Northsea (ex Amokura)

3rd June 2007, 22:20
I noted in Loyd's List 1st June a incident that has involved the above tanker. I take it this the ex Amokura from the NZ coast.

Northsea (Ex- Amokura)
London, May 29 -- Following received from Coastguard Falmouth MRCC, timed 1427, UTC: Product tanker Northsea: Crude oil tanker Toledo Spirit has transferred 21 survivors to offshore vessel Brago who is now proceeding towards combined chemical and oil tanker April to transfer 22 survivors and four deceased. Three crew members remain missing, including the master. Toledo Spirit confirms that a thorough search has been carried out to a radius of seven nautical miles from the casualty in good weather conditions. Toledo Spirit and crude oil tanker Astro Pheonix are now resuming original tasking. The vessel remains sinking in its original position. (See issue of May 30.)
London, May 29 -- Following received from Coastguard Falmouth MRCC, timed 1817, UTC: Product tanker Northsea. All survivors and deceased now transferred to supply vessel Brago who will meet the company vessel April for transfer ashore. Three crew members remain missing. The search is now terminated. All remaining search vessels may proceed in accordance with their previous orders with thanks for their efforts. All vessels transiting the area are to keep a sharp lookout. At 1530, UTC, Northsea was still on fire and submerged to her upperdeck level.
London, May 30 -- Following received from Coastguard Falmouth MRCC, timed 0507, UTC: Product tanker Northsea: All survivors and deceased now transferred from supply Brago to combined chemical and oil tanker April. Search and rescue operations terminated at 0410, UTC, May 30.

4th June 2007, 03:49
You are correct Ray - it is the same Amokura

4th June 2007, 10:13
Local newspaper has a small weekly shipping article, and mention was made today of the above incident. Since her days as 'Amokura' which ended at Botany Bay in December '92, she has been 'Transporter LT (Cy), in 1998 became 'Eastman Spirit' (Cy), in 2000 'Global Spirit' (Cy), 2005 became 'Global Spirit III' (Pa), then later that year 'Northsea' (Pa). She was sold to Indian shipbreakers late last year with demolition due to commence Jan 5, but the sale fell through and she was reflagged to Cambodia for continued trading in the interim.
Incidently, she is not the first former NZ coastal tanker to go up in smoke. The former 'Hamilton' was renamed 'Feoso Sun' (Pa), and as such sank in Manila Bay on November 8, 1978 following a huge explosion while at anchor undergoing repairs. Tragically 30 killed.

Regards, Dennis.

4th June 2007, 10:39
Sad to hear abouth Amokura/Hindustan and her end..... I was extra Mate on her for the best part of a year here in NZ.....There were 3 built to carry HFO up the St Lawrence. They had an Ice class in that the main deck was strengthend to support the weight of ice, the wind and waterline had double framing and thicker plates, finally an ice knife to protect the rudder stock. Lots of people were under the understanding they were strengthened to break ice .... not so. As the run they were built for was iced up for part of the year the strengthening was to resist the hungry house effect and wear and tear. I seem to recall that the windlass forward was hydraulic powered to prevent BP we always kept the steam deck machinery turning.

She was by far and above the best ship I have ever been with for steering, Decca Arkus auto pilot but in or out of Auot pilot she just tracked as straight as a die.Really noticeable.

The cabin furniture was somewhat austere, sign of the times she was built I guess.

One feature I was very interested in on Amokura was the section through where her sister ship "Khurdistan" had broken. When she was gas free I went down 2 centre and had a good look my opinion it was as though she had a "Tear along the dotted line". We should all know that the bottom area between 5% and 30% of the length is stiffened for pounding depending on the block coefficient? The fore and afters are extra depth for that area. On the Amokura where the stiffening ended ... it ended in a straight line across the ship and the normal sized fore and afters were butted straight on to them. No tapering or staggered butts, it hit you in the eye straight away...and that was the frame where Kurdistan broke.

Quite a few of us ex BP tanker types ran up the Baltic in winter with Fuel Oil visiting all the paper Mills and came to a similar grinding halt when we ran into ice ... we had no problems. The water up there was pretty dammned cold too so I fail to see why one tanker should suddenly have its bow drop off at so young an age. Especially with a strengthened deck ad what was akin to a deep strap around the wind and waterline.

On the Erne we carried Bitumen which was a bloody sight hotter than HFO and had no problems. Erne was of course just a straight out tanker with extra heating coils and a bitumen pipeline fitted nothing else.

I have a copy of the Inquiry and have always felt there was a bit of blather that went on to cover up what were really ships built to a price for a job. There was certainly nothing over fancy about them. Amokura lasted well in spite of things so what was wrong with Kurdistan??

Barnsey (Scribe)

20th June 2007, 04:53
I Googled this pretty decriptive story on her sinking from the 'Graphic Ghana';

Lightning Kills Seven Sailors Off Coast Of Benin

Lightning has killed six Ghanaian sailors and their Ukrainian captain off the Atlantic Coast of Benin.

The six are Henry Ebow Crentsil, leader of the ratings, Akontey Francis, welder, Robert Aryee, seaman, Enoch Mark Eshun, seaman, Samuel Odai Adjetey, seaman, and Ekey Robert, steward.

The bodies of Aryee, Eshun, Adjetey and Ekey have been retrieved but those of the Ukrainian captain, identified as Nasonov Volodymr, Crentsil and Akontey are still missing.

Twenty-two of the crew, comprising 19 Ghanaians, two Ukrainians and one Romanian, however, survived the tragedy which occurred last Tuesday when lightning struck the Cambodia-registered oil tanker 200 nautical miles from the coast as a result of a storm which also swept through Ghana the same day.

The 30,000-tonne oil tanker, MT North Sea, owned by Atlantic Oil Maritime S.A., with 29 crew members on board, had finished offloading oil from Nigeria onto another vessel when it was struck by the lightning.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic in Tema, the Harbour Master, Captain Victor Jonah, said on Wednesday he had a distress call on the disaster from the agent for the vessel, Atlas Services Limited.

He said a Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority tug, the Manhean, was, therefore, sent out to rescue the sailors.
Captain Jonah said a sister vessel of the tanker, the MT April, was called to convey the survivors and the four retrieved bodies to meet the tug which, in turn, conveyed them to the port.

He said the police were informed about the accident and the dead were conveyed to the Police Hospital, while the 22 survivors were sent to the Caiquo Hospital in Tema for medical attention.

Captain Jonah said the Ukrainian and Romanian survivors had been put in some hotels in Tema, awaiting documentation to be flown home, while the 19 Ghanaian survivors had also been given accommodation to overcome the trauma before they would be sent home.

The Port Captain of Atlas Services Limited, Captain Seth Aboagye, who called at the offices of the Daily Graphic in Accra, confirmed the incident.

According to him, the parent company of Atlantic Services Limited, known as Atlantic Oil Maritime S.A. based in Greece, received a distress message from Lloyd’s Casualty Department, an insurance company in the United Kingdom which monitors the movement of ships with insurance policy with it, that thunder and lightning had struck the vessel, resulting in the death of some members of its crew.

He said the survivors were initially picked by another vessel, the Toledo Spirit, before arrangements were made to send another vessel, the M/T April, to bring them to Tema.

According to Captain Aboagye, the Ukrainian captain and two other Ghanaians whose bodies were yet to be retrieved were affected by an explosion which occurred as a result of the lightning and thunder.

He said the remaining four persons who died were believed to have been trapped by fenders.

Captain Aboagye described the incident as painful and sad and advised the families of the victims to contact Atlas Services Limited for any additional information concerning their relatives.

The Director of the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (CERSGIS), Dr Amamoo Otchere, when contacted on recent lightning tragedies in the country, called for the mandatory installation of lightning arrestors on buildings, particularly school buildings, because of the high population density in them at particular times.

Story by Rose Hayford Darko


Some of my old phots of 'Amokura' at Marsden Pt layby berth, and in Sembawang's King George graving dock circa 1984.


Stuart Scott
(Ex Cadet, 3/0 and 2/0, Amokura)

Don Meehan
20th June 2007, 11:10
I was agent for Transporter LT (ex Amokura) when she made two visits to Napier in 1994. She was Cypriot flag with Greek Master and officers and Filipino ratings. Port State Control had got stuck into her at her first port - the 2nd Engineer wasn't properly certificated, so a former Amokura Chief Engineer was engaged for the coastal run. He didn't do anything much on board except collect $1500 per day. The owners didn't have their ITF blue card and after two days of negotiations with ITF things looked grim. At 1700 on a Friday night it was finally established that about US$30,000 was outstanding and I was requested to "go and get it" otherwise the ship would be blacked. Banks were shut until Monday, however on a whim I rang the local ship chandler who advised he had just collected half the amount from a departing ship and I could have it, trusting me to give him a cheque on the Monday morning. The ITF were happy with this and vsl sailed for Geelong where the rest was to be paid.
Cheers, Don

21st June 2007, 03:46
Nice photos Stuart .... what else have you in your collections???

David Barnes

22nd June 2007, 01:53
I have some photo's of her taken at Napier after the incident with the end of No.5 wharf showing Cranes removing the concrete apron from the end of the berth that had imbeded itself in the starboard bow . I always think back as I was standing in the Union Company office watching her berth and the noise of steel plate graunching as she caught the concrete I will never forget . How there was never a fire or explosion I do not know.

(Lindsay Butterfield)

23rd June 2007, 12:33
Post them please Lindsay .....Ive been looking for them. I remember being at home when the news came through about that incident ... John Marshall was the master ..... they bowled a light post over and power cables were arcing ... petrol spewing all over the wharf .... it certainly wasnt the night for them to go to "Kingdom Come" would have been a hell of a thing for Napier...all enclosed ... 30,000 tons of petrol !! I have a good idea why she took the sheer that took her into the wharf ... similar incident with the "Erne" when we went into Aotea Quay at right angles ... luckily we were just about stopped when we hit and just crushed a square hole in the bows ...


24th June 2007, 06:08
Will do Dave when I remove them carefully from my album.