The frigate HMS Keppel helps to fight a fire onboard the steamer Empire Fowey, and exercises her weapons at sea.
HA onto HMS Keppel secured alongside. The Captain goes onboard and the crew unmoor. Cut to shots of Keppel at sea, intercut with engine room details as the telegraph and RPM counter move from Slow Ahead, at 30 revolutions, to Half Ahead at 100, and then Full Speed at 190. Aerial shots of the frigate at full speed show the narrow point to the stern wash produced by the frigate's single shaft. CU of Keppel's badge - a cockleshell. Keppel returns to port where a merchantman SS Empire Fowey is suffering a minor fire. Keppel sends across a boat with a crewman dressed in an asbestos suit and carrying an extinguisher. LA from boat as it circles the Empire Fowey's stern, now obscured by smoke. LS of the Empire Fowey from back on the Keppel shows that tugs and a fire launch are now in attendance. Onboard the merchantman RN ratings play a hose on the fire-damaged deckhouse - smoke dribbles forth. The man wearing the fire-proof suit dons breathing equipment for the cameraman's benefit. The film then reverts to an earlier moment - or the fire bursts forth again - for a view from Keppel clearly shows flames issuing from the Empire Fowey's stern deckhouse. The frigate goes alongside with a hose and crewmen cut away some of the decking to allow the water to reach the flames. A tarpaulin is rolled back to reveal flames creeping along the wooden planking below. Cut to Keppel unmooring and heading out to sea in company with HMS Russell (F.97). Jackstay transfer of an officer between the frigates. Keppel CO, a Lieutenant-Commander , gives the navigating officer (?) his orders and leaves the bridge. The officer takes a bearing, checks navigation radar, and issues orders to the helm, before handing over to the officer of the watch. NO fixes Keppel's position on a chart. Cut to sequence showing a seaman checking the manrope around one of the ships' boats before climbing into the boat to grease the safety pin on the disengaging gear. He checks the gripes and removes the plug to drain the boat. Cut to single 40mm Bofors firing single shots to starboard - the sea is torn up by the tracer. Gun crew load a new clip and replenish ready-use rack. CU as starboard Mk 10 Limbo mortar is trained outboard, and MS aft from starboard bridge-wing as both mortars are fired. LS of pattern and subsequent explosions. CU as starboard mortar is trained inboard for reloading.