I joined the Hoegh Robin with the Chief, Second (Adam Manson) and myself as 3rd in Gibraltar to take over from the Norwegian officers after a short period of familiarization. The ship was then re-named Vega Seal and the rest of the Shell crew joined some time later. I then had a number of subsequent trips all as 2nd Engineer and managed through most of that time to operate it under UMS conditions. It was however, a very difficult ship to operate, requiring a huge amount of effort and time repairing the badly maintained vessel, after years of neglect by its former owners and operators. it was also a dog in difficult sea conditions and we had our fair share of these over the years, however, I fondly remember my very ample accommodation which my wife and I enjoyed for our out time on board.
In 1961 or 1962 my late father John Forbes Milne was engineer onboard the ESSO Dakotah (formerly the Empire Gawain).
The ship was a regular in the port of Aberdeen which was good as it is our home town so my father could spend time at home each time she called. One morning he left to return to the ship which was due to sail later in the day. A couple of hours later my mother received a phone call from my father saying ("The boiler has burst") so the ship was going nowhere. After a few days extended leave some officials from the company arrived in Aberdeen and decided the ship was beyond repair and she was to be scrapped. Because my father was local he was left in charge of de-storing the ship which involved going through everything onboard and deciding what was to be dumped and what was to be sent back to stores. The general rule was, anything unopened was to be kept and sent to stores and anything previously used was to be dumped.
As luck would have it, this coincided with the school holidays so I was roped in to help loading an old fashioned wheeled cart and pushing it to the company who were taking all the reusable items.
There were quite a few 'opened' gallon tine of ESSO cream and green house colour paint onboard but as they were to be dumped they ended up on the back of my grandfathers car and his house was painted in varying shade do of ESSO paints for many years after. Another windfall was very modern looking (for the time) bathroom cabinets, our extended family all had modern bathroom cabinets thereafter.The ship languished in Aberdeen harbour for many months, even appearing on a postcard view of the harbour wrongly captioned as being evidence of the new oil boom in aberdeen..
During one of the ship's early voyages toward the end of 1980, we sighted a fishing boat flying a distress signal during the 12-4 one afternoon while heading toward Singapore. Close examination showed it to contain Vietnamise "boat people" desperately trying to escape that country. All hands were involved in getting the men, woman and children on board from the old wooden boat, which promptly sunk - and the Master then turned the ship to go back for one young guy who had fallen into the sea during the rescue....that guy was particularly lucky to survive.
During the couple of days they were on board we heard stories of how other ships had passed them bye. We saw the primitive equipment, such as a chart that was simply a tracing on rice paper - their only navigation aid!
I seem to recall they were removed in Singapore without undue problem - but was amazed to find about half of them turned up in a refugee reception centre in Essex, just a few miles from my (then) house, and whom I later visited. About half the group went to the UK, and the other half (inc the guy who fell off!) went to the US. I later got a letter from the guy who fell off - but didn't continue any further links. I wonder what happened to them all.....they owe their lives to the Ebalina and its crew.
Was radio officer on the Drupa when it grounded (well sank on the jetty) in stavanger Feb 1976.
Remember the bulbous bow hitting then rocks and the ship bending like a banana and rolling to port, taking off the bulbous bow and 1-6 starboard tanks ( I think) Was a beautiful blue sky day - flat calm - pilot on board, 3rd mate said captain we are too near the rock, what rocks he shouted, too late. Remember being thrown off my chair with the impact and the sayi,h to captain, distress call? No he said, contact shell HQ. Sent message to cullercoats radio on 500khz, prefixed GETUM to shell, th4 highest priority message. Remember captain saying don't think we hit the tanks, seconds later a sound you could not discribe came from under the ship and black crude was everywhere. We limped to the jetty, sank on the jetty and the ship had a masssive list to port, we all were told to stay on board except the wives. Wouldn't happen nowerdays with H&S ???? Captains and Pilot were arrested and jailed, believe they were find A?5000 each, a price of as small house, then sacked tickets lost. As Drups had a 1.5 million refit to have a pipe fitted to the bow, it was going to be the first ship to take oil from the North Sea! - this was not to be and mobile took the prize! Shell were not best pleased, the heads from Shell in London were out by private helicopter within hours of the news. As drupa was such and expensive ship it was decided to get 4 massive tugs and limp it to Hamburg where it was repaired and put back into service in the summer of 1976.
Well that's the story - after that epic short lived trip joined the AMASTRA
I remember when we ran her up the beach in kirachi the captain told the engine room to give it all and clear the pit... i helped sparkie crate up all the radio gear as ithas to go back to marconi...i asked him what about the clock all by itself now on the bulkhead..he said take it if you want..so i did and its here in front of me..lovly
Ik arriveerde op 26 juni 1965 met de KORENIA in Singapore , en moest overstappen op
27 juni op de KREBSIA deze lag toen in dock voor reparatie , na een aanvaring met
een passagierschip. Ik heb er nog foto's van de beschadigde voorsteven en het gat in de romp van het passagierschip. Na de reparatie hebben we 3 maanden op de kust van
MaleisiA<< en IndonesiA<< gevaren tot 08-11-1965. Vervolgens op de Kust van Zuid-Afrika van 19-11-1965 t/m 10-01-1966. Daarna naar Abadan in Iran, waar we werden
afgelost op 28-01-1966 . En zijn toen met Martin Air Charter via Rome naar Amsterdam gevlogen met een DC-3 Of een DC-4 , dat weet ik niet meer. Ik heb in die tijd veel gezien en genoten .
Ik ging veel stappen met de Wachtassistent , maar zijn naam weet ik niet meer.
First trip at sea, as a Marconi junior Radio Officer. Captain was Captain Nelson, so we knew we were OK! Rotterdam, Gulf, India, Australia, Japan, Indonesia + Singapore. Not bad for a 6 month trip on a tanker!
I sailed my last trip in the merchant marines as a seaman a/b from July 1968 till December 1968 on the ss.Kalydon.We left Rotterdam without being told where we were going, although we expected to be send to Singapore,which would be our home port, from where we would transport fuels for the American war efforts in South- Vietnam.We arrived in Singapore late August or early September and from then until early December we were going back and forth between Singapore (Pulau Bukom)and various South Vietnamese ports.Our first trip was to Saigon ,and on our trip up the Mekong River we were attacked by machine guns and rockets but were not hit fortunately,with our tanks filled into the fill-pipes with highly flammable (explosive)aviation fuels.We were being paid double wages every time we entered Vietnamese waters, and we really earned those wages because over the next three months we were attacked several more times.In early December we were attacked very seriously with heavy weapon!
s in a small port somewhere north of Saigon where we were pumping fuel inland to Pleiku where heavy fighting was going on.We were attacked at 1.00 am, so pitch dark ,and we had both anchors out till almost full lenght,so it took us a long time to wheel them in, with the helicopter gun ships firing almost continuously over our heads.The company decided after that attack to send us on an Rand R trip to the Persian Gulf to get our nerves back.On the way to the Gulf we stopped in Singapore,Colombo and Bombay. Our Captain was a cheapskate,always trying to do everything cheaply,and when we approached Butcher Island in the Bombay harbor,just a pumping station on a small island, we were too early and there was no one on the dock yet to take our lines and the captain stopped too late, after refusing a tugboat`s help, and we bumped into the dock.The captain ordered me too jump of the deck onto the dock to tie our lines. I refused at first,but after he threatened to sent me home if I !
kept refusing,I reluctantly jumped and ended up breaking one h!
and badly bruising the other.
Cheapskate refused for 8 hours to call for a doctor,but finally relented and I ended up in a hospital that night.To make a long story short,I befriended one of my nurses,married her in Bombay 9 months later and brought her to Holland with me,where we lived for five years before we emigrated to the USA,where we still live.
My late brother, Peter Gill, served as 2nd Radio Officer on the Methane Progress in the mid 1960s, sailing from Canvey Island to Arzew in Tunisia. The ship was his first assignment from Marconi Marine after leaving college. Years later he retired to Cornwall and was surprised to find the ship one day, laid up on the Fal.
My late brother, Peter Gill, served as Radio Officer on the Patella, and other Shell tankers, in the mid 1960s. He had a rather scary time on the Patella - which he recalled was not in great shape - when she broke down during the tail end of a hurricane in the Caribbean.
Mijn grootvader, Jan Weering< is kapitein geweest op de Elena. Tijdens een van zijn reizen was er een zwangere vrouw mee aan boord, ik geloof van een collega-kapitein. Ze was op reis naar huis volgens mij. Tijdens de reis begonnen de weeA<<n en uiteindelijk is ze aan boord bevallen van een gezonde dochter. Die heeft de naam Elena gekregen.
Ik zal nog eens kijken voor de foto en het artikel in het shell tijdsschrift. Heeft u voor mij een mailadres waar ik dat naar toe kan sturen?
Met vr gr Esmeralda Loos-Dekker
We were in New York, where somebody had bought a rubber stamp with "bullshit" on it, and went around stamping all of the Chief Officers standing orders. The perpetrator didnt own up, so we all got punished. Myself and a few others were sent to scrape paint off the flying bridge in sub zero temperatures, as we followed an ice breaker up the Hudson River.