Lindenbank wrecked 1975

gadgee
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??

Santos
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.

Chris.

Duncan112
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.

Cheers,

Duncan

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.

Tony

gadgee
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."

Duncan112
26th July 2007, 21:24
http://www.americanfleettugmuseum.org/stories.html

May be of interest from the salvors point of view.

Duncan

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

P.Bingley
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
JC

Oceanspan
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.

Tony

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.

Waighty
23rd September 2015, 13:28
I remember reading the Bank Line/Chamber of Shipping Report on the grounding and as well as the Old Man being mostly blamed, the uncert 3rd mate was partially blamed because instead of keeping a lookout he was doing Light List corrections in the chart room! When the 2nd mate came up to relieve him he looked at the radar and instantly realised how close to the 'beach' they were. The report stated that the 2nd mate uttered words along the lines of "what the f*** are we doing here?". Shortly afterwards they grounded.

At the time of the Lindenbank grounding I was 2nd mate on Corabank outbound to Aus from US Gulf and we weren't too far from Fanning Island. Sparky was in touch with Elmbank's sparky and kept us informed. When Elmbank was unsuccessful in getting Lindenbank afloat we were itching to have a go - more power for a start. The Old Man (MacDonald?) sent a message to BL saying we were willing to have a go but they declined.

Biggles Wader
23rd September 2015, 19:22
Do you remember the Maplebank going aground in the Pacific at about that time too?

I do. I googled it and found almost nothing about it, but there was an article in the summer 1975 Bank Line house mag on how they got her off the reef.Anyone got a copy?

chadburn
23rd September 2015, 19:40
If I remember correctly an old friend Brian Oliver was one of the Engineers on the 'Lindenbank', unfortunatly he has since passed away.

Alistair Macnab
23rd September 2015, 21:51
I went out to Fanning from New York to see if I could be as successful as our Sydney boys were with the "Maplebank" grounding. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Reading Steve Taylor's account of the "Elmbank" effort, we had exactly the same problem. "Lindenbank" was pinned down on a particulary hard coral head in the region of the after deep tanks. Off-shore heaves only resulted in the ship pivoting around her impalement point and not budging. We pumped out the bulk palm oil cargo to lighten her but it was not enough. Got into a lot of trouble when a satellite copped us and told us that we were contaminating the Pacific Ocean with our bright orange oil.

Sad day when we were obliged to abandon her. Not correct about the air of dourness aboard. Cheered on by the American naval divers and salvage men from two ships, it was only when the beer ran out that a real gloom settled on all operations. I was sorry for the Old Man, who was on his honeymoon voyage with his wife. He took most of the blame.

ChasH
23rd September 2015, 23:41
interesting post's you say the captain got most of the blame, i understand he has overall responsibility for the vessel, out of curiosity did he lose his license or did he continue at sea, thanks
chas.

Alan Rawlinson
24th September 2015, 09:32
would be nice to hear from those involved - now 40 years later.

There is a full transcript of the MOT Inquiry online, and just had a read through. The court was complimentary towards the Company, but the Master and the acting 3/0 (aged 20) were fined different amounts as a contribution towards the enquiry costs.

Gave me a shudder when I think back to being an acting 3/0 at age 16 in my case, and not fully up to speed in the job.

Waighty
28th September 2015, 10:53
If memory serves Maplebank grounded on her way round from Suva to Lautoka where at full sea speed she missed a course alteration allegedly because the 2/0 was asleep whilst on watch. I met the Mate who was on her at the time (can't recall his name) some time later and he said when she grounded he was thrown bodily from his bunk into a vertical postion! Even allowing for some embellishment it must have been quite a jolt! Yet another report circulated to the fleet for us to read and sign after the event.

Biggles Wader
28th September 2015, 12:43
If memory serves Maplebank grounded on her way round from Suva to Lautoka where at full sea speed she missed a course alteration allegedly because the 2/0 was asleep whilst on watch. I met the Mate who was on her at the time (can't recall his name) some time later and he said when she grounded he was thrown bodily from his bunk into a vertical postion! Even allowing for some embellishment it must have been quite a jolt! Yet another report circulated to the fleet for us to read and sign after the event.

The Mate was John Matthews and I think it was his wife who wrote the magazine article about it.They scuttled an old hulk to act as an anchor to pull her off the reef on the spring tide.
Was there a change in policy after to deal with the issue of the Mates working all day loading the Fijian workforce and their gear then sailing late from Suva?No one got any sleep and then had to be on watch for the night passage to Lautoka leading to the inevitable?

John Dryden
28th September 2015, 20:06
Sleep was always a problem in those far off days of cargo work and sailing time aboard a Bank Line ship when the money was on for the next cargo...sometimes I think the old man should have had a bonus for keeping it all together.
PS just a post as an antidote to the celebrity culture here on SN.

Alan Rawlinson
30th September 2015, 11:44
Know what you mean John! We are all guilty of glossing over the reality. Here's me suffering at the hands of a sadistic 3/0, supposedly crossing the line, although we were heading north on the Hazelbank, and I hailed from London?

rabaul
8th October 2015, 13:02
The report of the grounding - with all the officialdom that goes with it can be found

http://www.plimsoll.org/resources/SCCLibraries/WreckReports2002/20910.asp

Waighty
22nd November 2015, 16:10
The Mate was John Matthews and I think it was his wife who wrote the magazine article about it.They scuttled an old hulk to act as an anchor to pull her off the reef on the spring tide.
Was there a change in policy after to deal with the issue of the Mates working all day loading the Fijian workforce and their gear then sailing late from Suva?No one got any sleep and then had to be on watch for the night passage to Lautoka leading to the inevitable?

Thanks for that. Yes I remember now they bought (or otherwise obtained) the hulk of an old Taiwanese fishing vessel to sink as an anchor/ heavy weight to assist in providing the impetus to get her moving. Regarding the change in working practices, I don't recall any major changes; maybe an extra couple of hours off for the first watchkeeper.

Apia to Latchford Locks
23rd September 2016, 23:13
Good evening Gents,

As a youngster I spent six years ship spotting and the like in Apia 1972-78, so Bank Line calls, often one of the last calls on the way back to Europe, were a regular part of life. Maybe I can share a tale or two in due course. I remember hearing of the loss of the Lindenbank at the time. As far as I can see from Google Earth very little now remains of her.

Best wishes,
Mark

Alan Rawlinson
24th September 2016, 08:21
Good evening Gents,

As a youngster I spent six years dship spotting and the like in Apia 1972-78, so Bank Line calls, often one of the last calls on the way back to Europe, were a regular part of life. Maybe I can share a tale or two in due course. I remember hearing of the loss of the Lindenbank at the time. As far as I can see from Google Earth very little now remains of her.

Best wishes,
Mark


Hi Mark

Thanks for the interesting post. We all have fond memories of Apia, and I personally turned down a posting there in 1980 to be GM of Forum Lines.

There are many references to nostalgic times in Apia in these threads, and I have posted a few photos on my blog. bankline.wordpress.com One of the photos is of young giggly girls crowding in the door of their factory doors as we walked by on the promenade in 1961 when visiting on the Southbank. I sent this snap to the ' Apia Times' recently in case anyone recognised themselves from 60 years ago, but got no response.

Cheers / Alan