Japan is preparing for the possible construction of one-million-ton oil tankers; many 200,000-ton tankers are already in use, and 310,000-ton tankers are under construction.
OFF NAGASAKI, JAPAN
GV Tankers in harbour
TV PAN..Tanker under way
TV & CU Packed parachutes (4 shots)
CU Ship's officer
CU Red and green parachutes release light
SV Officers on bridge
CU Finger presses button, parachutes released into sea (3 shots)
CU Crewmen with stop watches
CU Parachute in operation under water
CU Stop watch
TV Parachute under water
GV Tanker stationary
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Background: Japan is preparing for the possible construction of one-million-ton oil tankers; many 200,000-ton tankers are already in use, and 310,000-ton tankers are under construction.
Seamen are voicing fears about their safety on such vessels. A recent experiment off Nagasaki, in which the speed of the 30,000-ton tanker St. Isabera was regulated by means of parachutes, was designed to test a new method of reducing their speed rapidly in emergency and during docking operations.
Hundreds of big tankers have been constructed in Nagasaki. But after recent sea disasters involving big Japanese-built ships, Japan's seamen have expressed strong opposition to the building of giant-sized tankers.
The tanker used for this experiment was brought to a halt in four minutes 47 seconds after the launching of four parachutes -- each of them three metres (10 ft) in diameter -- into the water. The captain ordered "back astern all engines" when they were launched, and the tanker stopped after 700 metres (2,300 ft). It was reported that the tanker steered easily during the entire operation, which can be carried out in a narrow straight or in a bay to avoid collision, or to glide safely into a predetermined anchorage.