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Near the San Francisco docks of the Pacific Navigation Co., two radio operators, Raymond Grayson and Robert MacArthur, are called before company president Matthew Talbot, who orders them to stop their destructive rivalry, then gives them new sailing orders. At a bar, the two men get drunk and fight over a young woman named Dixie, but are thrown out. Broke, Ray and Bob share a cab, and each tries to con the other into believing he has received a promotion. Their ride is interrupted by a shootout resulting from gangster Steve Murkil's escape from Alcatraz. When Ray and Bob realize that they both have been assigned to the grimy freighter S.S. Escobar , they can only laugh heartily before they are introduced to Captain G. S. Glennon. Dale Borden checks aboard as ship's nurse, followed by passengers Bonnie Larkin and her grandmother, Mrs. Farnsworth. Bonnie is Murkil's girl friend, and "Mrs. Farnsworth" is actually Murkil in disguise. The other passengers all belong to his mob. Ray and Bob soon realize that they both are in love with Dale, although she and Ray had broken off an earlier relationship. That night, Murkil punishes Fred Kateny, a member of his gang who turned state's evidence, by pushing him overboard to drown. When the ship's officers receive orders to search the ship for Murkil, he pulls a gun and his men take over the ship. To force Glennon into allowing Ray and Bob to send a message confirming the ship's safety, Murkil kills one of the crew. While Bob distracts a guard, Ray writes a note to Dale instructing her to light the distress rockets in the captain's cabin. There Dale finds Murkil waiting, and Bonnie is suspicious at seeing the two together. Bob jumps Murkil's guard and sends Ray to get the captain, but Ray is caught in the resulting gunfire and dumped in the hold. There he pieces together a radio from car parts and using a spark, sends out an S.O.S. that is heard by a passing vessel. He is again apprehended, however, by Murkil's men, who severely wound him. To save his friend, Bob promises to send the necessary message to arrange Murkil's landing in Puerta Calle on condition that he be allowed to call a doctor on another ship. Describing Ray's condition, the doctor says that an immediate operation is necessary, and he sends word by radio instructing Dale and Bonnie how to proceed. Meanwhile, in the engine room, the crew overpowers Murkil's henchman and regains the ship. Glennon shoots Murkil and commends Bob, Ray and Dale for their bravery. Finally, at a cafe, Ray and Dale celebrate their wedding and invite Bob to join them on their chicken farm in Petaluma, and pledge never to go to sea without Bob.