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Thread: M.n. Tragedies

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    Default M.n. Tragedies

    I was doing some reminiscing of the sinking of the POOL FISHER whose 36th anniversary is coming up soon on 6 November, how time flies, and I came across this page............................
    One entry is wrong of the POOL FISHER, QUOTE:- "1979 MV Pool Fisher General cargo ship (1028) 12 Capsized when attempting to avoid collision with an oil tanker in the English Channel off Brighton; two rescued. ".
    WRONG.
    I was the mate on watch of the Oil Tanker, ESSO PENZANCE, when I saw the POOL FISHER steering very erratically from side to side directly ahead of me, I called him on VHF and their 2nd Mate, [who died] told me they were OK but had problems steering, I told him to carry on as best he could and I would go to the south of him and give him plenty of sea room. He passed me abeam at over half a mile away.I then told him he was way down by the head and his stern and rudder were well out of the water. He capsized 6 hours later. The sea was 40 feet high and wind Force 9.

    Cheers
    Brian



    Fatal work-related accidents in UK merchant shipping from 1919 to 2005


    Table 2.
    Details of major shipping disasters that led to the loss of eight or more seafarers employed in UK merchant shipping, 1947–2005


    Year Name of ship Type of ship (gross tonnage) No. of seafarers lost Details of the shipping casualty

    1987 MV Herald of Free Enterprise Passenger ferry (7951) 38 Capsized after leaving the port Zeebrugge with the bow doors left open; 193 lives lost in total, including passengers.
    1982 MV Algol Oil tanker (33 329) 10 Fire in the accommodation area in the Caribbean Sea.
    1980 MV Derbyshire Bulk carrier (91 655) 42 Foundered with all crew following hatch cover failure during a typhoon in the NW Pacific off Japan, from Canada to Japan.
    1979 MV Pool Fisher General cargo ship (1028) 12 Capsized when attempting to avoid collision with an oil tanker in the English Channel off Brighton; two rescued.
    1976 MV Carnoustie General cargo ship (498) 8 Capsized after the cargo of grain shifted during storms in the North Sea off Germany; all crew lost, from Germany to Leith.
    1975 MV Gemsbok Salvage vessel (314) 8 Capsized and foundered in the Cape of Good Hope.
    1975 MV Lovat General cargo ship (1092) 11 Foundered off Cornwall, from Swansea, after the cargo of anthracite dust shifted during gales; two rescued.
    1972 SS Royston Grange Refrigerated cargo steamship (9035) 64 Explosion after a collision with a Liberian oil tanker amid dense fog in the River Plate, on voyage to London; all crew lost.
    1970 SS London Valour Steamship (15 875) 18 Foundered after striking a breakwater off Italy after anchors dragged during gales. Had sailed from Russia with ore.
    1970 MV Lairdsfield General cargo ship (522) 10 Capsized off the River Tees after departing Middlesbrough for Cork with a cargo of steel; all crew lost.
    1967 MV Denny Rose General cargo ship (6656) 42 Disappeared with all crew during a typhoon in the NW Pacific off Japan, from the Philippines to Japan with iron ore.
    1966 MV Alva Cape Tanker (11 252) 19 Explosion following a collision with a US tanker off New York harbour, from Pakistan with naphtha; 24 rescued.
    1966 SS W.D. Atlas Steam dredger (746) 13 Foundered during gales off Sydney, Australia; 4 rescued.
    1966 SS British Crown Steam tanker (18 545) 18 Fire and violent explosion in the engine room at Qatar during cargo loading operations (crude oil).
    1965 MV Sir Joseph Rawlinson Sludge carrier (2258) 9 Foundered after collision in dense fog with a hopper barge in the Thames Estuary; 10 rescued.
    1964 MV Ambassador General cargo ship (7308) 13 Foundered following engine failure during storms in the North Atlantic, from Philadelphia to Hull with wheat; 22 rescued.
    1962 MV Ardgarry General cargo ship (1074) 12 Capsized and foundered off Cornwall after departing Swansea for Northern France; all crew lost.
    1961 SS Clan Keith Steamship (7129) 62 Struck rocks, exploded, broke in half and sank in gales, Mediterranean Sea, from Middlesbrough to India; 6 rescued.
    1961 MV Dara Passenger ship (5029) 25 Severe explosion amidships in the Persian Gulf off UAE; 238 lives lost in total, including passengers.
    1960 SS Lesrix General cargo ship (590) 8 Foundered in the English Channel off Dorset when carrying coal from Humberside to Cornwall; all crew lost.
    1958 MV Seistan General cargo ship (7440) 53 Fire in a hold and violent explosion in the Persian Gulf off Bahrain, carrying a mixed cargo and explosives; 18 survivors.
    1958 SS Stanvac Japan Steam tanker (17 049) 20 Severe explosion amidships during tank cleaning operations off Pakistan.
    1957 SS Narva Steamship (2044) 28 Foundered with all crew during heavy seas in the North Sea, from Sweden to Grangemouth with a cargo of wood pulp.
    1957 SS Nordicstar Steamship (7124) 34 Disappeared during storms in the Bay of Biscay.
    1956 SS Corchester Steamship (2374) 8 Foundered after a collision with another steamship during snow storms and gales in the North Sea off Norfolk.
    1955 SS Geologist Steamship (6155) 20 Collision with a Liberian ship in the Caribbean; 22 rescued.
    1954 SS Tresillian Steamship (7373) 24 Capsized and foundered off Cork after the cargo of grain shifted in heavy seas, from Canada to Glasgow; 16 rescued.
    1953 SS Yewvalley Steamship (823) 12 Foundered with all hands during storms in the North Sea, off Cromer from Gravesend with cement.
    1953 SS Princess Victoria Steam passenger ferry (2694) 9 Capsized after the car vehicle deck flooded during severe storms, Irish Sea; 133 lives lost in total, including passengers.
    1951 SS Eleth Steamship (369) 9 Capsized and foundered in the Irish Sea after the cargo of coal shifted and the ship listed; one survivor.
    1950 SS Clam Steam tanker (7404) 27 Grounded during storms off Iceland when being towed to Cardiff. Two lifeboats capsized; 23 rescued.
    1950 SS Indian Enterprise Steamship (7319) 72 Foundered after an explosion in a cargo hold, when carrying explosives, in the Red Sea; one survivor.
    1948 SS Samkey Steamship (7219) 43 Disappeared with all crew in storms in the Bermuda Triangle, in ballast from London to Cuba.
    1948 SS Hopestar Steamship (5267) 40 Disappeared with all crew during gales in the North Atlantic, in ballast from Newcastle to Philadelphia.
    1947 SS Samwater Steamship (7218) 18 Fire in the engine room off North Spain; 23 crew rescued.
    1947 SS Willodale Steamship (1777) 12 Foundered during gales, Bay of Biscay, from Bordeaux to Cardiff with wood; 10 crew rescued.
    1947 SS Reina Del Pacifico Steam passenger ship (17 702) 28 Severe explosion in the engine room, caused by boilers overheating, when undergoing sea trials in the Irish Sea.
    1947 SS Samtampa Steamship (7218) 39 Grounded and wrecked when anchors dragged in gales, Bristol Channel; all crew lost, along with eight lifeboat crew.
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 25th October 2015 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    Ref. the Ambassador in 1964. Think you will find her sailing was from Halifax and not Philadelphia. Cheers JS

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    Hi Roger thanks for your post, very interesting and no less tragic.
    That report above#1, was for ships losing 8 or more Seafarers,. I guess to the authors, the loss of SIX Men is insignificant and so wasn't included in that list. It was only SIX Families destroyed.
    Obviously written up by ignorant landsmen. Even the loss of One Man is a disaster.
    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    I have just been reading the Official Report on the sinking of the POOL FISHER, and my evidence to the Court and it does not seem to be true, am I reading it wrong or is the Statetment wrong????
    .about an even keel rather than about two feet down by the stern. is there something ??? it is on google. I said she was down by the Head and certainly not 2 feet by the stern.
    Cheers
    Brian

    .London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office

    .ISBN 0 11 511663 X

    19. About 2250 on 5th November 1979 ESSO PENZANCE sighted POOL FISHER about eleven miles to the Southward of Brighton. She was steering erratically. That is consistent with the evidence of the survivors, as to her steering and is typical of a small fully laden coaster in bad weather. Communication took place and the watchkeeper in POOL FISHER said that he was all right. Two witnesses from ESSO PENZANCE gave oral evidence. They seemed alert and seaman-like and worthy of credit. After hearing of the loss of POOL FISHER they made a sketch to illustrate their impression that POOL FISHER had been significantly down by the head, when they saw her, and taking heavy seas. That sketch and its implications were exhaustively examined during the Inquiry. We concluded that the sketch was intended to illustrate the impression made upon the watch of ESSO PENZANCE and no more. The Court finds that that impression resulted from POOL FISHER being seen on about an even keel rather than about two feet down by the stern and we do not consider that POOL FISHER had significantly increased her forward draught by 2250 on 5th, some seven hours before she sank, even having regard to the possibilities outlined in paragraph 18 of this Annex to our Report.

    Please insert in place of present paragraph 19 (p 5)

    London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office
    Last edited by Captain Kong; 25th October 2015 at 03:15 PM.

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    Brian re your statement being taken out of context. This is quite believable as a lot of what is said whether true or not is taken by the media and conserved as evidence be it right or wrong, for future reference. That's why a lot of what I read unless from a reliable source take with a pinch of salt. Unless my memory is wrong in which case I apologise profusely as is so long ago, believe it was Halifax we loaded grain in 1965, maybe the bloke who was also on the Warkworth about this time maybe able to confirm or correct me. Had a hell of a job with the Grain Surveyor as he wanted to build bulkheads here there and everywhere and brought a team of carpenters with him to do so. As mate I had submitted the grain plan and said the ship was already fitted out to sufficient needs for all the different types of corn and Flaxseed etc. The old man backed me up as he always did, and the surveyor camped out in a caravan on the quayside and made sure their were no spillages of grain into void spaces, when the ship did fill out he came on board and said well you were right but if had been wrong would of cost a fortune to bag off 5 deep on top of a loose stow. I wondered why he was so persistant until someone told me he was the surveyor who had passed the Ambassador before she was lost, and it apparently preyed on his mind for years, one always has a conscience after such events wondering if there was something one missed. So am sure in my mind was Halifax, but as say my mind may now be suffering from a touch of alzeihmers. Cheers JS

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    After any disaster there are always people who want to write about it and make their story sound convincing to the general public. The book " Fire in the Night" written by such who was also the interviewer for the Documentary, although a very pleasant and affable person the same as his partner who was also a BAFTA award winner for various other documentaries I found on the face of it as genuine, in fact the writer of the book gave me a copy which I still have but again not properly read. One always looks for errors in the information supplied, and I spotted them even before I opened the book, I suppose some poetic licence must be given to such authors, as they were not there and have to string a story together. On the back cover of the book is the following" The Fire was visible seventy miles away as a distant, flickering flame on the horizon. The heat generated was so intense that a helicopter could only circle at a perimeter of one mile, the tongues of flame extending hundreds of feet above the rotor blades. On the surface a converted fishing trawler inched as close as possible, but the paint on the vessels hull blistered and burnt, and the rope handrails began to smoke. In the water surrounding the inferno, mens heads could be seen bobbing like apples as their scalps burned with the heat. At the centre stood at least for now, the Piper Alpha oil Platform, 110 miles North East of Aberdeen, once the worlds single largest oil producer. On 6th. July 1988, its final day, it was ablaze with 226 men onboard. Only sixty one would survive"
    Where the author got some of his information from I don't know, and don't particularly care, however when I see little things like the rope handrails smouldering, I immediately cast my mind back, and cant recollect any rope handrails on the Silver Pit. As regards the heads that is correct, but as there was only my own ship and boat crew and the work boat from the Dive ship close enough among the heads to know, someone else must have given him this info. unless he had reference to the official statements made. This book was written well before the documentary. I don't want to read, the same as other much worse versions which were written, as to me show a lot of ignorant people writing about things they know nothing about. The original Documentary for this disaster if had been left in the hands of original makers would I think have been more sincere, as soon as it was sold to Scottish Television and I received a call from same to be re-interviewed I knew that the original was facing a pair of Scissors, so didn't bother my ass anymore. The same applies to all the literature given out on the subject as to causes etc. The only thing I regret in statements I made was when asked could it of been a bomb, this by Occidental themselves, and I was too adamant that it wasn't, who am I to make such a statement, I still have an open mind on the initial cause, not one that conveniently fits the situation. As regards the 226 men on board my last entry in the logbook was 227, whats one person here or there. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 26th October 2015 at 04:12 AM.

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    Post Re: M.n. Tragedies

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    Ref. the Ambassador in 1964. Think you will find her sailing was from Halifax and not Philadelphia. Cheers JS

    Hi John.No,she did sail from Philadelphia.

    Link to Wreck Report



    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    Welcome home Davy. missed your input.
    Cheers
    Brian

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    #8... Thanks Gulliver. Shows how the mind works. So either we loaded in Philadelphia which I doubt, or the Grain Inspector was from there and I assumed at the time that the Ambassador sailed from Halifax as well. If I had managed to get ashore I would have known as been ashore in both places before, but was tied to the ship during loading due to the close and in attendance surveyor 24 hrs per day. Another of lifes little mysteries hopefully solved. Anyhow on completion of cargo when he came up to say I had been right but lucky, he asked if I could sell him a bottle of whisky, which I gave him and would not accept the money for. That I do remember as had to go and see the Ch. Stwd. as soon as we sailed to replenish. Cheers John S

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    Default Re: M.n. Tragedies

    In addition to #7 as regards the inching anyone who thinks that correct can discount for starters, it was either go or stop no inching. When going just prayed that she wasn't going to collapse altogether, and when stopped just prayed she would start again, according to the Chief one of the earlier underwater explosions apart from almost lifting the ship out of the water had damaged the main crankshaft. Managed to get about 7 or 8 cables clear before finally coming to a stop permanently for the next couple of hours. It is only to the good works of the engineers and the passing to vessel of more lub oil that managed to get going again. It can be shown on the return passage that we left the site about 0001hrs. and arrived at Aberdeen about 1800 hours, 18 hours to do 110 miles, which wasn't bad going at the best of times. JS

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