Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 25

Thread: Wahine

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    W.A.
    Posts
    20,573
    Thanks (Given)
    11305
    Thanks (Received)
    11986
    Likes (Given)
    16871
    Likes (Received)
    65641

    Default Re: Wahine

    In 1968 I was running around between Montreal and the West Indies on a cargo/passenger vessel so did not follow or know too much about the loss of the Wahine. However watching that video obviously made to mark the 25th. anniversary of the event you have to ask why it was made. It was made to my way of thinking for commercial gain one way or the other the same as all TV documentaries and the obvious factor to catch the publics imagination is the survivors and the loss of their loved ones. According to this documentary the loss of the ship was due to the weather conditions and lack of preparedness for such, to apportion blame to gyro compasses and no radar is like picking out straws from a haystack. We all know the ultimate responsibility regardless, stays with the person in charge which is the master, who is supposed to have the powers of Merlin. Many ships annually go down to weather conditions and will do so in the future as well. This is like the Costa Concordia where every one was trying to blame someone else. Ultimately it is the master who is responsible whether there are redeeming facts or not, where he was unable to do what the ship could not do because it was out of control due to the weather. Anyone who has been through the centre of a Typhoon or Cyclone and lived to tell the tale, to have such conditions and so near to the shore is suicide, I am sure if the master had known the movement of the weather pattern he would of made for open water to at least try and ride it out, any seaman would. However it is stated that he did not know until too late. Probably when it comes down to blaming lack of aids to navigation that is what any court will do accept them as aids only, the presence of Radar and Gyro compasses in 1968 were fairly new to the Industry as a whole and previously hadn't existed, even to the lack of weather reports as to the movements he would by shore peoples way of thinking be able to judge weather conditions by the age old barometer and his own powers of observation. Believe according to the documentary without going through it again he was censored. He finished up in a position where no seaman wants to be on a ,lee shore, only in his case this was amplified as everywhere he turned if he could of, was also on a lee shore. JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 20th July 2015 at 01:39 PM.

  2. Likes Tony Skilton liked this post
  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    70
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    31
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    54

    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by John Arton View Post
    If the Wahine had lost power and drifting, then even if she had been fitted with radar and a gyro compass, these would have been inoperative due to loss of electrical supply. At that time it was not a requirement for the emergency generator to supply power to gyro and radar, only emergency lighting and life saving appliances.
    rgds
    JA
    If she'd had gyro and stabilised radar there is a better than even chance that she wouldn't have got into so much trouble in the first place.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Katoomba, Blue Mountains, Australia
    Posts
    2,169
    Thanks (Given)
    4442
    Thanks (Received)
    2112
    Likes (Given)
    10706
    Likes (Received)
    6450

    Default Re: Wahine

    There are co-incidents surrounding the two Wahines and the Union Steam frugality in crucially important areas. Whilst TSS Wahine had a brilliant career in the first and second World Wars it ran aground in the Arafura Sea in 1951. At the time it was short on lifeboats (although all were apparently rescued as opposed to the TEV Wahine) stripped down due to her being scrapped after her stint of transporting troops to the Korea. Her time as a ferry was over and she was called into Trans Tasman service to fill the gap when the Huddard Parker MV Wanganella ran aground on the same Barrets Reef where the TEV Wahine later ran aground.
    Built in 1912, originally coal fired and converted to oil in Port Chalmers in the 1920s the TSS Wahine was in Sydney in 1948 having essential work and dry dock. I worked by on her for about a week whilst waiting to sign on Burns Philp's SS Morinda, the only coal burning submarine sailing out of Sydney.
    Richard
    Our Ship was our Home
    Our Shipmates our Family

  5. Thanks N/A thanked for this post
  6. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Torquay
    Posts
    10,390
    Thanks (Given)
    3225
    Thanks (Received)
    6858
    Likes (Given)
    10453
    Likes (Received)
    29574

    Default Re: Wahine

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Hill View Post
    I've just found this site the selected text is linked.
    Although opinions may differ, we will never know what else was happening on site and the Master and officers had difficult decisions to make, and which solutions there-to seem obvious in hindsight' I am always reminded of a situation where the Master of a vessel was brought before a Board of Inquiry where-in the could decide whether or not he kept is ticket, his vessel having caused considerable damage to another vessel in the London Royal Docks, the docks set up in miniature with model ships and their positions notated, he listened patiently until all the naval 'experts' had expounded their theories as to why he failed to take appropriate evading action and that he should have his ticket degraded to 1st Mate and had he anything to say, he stood up emptied a box of matches all over the dock display and said ' and those are barges now explain to me again what I should have done' he kept his ticket'. Those of us who have stood station fore or aft in the Royal Docks know what a minefield it was trying to get through barges ahead and not sink those with your propeller when they closed in on your stern


    In the article extract
    I doubt in '68 that a gyro would have been linked to the radar, as most ships were fitted with head up display only and from my Radar tickets times and sailing with true motion only time I saw gyro/radar linkage was on 'True Motion' radar, but as always I stand to be corrected, but from what I've read in the previous posts I cannot envisage Union SS fitting very expensive True Motion if they were (apparently) reluctant to fit basic equipment; and it all becomes academic in a power failure and the best way of keeping a vessel steady when land is in sight is to fix the bow on a point ahead and try to keep it there and ignore the compass whether magnetic or gyro, and once the sea and high wind have got hold of a high sided ferry or passenger ship in narrow waters and you lose power then normally you are on a hiding to nothing even trying to get your anchors to hold (if you can get to the windlass)

    Lets hope that USS and harbour authorities learned fro the tragedy

  7. Thanks Captain Kong thanked for this post
  8. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    70
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    31
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    54

    Default Re: Wahine

    Re True Motion.
    We had true motion radar (Decca) on the Cape York in 1963 the ship was built in 1955. We didn't use it in true motion mode, but usually in stabilised. The advantage of stabilised was that you could take bearings (as long as it was centred correctly) and you didn't get smearing of the display as the ship yawed as it was just the heading marker that moved rather than the whole picture. Disadvantage was that it wasn't head up so you could be steering towards your boots so to speak.

  9. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    W.A.
    Posts
    20,573
    Thanks (Given)
    11305
    Thanks (Received)
    11986
    Likes (Given)
    16871
    Likes (Received)
    65641

    Default Re: Wahine

    The last certificate I sat was in 1963. Every sea going situation the examiner could put you in as regards the orals, can never recollect having cause to use the radar or gyro compass these were only considered as said Aids to Navigation. All gyro courses and Radar certification was supplementary to BOT requirements. Those holding senior positions on the Wahine would have grown up without these aids and would probably rely on their pilotage skills anyway. Most deep sea masters I saw in 1968 were very adverse to even putting the radar on if they were fortuanate enough to have and considered themselves responsible for, also the running hours had to be logged. Certification in 1963 as regards the compass was also in points and quarter points. These people on that ship were probably of the 1940"s vintage in any case, perfectly capable of using the equipment but inclined to rely on the methods they were brought up on. The same as today people say they are capable of taken a star sight, there was one post on here not so long back where a lady asked the Ch. Officer on a passenger vessel about picking out the various stars and planets, his reply showed he didn't have a clue and relied totally on the GPS system. I would imagine if the truth was known this is what happened on the Costa Concordia and total reliance on same, it is not what we used to call Radar assisted collisions, is now GPS assisted groundings. The way I read the Wahines misfortune was due to weather and an act of God, which could only of being prevented by much prior action being taken and not attempting port entry, easy to say after the fact as all summing up, Ivans matchsticks are a good example of such as is the one of the master at one enquiry said, you have sat there for 6 months and have decided the appropriate action that should have been taken, I had 60 seconds to make my decision. JS

  10. Thanks Ivan Cloherty, Tony Skilton thanked for this post
    Likes Captain Kong liked this post
  11. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Oxford
    Posts
    70
    Thanks (Given)
    0
    Thanks (Received)
    31
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    54

    Default Re: Wahine

    The thing about radar in the 50s, 60s and 70s was that it was, despite refinements such as stabilisation and true motion, virtually un-automated and so required a certain amount of skill to operate, certainly where collision avoidance was concerned. Many folk never acquired these skills because that sort of training was unavailable. The radar simulator course I did in 1973 at Cass was a joke although it served to illustrate the problem. The place to learn was on the job and not everyone was fortunate enough to operate in the right environment .......coasting, poor visibility, heavy traffic etc etc. And even when they were in the right place they weren't always given the freedom to learn. I'm not blaming anyone, it's just the way things were. I realise now how lucky I was in Lyles to have sailed with open minded masters and mates who allowed us cadets to 'play' with the radar so that the radar observer course after 2nd Mates was almost unnecessary. I would hate to have stood my first watch as a certified mate with the limited watch keeping experience given to some of my contemporaries during their apprenticeships.

    The real benefit of the gyro compass is not that it was oriented to true north, but that it gave steady heading information which the magnetic compass didn"t, particularly in heavy weather when the ship was yawing and rolling.
    I would be interested to know whether the Wahine was fitted with a proper steering compass in the wheelhouse or if she only had the periscope to the standard compass as in many USA CO ships. While quite a lot of ships had periscopes they also had gyros. Union Co was the only company that I knew of which had the periscope only, and if the standard compass to which it was attached was undamped then it didn't make the helmsman'sjob any easier.
    Last edited by Alan Hill; 21st July 2015 at 08:32 AM.

  12. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    W.A.
    Posts
    20,573
    Thanks (Given)
    11305
    Thanks (Received)
    11986
    Likes (Given)
    16871
    Likes (Received)
    65641

    Default Re: Wahine

    My first ship at sea had only the periscope from the standard compass on the monkey Island. The Browns Type B gyro compass was fitted at a later date, which was the free standing type with no repeaters off. The helmsman steered from this also by a magnified periscope. As this ship was built in 1943 it follows that many hundreds of vessels were built on the same lines. The gyro was fitted the same time as the Radar in the 50"s. My experience of the gyro compass was at the builders of same at Watford, this was so I could dismantle after an ocean passage, clean the mercury rings out with Carbon Technachloride (now banned) check the A B C terminals restart the compass and reset the axle 15 degrees off the meridian by precessing the compass as required. Then came the armour Brown a sealed unit a fraction of the size. which received no shipboard maintainance and the total compass was replaced on malfunction. Radar in those days was head up only and not gyro stabalized and almost impossible to plot more than half a dozen ships at the same time, in busy sea lanes was best to put on a low range and deal with ships as they appeared on that range, have seen over a 100 targets on the 48 mile range which is a bit perturbing in bad visibility. For those not aware Head up the tube, all targets are relative bearings only and do not show the course and speed this had to be done by plotting usually in 6 minute intervals with a minimum of 3 which made 18 minutesto work out the course and speed and estimated nearest approach. Things these days due to modern technology is much easier and can be plotted very quickly. I doubt in 1968 they had all the up to date technology even of that day. It was not a requirement, and as most shipowners obeyed the law and no more, have no doubt the Wahine was properly equipped for her day. JS

  13. Likes Alan Hill liked this post
  14. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Torquay
    Posts
    10,390
    Thanks (Given)
    3225
    Thanks (Received)
    6858
    Likes (Given)
    10453
    Likes (Received)
    29574

    Default Re: Wahine

    [QUOTE=Alan Hill;207442] The place to learn was on the job and not everyone was fortunate enough to operate in the right environment .......coasting, poor visibility, heavy traffic etc etc. /QUOTE]

    To my mind that was the danger 'learning radar on the job' as I found that most who had not attended any sort of radar course were totally misinterpreting what they saw on the PPI and this led to many radar assisted collisions. many of the older Masters and mates in the 50's thought that what they saw in the old head up PPI was fact and that the vessel coming down was on a reciprical course were-as in actuality it was probably steering across the course of the vessel and realised their error when it was too late and a big lump of steel emerged right in front of them. In PSNC the only time we were allowed near the radar as a cadet was to dust it, and our bridge experience was practically limited to brass cleaning. Even as 3/m and 2/m sailing with some masters you had to get permission to switch it on even after a 14/16 day passage to locate landfall after crossing the Pacific on DR positiong only because of inclement weather all the way. Sailed with a Master in Van Ommeren where in the vessel had been fitted with a new very expensive true motion radar but would only allow it to be used in head up on relative heading display, because he didn't know how to use it in any other way, I blame the company as the vessel had been three weeks in drydock went the Master could easily have been sent on a true motion radar course and he certainly wasn't going to take instruction from a lowly 3/m with a brand new true motion radar certificate in his pocket.

    Anyway that's my last on this as we appear to be going around in circles, as always as said previously 'hindsight is a wonderful thing' especially if you have a book/video to sell
    Last edited by Ivan Cloherty; 21st July 2015 at 09:15 AM.

  15. Likes Captain Kong, j.sabourn, Alan Hill liked this post
  16. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    W.A.
    Posts
    20,573
    Thanks (Given)
    11305
    Thanks (Received)
    11986
    Likes (Given)
    16871
    Likes (Received)
    65641

    Default Re: Wahine

    Another problem Ivan re. most types of the older ships were DC, and had to have a converter fitted to run the Gyro compass if fortuanate to have one, we had the old carbon pile on the wheelhouse bulkhead through which the power feed to the gyro was lead through to try and contain the voltage steady. Was always whining away and were supposed to adjust the carbon piles by a screw at the front, I learnt it was easier to just give it a sharp tap with the screwdriver handle to shut it up. The Gyros of those days were always having to be checked for accuracy due mostly to haphazard voltages. If the old man didn't see at least two compass errors in the Deviation book per watch, he wanted to know why. The Amplitude formula will be stuck in my head until the day I die, Sin Amp equals Sin Dec Sec Lat. The radar even when I was mate had to ask permission to use the radar. The place for the OOW with most old men of that era was on the wing of the bridge to be able to see and hear any fog signals. I cant say I agreed with as never enforced myself but certainly made it my job to make sure the OOW took his eyes out of the Radar at various times and looked out of the wheelhouse windows and take stroll outside and look astern. Cant remember but think the Sperrys wheel span at 2000 revs and the browns at 600 rpm, or could be the other way round is immaterial now so shan"t worry about it. Cheers JS
    Last edited by j.sabourn; 21st July 2015 at 10:02 AM.

  17. Likes Ivan Cloherty liked this post
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

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
  •