Navy Officer's bravery commendation Jun 14, 2006 17:34:12 GMT 12 Quote Select PostDeselect PostLink to PostMemberGive GiftBack to Top Post by corsair67 on Jun 14, 2006 17:34:12 GMT 12 From 'stuff.co.nz'.Navy officer's quick action prevented disaster 14 June 2006 A naval officer whose quick actions prevented a potentially catastrophic explosion on board the frigate Canterbury has received an award for bravery. Chief Petty Officer Pitone Leauga was in the machinery control room of the frigate when the main extraction pump began to vibrate violently and the air filled with dust and steam. In the latest issue of the New Zealand Defence Update, he described how his 21 years' Navy experience kicked in immediately when he realised lives were at risk. "I managed to get past another young guy on the ladder, and reached through the smoke to trip the lever," he told the magazine. "I knew what I had to do and sort of did it automatically. "That's how we're trained in the Navy." A later investigation revealed the pump turbine bearing had melted, causing the machinery to seize up. Without Mr Leauga's prompt action, the turbine would have exploded within moments, sending shards of metal around the room, and showering personnel below in super-heated steam bursts. Mr Leauga, who was awarded a Chief of the Defence Force commendation for his bravery, said he was very mindful of the risks. "But one of the guys was down there, and we're sort of like a family in the Navy, so I didn't really hesitate."