate burst with self-importance, as any second-mate,who was entrusted with a very delicate task could be.

He walked around the ship with an air of one, in whose reliable hands depended the prompt reports of the goings on in the boat.

This very confident feeling started when Captain Conrad, assigned him to do the departure and arrival report, which was normally done by the captain himself.

This assignment could not have been entrusted to a more eager crew than this rolly-polly, 56 year old, second-mate.

There was nothing he liked better than sitting in front of the computer and doing this report, even if he had to lose sleep over this prestigious assignment.

But this was not his main job in the boat. It was just a special sort of work which the good captain gave him the opportunity to do.  His real job, was to make sure that the ship navigated safely at sea.

One day, when  he was on duty, the captain reminded him to keep close watch thatthe ship did not drag.  “Yes”, he said absent-mindedly, and the captain went outto have his long delayed meal.

As soon the captain left, the second-mate made the departure and arrival report, which could just have been done anytime.

He was very engrossed with it, that he was unaware that the ship was already dragging on sand with the anchor chain under the ship’s keel!  The ship astern was also merely a stone- throw away from another ship!

The port control officialrepeatedly called this officer on duty about the alarming situation throughthe VHS radio, but the contented second mate happily typed away, oblivious of the hazards around him.

He just realized the impending disasterafter the ship has been dragging for one mile already! The captain of the other ship was frantically shouting, demanding that they move away,and  conform by the one-mile required distance.

Can you imagine the great seatragedy if the two ships collided with each other?  Everyone panicked,  andspeedily maneuvered the ship away from the other, till it was in safe distance.

The captain was very furious! He reproached the irresponsible second mate for his negligence,andtold him that he was  being discharged.

Then when the captain was alone, he thought about their situation.  The ship  miraculously veered away andwas able to avoid contact with the other.  Although it was very close, they were all safe now.

Nothing else could have saved them from the terrifying danger, except the grace of God.  And therefore, the captaindecided  to pass on the kindness to the erring second mate as well.  He did not discharge him anymore.