Lindenbank wrecked 1975

23rd July 2007, 19:45
Can anyone tell me the circumstances surrounding the wrecking and abandonment of the Lindenbank off Fanning Island on September 1975??

23rd July 2007, 20:12
I dont think there is anything other than she ran aground on Fanning Island, presumably human error. Repeated attempts were made to pull her off by the Tug Bolster, but to no avail. She was lightened by removing part of her cargo of copra but she still refused to come off. There was a large storm brewing apparantly and the waves pushed her further ashore, so it was decided to abandon her.


23rd July 2007, 21:46
The DTI inquiry into the circumstances of the stranding makes interesting reading - Fanning Island was a surf port, the loading ships used to steam off and drift overnight, this time they didn't steam far enough before stopping and the engines were on too much notice. The ship drifted in, by the time the watchkeeping officer noticed (Having been "engrossed" in chart corrections) it was too late. Needless to say, there were some supposedly unexpurgated versions of the story floating round the fleet, but they must remain heresay.

There was a copy of the inquiry on every vessel when I was with Bank Line - perhaps one of our other members has kept a copy? Should also be a copy in the library at South Tyneside College as they had a full set of DTI findings when I was there.



Tony Breach
24th July 2007, 19:45
BEAVERBANK of 1953 also grounded on Fanning in the late 1950s but they got her off without too much damage. SOUTHBANK grounded on Washington in 1964: she broke her back was a CTL & abandoned. The second mate was killed when they abandoned ship in the surf.


26th July 2007, 19:41
Found out on Google that - " The Court found that the stranding was caused by the wrongful act or default of her master and of her acting uncertified third mate."

26th July 2007, 21:24

May be of interest from the salvors point of view.


1st June 2008, 15:28
Do you remember the Maplebank going aground in the Pacific at about that time too?

7th June 2008, 22:28
Hi Gadgee
I remember the news from the company during the mid 70's when Lindenbank went aground. Unfortunately, I cannot remember reading what was supposed to be the true version of events. Hearsay flew around the ship, few people tut tutting in the bar etc.
I was working island cargo there about 2 years later on the Rowanbank. Same old copra etc complete with a million bugs. She looked in very good condition from a mile off the beach. Usual surf port routine, pull off for the night hours. I expect the OOW got distracted and they weren't able to react quick enough. Unlucky.
During my time with Bankline, I remember the Maplebank incident and I think another went on Wizard reef which if I recall is north of Madagascar (Taybank?).
I haven't thought about my old seafaring days with any energy for some time.
I must dig out my old books and swing the lamp.
I have photos of the Lindenbank (on the beach) in a box somewhere up there with all my old junk. If they scan ok, I'll pass them on to the site, together with anything else that may be of interest.
Interesting comments from the lads.
Cheers PB

Steve Taylor
4th July 2008, 14:44
Hi all
I was cadet on the Elmbank at the time of the Lindenbank grounding. We had done the US Gulf - NZ run and were homeward bound for Greenock with sugar from Lautoka, Fiji when we received the info about Lindenbanks's capers. We were ordered to Fanning to attempt to salvage her, you can imagine everyone's delight at the possible salvage award. My memory is that to make an eastbound passage across the Pacific, you ran east just north of the equator to get the lift from the current, so we were only a couple of days in getting to Fanning.
Old man Dougie Scott had the 2nd (Aussie- can't remember his name), 3rd mate (Dave Thomas) and I off in one of the island's launches surveying along the side of the Linden and seawards to find where she was grounded worst (under no 4 hatch, I seem to remember) and whether to try and tow from her bow or stern. We made up marker buoys from dunnage, plywood and red lead paint and set them along the length of Lindenbank in about 10 fathoms to mark our limit for backing in. First attempt was making the tow fast on Linden's bow using joined mooring ropes from us and Linden, connecting them with Jumbo shackles. I seem to remember that was a bit of an effort since we still had manilla ropes which didn't float.
At the prescribed time the Elm backed in, I was in the launch trying to meet the Linden's ropes which we struggled to connect, but eventually did then dashed back to get back aboard. With the Elm building up power, the Linden going ahead on her engine, there was a lot of disturbed water but no movement. We pulled with increasing power but managed only to part the ropes after moving the Linden's head a couple of degrees only.
That night we drifted off and felt we were kissing our salvage award good bye, but the old man informed us we would try again the following day from the Linden's stern. All to no avail however, the Linden stayed put and we had no mooring ropes left aboard (several coils of that new fangled polyprop stuff were waiting on the quay in Balboa).
My abiding memories of this salvage adventure are the teeming sealife around us when we were working in the small boats (hammerheads checking our sounding lines, manta rays checking out the plywood marker buoys and dolphins chasing the hammerheads away) and the serious lack of humour aboard the Linden at the time.
We left via Christmas Island to land an injured sailor from the Linden and proceeded home to Greenock thoughly p***d off and still poor.
I still know one of the cadets from the Linden, Tony Dumbell who lives near here and is now senior lecturer at Fleetwood Nautical College. He keeps promising me a photo of our exploits.
A very memorable interlude to normal Bank Line life, I don't suppose I'm the only one who only remembers the good times, though there were many many good times!!
Regards to all
Steve Taylor

K urgess
4th July 2008, 15:21
Welcome aboard, Steve, from one who remembers the Bankline good times.
Nicely described event. (Thumb)
Find your way around and enjoy the trip.

John Campbell
4th July 2008, 18:27
very iteresting description of your part in the attempted tow of the Lindenbank by the Elm. It would have been an epic tow had you suceeded and it must have been a right downer when you had to give up after all that sweat and tears.
Doug Scott the master now resides in Ellon, Aberdeenshire. I will pass on your post when I see him. I was with him on the Teakbank when he was first trip mate

6th July 2008, 03:11
BEAVERBANK of 1953 also grounded on Fanning in the late 1950s but they got her off without too much damage. SOUTHBANK grounded on Washington in 1964: she broke her back was a CTL & abandoned. The second mate was killed when they abandoned ship in the surf.


I had the best trip of my life on the Willowbank on the copra run and the story I heard was that the second mate on the Southbank decided to go back to the ship for his stereo and was killed when a large wave hit the boat and he fell heavily against a thwart, presumably breaking his neck.