Anecdote

Nick Roberts @ Ebalina, Thu, 03/02/2017 - 23:35

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.

Phil Maciver @ Drupa (2), Tue, 02/28/2017 - 22:31

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

Geoffrey Philip... @ Asprella (1), Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:54

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

Marinus Boomsluiter @ Krebsia, Mon, 02/20/2017 - 16:09

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.

Robin Tannahill @ Vitta, Mon, 02/20/2017 - 13:10

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!

Coen H. Verbeek @ Kalydon, Wed, 02/15/2017 - 10:16

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!
eel bone
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.

Geoff Gill @ Methane Progress, Wed, 02/15/2017 - 01:19

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.

Geoff Gill @ Patella (3), Wed, 02/15/2017 - 01:09

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.

Esmeralda Loos @ Elena, Tue, 02/14/2017 - 10:35

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

Paul Wayman @ Opalia (2), Sat, 02/11/2017 - 09:54

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.

Brian Owenson @ Amastra (2), Tue, 02/07/2017 - 23:35

First Joined the Amastra at the Keil Canalin 1963.My 1st ship,15 years old,first time away from home,full of trepidation and excitement,but what a ship,what a crew,enjoyed it from 1st minute till I left 6 or 8 months later.Only down side was my Boss,the Chief Steward didn\'t like me,looked for faults in everything I did,until one day I told to Fcuk off and go and pick on someone else,cause I\'m reporting you to the Captain.No more bother after that,never spoke to me again.Captain Kerr was the boss man,remember him,but on the whole ,it was a brilliant ship and many many great memories.

Bob Skipworth @ Clam (1), Tue, 01/31/2017 - 19:16

Account of a grounding of SS Clam from the notebook of Captain Thomas Black master of SS Clam 15th May 1899.

FROM THE NOTEBOOK OF CAPTAIN THOMAS BLACK

S/S Clam dated 15 May 1899

Ras Afia Light bare about SSW 18 miles. The weather being fine and clear sky occasionally cloudy with a light westerly wind. 11:30 pm I left the bridge in charge of 3'd Officer, the steamer course being S82 E by compass, or N84 E True allowing 14 Westerly Error. On leaving the bridge I told 3 Mate to tell the 2 Mate if he should happen to see the land before he saw Bougarone St to have her out at once and call me after writing up the night order book 11:50 pm informed 3 Mate I was going below. On the 16th about 1:30 am I woke up by hearing the ship struck heavily and made sure it was a collision immediately rushed on deck and found the ship had run ashore and had not quite stopped her way but in a few seconds she was fast and striking heavily and grinding on the rocks. The engines were not even stopped when I got on deck on arrival on bridge ship head by Compass was ENE we at once sounded the ship found 16ft in fore hold and No 5 No 4 and 3 we had ballast in and found they were running out from the starboard side which proved they were holed also No 2 on starboard side was filling up. No 1 was making no water and Engineer reported she was not making water in the engine room. At once made distress signals which was answered by a steamer in the offing. All boats was swung out and ready to lower. On daylight coming on I sent the 1 Mate away in a boat for assistance. A very heavy swell was on and ship sticking so heavily that I was afraid she would break in two. The S/S Waterloo sent her boat alongside which took part of the crew off and with our own boats as well as a French steamer called the Carmain eventually saved all hands. There not being the slightest hope of saving the steamer and no chance of getting ashore on account of heavy swell dashing on the rocks for any assistance if it come on to blow and the sea to rise there would be no chance of saving life there was two things I thought of. The first that I could do no good by stopping, and the other if I could get communicating there might be a chance of saving the steamer with salvage assistance. The Waterloo was bound to Hull, I consulted with her Captain found the S/S Clam was ashore about 5 miles to the West of Bougaroni. The Waterloo would not reach Bougaroni before dark and it being a small place I thought I should not be able to get much assistance there at night and would get to Algiers at daylight so I asked the Captain to land us there. Distance from Bengut to Cape Bougaroni 126 miles and she would be about 20 miles from Bougaroni when I went below. The first thing I done (sic) on getting ashore at Algiers was to send a wire to the owners as follows a??The ship is wrecked at 5 miles West of Bougaroni the holds are full of water all hands saved wiring later further particular.a?? I then went to Lloyds Agent and on entering his office he informed me he had wired the owners and had telegraphed to salvage boats at Marseilles and Gibraltar. I then went to the Consul made deposition had given full particulars of the Clam to Lloyds, the tanks that was full and Ct at the same time said unless the weather lvas exceptionally fine they would never get her off but a great deal could be saved from her. I called again at Lloyds in the afternoon to see if there was any news and found none on the 18th, I wired to owners as follows: a??Heard through Lloyds salvage boat arranged from Marseilles, do you require any of us to stay here?a?? During the day heard through Worms who had received telegram from owners that underwriter requested self and Chief Engineer to remain at Algiers until further notice to render such assistance as we could to salvage operations. I told Lloyds Agent this and was informed by him that he had telegraphed to the steamer Denmark to call here on his way to pick us up. During this time two small steamers left here for the wreck unknown to me, but I believe Lloyds knew about it, at the same time he said that he had wired to his sub/Agent in Philipdeville and guards were put on the steamer, and that nothing would be disturbed, nor anyone allowed on board as a strict watch was kept on her. On getting this news I was more easy. On the 19th called at Lloyds several times, on the 20th we were told that the Denmark was not going to call at Algiers, and as there was no chance of getting to the wreck by land in reasonable time, Lloyds wrote a letter, supposed to be written by me, saying as we were detained at Underwritera??s request to assist salvors it was time some means was made to take us there. This letter I signed as I quite approved of it, then he ordered the Engineer and self to be ready to leave Algiers. This was Saturday 20th, and we left at 7:30 pm. Arrived at the Clam about 2pm Sunday 21st. The Denmark was laying alongside the other French steamers at anchor, a little way off. On getting on board found the divers at work under the ship's bottom and one putting on a patch in No 4 tank starboard side. By this time No 4 was nearly pumped out and hoses were on board from the Denmark. I went in the Saloon found she had been properly pilfered, all locks busted and everything worth was gone. The Cabin being in a beast of a mess, empty bottles in dozens laying about, not a single knife or fork to be seen. I then had a look over the ship and saw that everything movable had disappeared, even the Compass was taken off the Bridge. I may mention that I found a good deal of the stores gone and should say about half of them was gone having a look around. Lloyds told me to tell the Engineer to take charge of the Engine Room, he himself acting as captain and kept me as a .....boy, but during the afternoon he insisted on me signing an agreement that he made between the French people interested, that they agreed to assist the Denmark in salvaging on the principle of no cure no pay, and that it was to be settled by Arbitrators in London. At one time it was settled to let things be until daylight, but as night was drawing the swell began to rise quickly and it was decided to try without loosing any time No 1 was filled up and the two French steamers made fast aft. Towing commenced, her stem shifted into deeper water and the steamer was nearly; borne at about midnight. The Denmark was rolling heavily and bumping against shipside, and as soon as possible after getting her hoses back, she hove up her anchor and passed a towing line on the Clam, with the assistance of the Carmain Charles, as well 4 steamers were towing for a considerable time before she made a move, but as the rollers came in it assisted very much. The Clam engines were set at full speed astern, and by degrees she floated at 1:45 am on the 22nd.

Passed at Liverpool 12 March 1875 No of Certificate 07066

Joined the Clam as Second Officer later end of February 1893 got command 28 June 1895 Died 12 August 1903 age 53