Masirah Fire

Jim S
26th November 2007, 21:50
I had cause to re-visit an old copy of Shipbuilding and Shipping Record magazine dated 31st Jan 1969.
There was a short piece to say that Middle Docks, South Shields had won a contract to repair Masirah recently damaged in Nos 4 and 5 holds when a jute cargo caught fire.
More than 50 tons of steel required for renewals in the tween decks.

Seems to have been a fairly serious event - anyone got a personal experience of the fire?

john g
3rd December 2007, 18:32
An old friend of mine was 3/O on one of the Brocks boats about that time. I recall him saying they had a jute fire in Liverpool which he discovered and subsequently called the fire brigade, he recived a pat on the back from the office for acting so promptly. I was on the MA???? on the other side of the world at the time....maybe a connection to follow up, this site turns up some unexpected information sometimes !

japottinger
6th December 2007, 22:04
I seem to racall that before I jojned her the Manipur had a fire in USA when loaded with cotton. It required a lot of new plating aft and around the tunnel as the cotten swelled and distorted some of the plating.
Anyone recall this?

maxieb
19th December 2007, 13:02
I will respond fully soonI had cause to re-visit an old copy of Shipbuilding and Shipping Record magazine dated 31st Jan 1969.
There was a short piece to say that Middle Docks, South Shields had won a contract to repair Masirah recently damaged in Nos 4 and 5 holds when a jute cargo caught fire.
More than 50 tons of steel required for renewals in the tween decks.

Seems to have been a fairly serious event - anyone got a personal experience of the fire?

Jim S
19th December 2007, 17:51
I look forward to reading your account. - Did the fire affect the tween deck frig spaces ?

maxieb
19th December 2007, 21:58
Thinking back, I should have foreseen trouble ahead, but not being a believer in bad luck omens, the following never even struck a chord. I waws sent to the "Masirah" as acting 2/E and met up with the Chief Engineer, Cliff Knowles, at Liverpool Exchange Station...it was the 13th December 1969. The train wecaught was the 10.10am Glasgow/Edinburgh trian which left at 10.13am. On the journey we stopped near Hest Bank between Lancaster and Carnforth, and the carriage we were in was right by a bridge support...guess what...it had a number plate 13 on it. We should have gone home then !! Anyway, we finally got to Dundee, joined the ship and had a look around. I had previously sailed on her in 1958 on my first trip as a cadet. I can't remember all the names but we had a good crowd of lads on board, two of whom spring to mind. Derek (Degsy) Clark was S3 and Godfrey Ian Edwards (GOD) was J3.
All was well until 23rd December, when,as someone has previously reported, the 3O informed that the vessel was on fire in No 5 Hatch. We had a full cargo of jute on board. The fire brigade were very quickly on the sceneand they took over control of the situation. Our fire plan had worked very welland fire hoses and steam smothering was on and hatches closed when the brigade arrived. They then informed us that this was the 3rd year they had to deal with a ship fire in the port pre Christmas....suspicious !!
The local dockyard were called in to cut holes on the deck to put extra hoses through and I remember the foreman, Harry Dewar, being very helpful. It appeared that we were winning the battle, and on the morning of the 24th, shore leave was reinstated as long as 2 Engineers were on board at all timesto assist the fire services. A lot of their resources were then cut back as a fire broke in a jute warehouse in the town, but as everything was under control, the tugs were still there pumping water on the ships sides etc.In the evening, though, the CO rushed into my cabin ,where all the engineers were having a quiet beer, to request help shifting cargo out of the fridge lockers in No 4 Hatch. We all responded but I have to admit that we didn't last that longwith no BA sets on, the smoke and fumes were very bad, and it was a pretty hairy time. As fast as bales were pulled out of the lockers, and opened up in the hatch square, the brigade hosed them down, before they were lifted outand put on wagons to take them to the big jute dump outside the town, theywere beginning to smoulder again then. No 5 hatch was pumped out and discharging started again but the same thing was happening, the cargo is so densely packed that it just smoulders away until you open the bale up, tghe air gets at it and away it goes again. The stevedores earned a lot of overtimeon that discharge. The sides of the ship were buckled as was a lot of the steel work down Nos 4/5 hatches and fire damage to the lockers in No4.
Everybody thought that we would discharge the Hamburg cargo in Dundee and we would straight for repair, but no such luck. The holes in the deck were covered with patches, and we sailed to Germany pre New Year. Following that we returned to Middle Docks for repairs