The tanks were emptied, and then had to be entered with a steamer to clean them out. This involved passing through long corridors and several manholes.
“There weren’t any electric lights inside, of course, so we had a portable lighting unit which was a bit big and heavy,” explains Maggi Knutsen. “Their drawback was that they couldn’t take rough handling, and might be temporarily extinguished by a little bump.
“I was doing the job together with Kvåle. He was an OK fellow, reliable, steady and calm, a big teddy-bear of a man and very pleasant.
“The light suddenly vanished. Everything fell silent. We weren’t right next to each other, so I called out ‘Kvåle!’ but got no answer. I tried again with the same lack of response and began to get panicky.
“I yelled ‘Kvåle!’. Then I felt a very big hand on my shoulder. ‘What’s the matter? Are you scared’, he asked. I had been so affected by the darkness that I hadn’t heard him coming.
“So he took me by the hand and guided me out. We were soon back in the light and everything was OK, and I didn’t get claustrophobia from that incident either.”
Related by Margaret Knutsen