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Thread: Taiwan Straits

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    Default Taiwan Straits

    Anyone remember when ships had a national flag painted on the side? I don't seem to be able to find any old pictures on the internet. Mind you, it was always referred to as "The Straits of Formosa"
    Sorry, should have added,(Ships that sailed through the Straits)
    Last edited by Johnny Kieran; 3rd August 2022 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    In 1986 during the Iraq/Iran war I was on a BP gas tanker going into the Gulf and the C/M painted a big union jack on the side of the ship, a few us refused to go up the Gulf on the ship and were replaced at Fujairah, I think they offered us an extra weeks wages for going into a war zone but we thought the union jack acted just like a big target for exocet missiles espcially as we would be carrying about 30,000 M3 of butane and propane. Funny thing was the centre of the union jack was the Chief Mates cabin we thought he had a death wish. I should say I joined BP after the ships went forign flag and changed the wages and conditions. I was on three BP ships and enjoyed my time on all of them but the thought of getting a close contact with an exocet was enough to make me leave the company.
    I do remember a few Japanesse ships with flags painted on them in the area.
    Last edited by J Gowers; 3rd August 2022 at 12:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    I rather think but again may be wrong that the idea of painting the national flag of the vessel started about 1949 when the HMS Amethyst was fired upon. In the Yangste which. Everyone assumed was Chinese Communist Forces ,but could as well have been Chinese Nationalist Forces and was called the yangste incident repercussions followed this and still today anyone wanting to know the truth should be able to find. After well over 50 years tension has followed tension and may still be the cause of WW 111 . Again politics being the root cause. As regards the war in the Persian gulf some seemed to get the warbonus and others not. The war between Iran and Iraq caused a lot of differentionals depending on who you worked for, the only protection a merchant ship had against a heat seeking missile was playing a hose on the funnel , as the sea temperature up the Persian Gulf often exceeded the air
    temperature I failed to see the mentality of this. The world today seems to be incapable of learning by past mistakes. Cheers JS
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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    I do remember seeing such ships in the London docks, but places like Singapore docks always had lots of them visiting. When I was on the City Of Ely, I was told they had a huge flag to hang over the side for such occasions.

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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    Quote Originally Posted by j.sabourn View Post
    I rather think but again may be wrong that the idea of painting the national flag of the vessel started about 1949 when the HMS Amethyst was fired upon. The world today seems to be incapable of learning by past mistakes. Cheers JS
    I was running an American flag supply vessel out of Jebel Ali in 85 (it was little more than a hole in the sand then), we were running to within a mile or so of Iranian waters and were regularly buzzed by fighters; no war bonus of any kind. Saw a Shell tanker alongside one day so went aboard to see if I knew anyone, and was told they were on double pay; they gone overnight back out of the gulf.
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 3rd August 2022 at 08:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    Tony I think you will find they were only on double wages when they were actually in the Gulf so probably they were on double wages only for a few days. Now that I think on it I think this was what BP were offering memory starting to go it was a long time ago.
    I did meet a C/E who worked on shuttle tankers running from Kharg island to some island in the South East of the Gulf and he was permanently in the war zone he said it was good money but after getting hit by a missile that did not explode he gave it up.
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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    I think the Gulf war zone payments/area was defined by Lloyds as and were they increased what they deemed to be at risk of attack, Think that was deemed to be when a vessel crosed over from the Gulf of Oman and eneterd the Strait of Hormuz.
    It is a worrying time what is developing around Taiwan straits. China is itching for a fight and just have a funny feeling they will get one. The USA and China have been on a collision course for a few years now.

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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    Bit off Topic i guess but just remembering when my Late Brother Joined a Taiwanese Ship in Cape Town , taken on as a 3rd Engineer, old scrap Ship going back to Tapai in Taiwan.( Formosa) He got the Job easy too, so before sailing he took me aboard to have a look and we went through the Engine Room, well what a shambles, but at least it worked!
    Then he began trying to tell the Guys what to do, all this was too funny with hands flying all over the place LOL
    Anyway off they Sailed, and i later got a letter from Greg telling me of his Travels, through the Straights etc, his reports were of real concern to me at that time , but as it was he eventually made it back to South Africa, actually with quite a Pocket full as well!

    BTW This old Ship did have a flag on its Side as i recall, cannot recall exactly but must have been the Taiwanese Flag ! ??
    Cheers
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 3rd August 2022 at 11:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Taiwan Straits

    #7 I can see Lioyds defining the areas of danger and classifying them as War Zones re the insurance of ships . However they did not define a seamans wages , any bonuses were paid by the employer of seamen and as most British seamen came through the BSF this is where it was formulated. However the BSF is only one small part of shipping and today doesn’t even exist. I too never saw any bonuses , in fact all I know about them is what others have said, another one was the East of Suez Bonus never met anyone who admitted to getting such. The only bonus I saw but never got was a 500 pound one as per contract for 12 months , with the stipulation that for every day off hire one lost 40 pounds . Within 2 months that bonus disappeared due to breakdowns. Even without the stoppages I wouldn’t of got in any case as walked off in Japan short of completing the 12 months . Cheers JS..........
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 4th August 2022 at 01:27 AM.
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    Post Re: Taiwan Straits

    Funny talking of that JS (Bonuses) and certainly not disputing any of what you write, but just that i do recall my late Brother mentioning n the Letter about how much Bonus he got for taking on that Job going to Taipai!
    It was a real good one too!
    But of course naught to do with what is being mentioned, as to normal British Seafearers on British Ships!
    Cheers

    I had wished at that time though that i could have been old enough to join him on that Trip, but was at the time 15, and could not get a clearance to go to Sea in South Africa till at least 16 .
    Damn!!! LOL
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 4th August 2022 at 02:17 AM.
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