Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: When crew mates fall out ...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Knutsford
    Posts
    16
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    24
    Likes (Given)
    2
    Likes (Received)
    61

    Default When crew mates fall out ...

    Once upon a time (actually around 17th August 1946), I was on board S/S Galena, berthed alongside at Kotka in Finland, where it was loading timber "in exchange" for the thousands of car tyres the ship had brought from London. S/S Galena was originally built for 'North German Lloyd', but had been "taken as a prize" by the then Ministry Of War Transport. My father, having been backwards and forwards several times to Murmansk as a Convoy Captain, was still working for the MOWT, and was allocated as the first (and last) British Captain of the Galena.

    On this particular fourth or fifth trip to Kotka (and Helsinki), Dad took my Mum and I with him. I was nearly 6 years old at the time.
    (Although a little older now, when I can hardly remember what I did yesterday (!), my memory of that day 75 years ago are crystal clear)

    I was on deck by myself except for two crew members who were arguing. I was vaguely watching the timber being hoisted aboard, and also watching a lady paddling past in a large canoe. The argument between the two crew members was getting louder. I turned to look at them, just few yards from me, when quite suddenly, the younger one picked up the older one and threw him bodily over the side of the ship, into Kotka harbour.

    That very much surprised me, and the lady in the canoe, who looked up at me and shouted what I presume was the Finnish equivalent of "What's going on up there?".

    The chap in the water was struggling to stay afloat, and the canoe lady got alongside, and grabbed him, but clearly was not going to be able to do anything more than stop him sinking.

    I thought "This cannot be right. I had better go and tell Dad what has happened". So I wandered off to our Cabin, and said to Dad "You had better come on deck quick, because Smith has just thrown Bloggs over the side".

    He looked at me hard for a couple of seconds, realized I wasn't joking, and shot out of our cabin door onto the deck, but also telling me to stay where I was".

    So what happened next I don't know.
    Maybe by use of one of our ship's lifeboats, Bloggs was somehow retrieved from the care of the 'canoe lady'.
    Later, Dad put Smith under some sort of local semi-arrest, which I recall included him being given all sorts of arduous jobs, like having to climb down into the empty holds every day and cleaning them up.

    When we got back to London, Metropolitan police came on board, and arrested Smith.

    But that day in Kotka was memorable for several people.

    Ray Arnold

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Bolton
    Posts
    50
    Thanks (Given)
    1
    Thanks (Received)
    19
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    110

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    Arguments were usually of the "why was there no marmalade for breakfast six months ago" variety in my time.
    We did have to ban games of cards for money on one ship as the Chippy was taking everyone to the cleaners

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sunbury Victoria Australia
    Posts
    25,042
    Thanks (Given)
    8331
    Thanks (Received)
    10140
    Likes (Given)
    106801
    Likes (Received)
    45745

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    It all depended on which ship.

    On UCL and no doubt P&O the arguments would have been between the 'optional ladies' and the ones they fancied.
    Remember a number of fights about it in the Pig, hand bags at ten paces.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Blue Mountains NSW
    Posts
    24,235
    Thanks (Given)
    45047
    Thanks (Received)
    13130
    Likes (Given)
    52440
    Likes (Received)
    39405

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    And as Men John we just settled out differences in the manly way, in private then shook hands and went to the Pig for a Beer or two or Three or Four or may be more! LOL
    Cheers

    Think the Deck Crew went to number 4 or 5 Hatch to settle things in the Evenings !

    Can tell you though there were some crazy Daisies at the Juniper Berry in Southampton, some of the Brawls i saw there were just Hilarious!
    Except for one that i will never forget ,when My late Brother, a chap named Julian Beverley Tipper and myself got mixed up with four other Lads that were Royal Navy, we did our best but they were getting the better of us, thankfully others stepped in as well, which gave us leeway to scapa ,and leave all to sort the rest out! LOL
    Next Morning the three of us didnt look too pretty! Eeeek!!
    Cheers
    Last edited by Doc Vernon; 24th September 2020 at 07:24 AM.
    Senior Site Moderator-Member and Friend of this Website

    R697530

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sandwich Kent
    Posts
    13
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    6
    Likes (Given)
    1
    Likes (Received)
    44

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    Quote Originally Posted by happy daze john in oz View Post
    It all depended on which ship.

    On UCL and no doubt P&O the arguments would have been between the 'optional ladies' and the ones they fancied.
    Remember a number of fights about it in the Pig, hand bags at ten paces.
    On P&O Ferries ‘Eagle’ there was an engine room entrance opposite the Pig and Whistle. It was not uncommon for handbag fights to spill over onto the tops of the Pielstick PC3s. Always amusing to watch!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    W.A.
    Posts
    23,736
    Thanks (Given)
    12898
    Thanks (Received)
    13754
    Likes (Given)
    19154
    Likes (Received)
    77030

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    #3... That must have brought back that saying and recurring nightmare John , that screech from someone I’ve missed your crack. Cheers JS
    R575129

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bolton UK
    Posts
    15,004
    Thanks (Given)
    20832
    Thanks (Received)
    11092
    Likes (Given)
    30414
    Likes (Received)
    37122

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    I sailed on a few Battle Ships inm the 50s.

    Usually if a mixed crowd, Glaswegians and Scouse.,
    many times I have gone to bed with a Fire Axe under my pillow., Cabin door Locked.
    Brian

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    638
    Thanks (Given)
    308
    Thanks (Received)
    716
    Likes (Given)
    2635
    Likes (Received)
    2429

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    Fortunately on the majority of ships (U.K. flag) That I sailed on fights were very rare although I remember this incident on a Kuwaiti flag livestock carrier in 1988 and still get annoyed over it to this day. The ship was a pile of c**p in more ways than one. The ship had 3 Europeans onboard the Captain Ch.Eng. and myself as Purser/Ch. stwd. all the other officers were Indian and most of the other crew (About50) were either Pakistani or Bangladashi. The ship was run by a very parsimonious company and with a similar minded captain. The ships articles were Kuwaiti and not dissimilar to the Board of Trade articles that I had been used to for provisions and victualling on British ships in the 60s/70s the difference being that on the U.K. ships they were a minimum amount and as long as you stayed within the company feeding rates people really did have more than sufficient to eat. On the Kuwaiti ship it was closer to B.O.T rates which was very poor as the ship used to load for the Persian Gulf in either Oz or N.Z. where good quality meat and veg was cheap and a round trip was only about a month.
    My trouble started on a Sunday after the weekly Captains inspection, there was a petty officers mess room with a small fridge in it that happened to be padlocked on this Sunday. The Captain asked me what was in it to which I replied that I did not know, He then instructed the 1st. mate to find one of the petty officers and to get it unpadlocked to see what was in it. This was duly done by the ships carpenter and revealed about a dozen of Australia's finest rosy red apples which set the captain off on a tirade about the misuse of ships stores and that provisions did not belong to the crew until they had been consumed by them etc. I was then instructed to replace them back into the ships cold room. That should have been the end of the matter alas, about an hour or so after the end of the inspection I was sitting in my office at the desk when a very angry carpenter arrived in the doorway and started giving me a mouthful about my being a thief and calling me all sorts of things while wagging his finger in my face. I put up with this for a couple of minutes until with out thinking I grabbed him by his remonstrating finger with my right hand and was about to give him a left hander when he decided to depart as things were not going to well for Him. That was His next mistake as when He turned His finger was still firmly in my grip and unfortunately in the tussle He/Me managed to break/dislocate it which left me a bit bemused by the whole thing and now with a crew member hopping from foot to foot screaming and sobbing like a young kid holding his injured hand and pleading for a doctor that was the end of the fight although some would call it a farce. The next problem was that the ships doctor happened to be Me and that the chances of my giving the bloke any medical assistance were about zero as I had never taken any type of Hippocratic oath as far as I was aware that empowered Me to help the sick and injured. In the end the Indian 2nd. mate strapped up his finger and so I was led to believe none to gently as He was not over keen on Pakistani's in general and the carpenter in particular.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Queenborough
    Posts
    10
    Thanks (Given)
    2
    Thanks (Received)
    9
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    9

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    As a small note to this thread I would like to add my tupence worth,It was Christmas night 1971 we were half way across the Pacific on route to Panama when two of our "ladies" decided to have a small falling out in the ships bar when I say small I mean rather a big falling out whereby one of them decided to smash the other one in the face with a glass pint beer mug resultin in her face being split open from her eye to her mouth. As we had sailed past Easter island at around midday the skipper decided to turn around and return to the island to put her ashore to receive hospital treatment.i don't remember her name or what happened to her but it's somthing I cannot forget.

  10. Thanks Doc Vernon thanked for this post
    Likes happy daze john in oz liked this post
  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sunbury Victoria Australia
    Posts
    25,042
    Thanks (Given)
    8331
    Thanks (Received)
    10140
    Likes (Given)
    106801
    Likes (Received)
    45745

    Default Re: When crew mates fall out ...

    Apart from regular 'ladies' fights usually over some 'I saw him first' screams I can only recall one fight.

    The ships cook n maiden voyage of the British Hawthorn, he was an alki and would sell his mother for grog.
    Wanted to sell some of his galley knives to buy grog.
    Problem was they were not his private property but some provided by the ship, unusual to see that.

    But the chief steward got to hear about it and spoke to him.
    At this point he was about half full and took a swing at the chief, not a good look.
    Down in one, the chief had in an earlier life been a boxing champ of sorts, cookie went very quiet after that.
    Om return to Graves end if I recall he was told find another ship.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

  12. Likes Doc Vernon liked this post

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •