esso durham

mike pen
26th May 2008, 10:33
does anyone know anything about a this tanker,i took a photo of her in gibralter,1962 in two halfs,i was told she broke her back,but not sure,also a picture of her complete would be good
regards mike

R58484956
26th May 2008, 11:48
Mike,Goto www.photoship.co.uk
Browse old ship picture galleries, a couple of photos there.

shipmate17
26th May 2008, 12:34
Hi,
Tanker. ESSO DURHAM. ID.5107281. Flag. Gbr. Grt. 24127. SP16.5k. Built 1958 by Vickers Armstrongs. H Walker. Length changed 1962. ex 1969.DURHAM. ex 1971. PYRGOS. ex 1972. COURIER. scrapped Kaoshiung.1975.

price
26th May 2008, 12:45
Mike, A brief explanation, extracted from Mitchell and Sawyers' excellent book 'Sailing Ship to Supertanker'.
On 26th. Jan. 1961 the Esso Durham suffered a serious explosion during tank cleaning operations which blew a hole in her side. She managed to make her own way to Gibraltar. She was cut in two and both parts towed to Cadiz for reconstruction and lengthening. The after part left Gibraltar 30th. Sept 1961, followed by the for'd part on 3rd. Oct.
Bruce.

mike pen
26th May 2008, 13:05
Mike, A brief explanation, extracted from Mitchell and Sawyers' excellent book 'Sailing Ship to Supertanker'.
On 26th. Jan. 1961 the Esso Durham suffered a serious explosion during tank cleaning operations which blew a hole in her side. She managed to make her own way to Gibraltar. She was cut in two and both parts towed to Cadiz for reconstruction and lengthening. The after part left Gibraltar 30th. Sept 1961, followed by the for'd part on 3rd. Oct.
Bruce.

hi bruce,many thanks for that,it has puzzled me for a long time,it must have been 1962,when i took the pic,i hope to post the pic soon as i get better on the pc, cheers,mike

K urgess
26th May 2008, 13:28
The ESSO DURHAM was outward bound from Fawley after discharging a cargo of stabilised Arabian crude from Ras Tanura.
The explosion occurred in No.4 tank and was luckily limited to that tank because nos 3 centre & 5 port, starboard and centre tanks were ballasted.
Apparently an adapter plate had to be used for the Butterworth machines when used on no. 4 tanks because the tank was partially under the forrard accommodation.
No. 4 centre had been cleaned and the port Butterworth had been removed.
On 29th January the vessel was about 100 miles west of Gibraltar.
At about 1345 a party of four ABs and one SOS started removing the Butterworth from the starboard deck opening of no.4 centre tank.
The carrier for the hose had a wing nut missing and while being removed the other wing nut and the hing pin came loose and the carrier fell into the tank.
One of the seamen reported hearing a thump as it appeared to hit something on the way down.
There was a flash and a rumble and "the party round the opening prudently decided to run forward and started to do so".
There were at least three explosions. The fore and aft bulkheads seperating no.4 centre tank from the no.4 wing tanks were blown outwards and the shell plating above the waterline in both wing tanks was blown outboard. The main deck above no.4 tanks was bulged upward with some tearing of the deck plates. The bulkhead to nos. 3 & 5 were bulged and split.
The view from the bridge was completely obscured by thick black smoke and flames from the aftereffects of the explosions.
I sailed with the second mate that was on the bridge at the time and, having just recovered from being blown up on the ESSO PLYMOUTH, he left the bridge in a hurry telling the cadet and helmsman to keep up.
Somewhere there are pictures of the damage because the second mate, who was Master of the "World's Favourite Tanker" when I met him, had copies.
The damage was spectacular and the bridge front looked as if it had been machine gunned as the rivets were shot at it.

Most of the above is from the "Report of Court (No.8028) s.s. "Esso Durham" O.N. 300766".


"20. The court has considered a number of pos-
sible causes of this casualty and has come to the
conclusion that the most probable cause of the first
explosion was that the cast brass hose carrier in
No. 4 centre tank fell off the Butterworth hose after
leaving the tubular rail while being removed from
the tank at the conclusion of tank washing in that
tank and in its fall struck a magnesium anode,
thereby causing an incendive spark which ignited gas
in the tank and that the subsequent explosions and
fire resulted from such first explosion."

I find it amazing that only the SOS in the Butterworth party was injured and no-one was killed.

roythwa
25th August 2009, 16:15
The ESSO DURHAM was outward bound from Fawley after discharging a cargo of stabilised Arabian crude from Ras Tanura.
The explosion occurred in No.4 tank and was luckily limited to that tank because nos 3 centre & 5 port, starboard and centre tanks were ballasted.
Apparently an adapter plate had to be used for the Butterworth machines when used on no. 4 tanks because the tank was partially under the forrard accommodation.
No. 4 centre had been cleaned and the port Butterworth had been removed.
On 29th January the vessel was about 100 miles west of Gibraltar.
At about 1345 a party of four ABs and one SOS started removing the Butterworth from the starboard deck opening of no.4 centre tank.
The carrier for the hose had a wing nut missing and while being removed the other wing nut and the hing pin came loose and the carrier fell into the tank.
One of the seamen reported hearing a thump as it appeared to hit something on the way down.
There was a flash and a rumble and "the party round the opening prudently decided to run forward and started to do so".
There were at least three explosions. The fore and aft bulkheads seperating no.4 centre tank from the no.4 wing tanks were blown outwards and the shell plating above the waterline in both wing tanks was blown outboard. The main deck above no.4 tanks was bulged upward with some tearing of the deck plates. The bulkhead to nos. 3 & 5 were bulged and split.
The view from the bridge was completely obscured by thick black smoke and flames from the aftereffects of the explosions.
I sailed with the second mate that was on the bridge at the time and, having just recovered from being blown up on the ESSO PLYMOUTH, he left the bridge in a hurry telling the cadet and helmsman to keep up.
Somewhere there are pictures of the damage because the second mate, who was Master of the "World's Favourite Tanker" when I met him, had copies.
The damage was spectacular and the bridge front looked as if it had been machine gunned as the rivets were shot at it.

Most of the above is from the "Report of Court (No.8028) s.s. "Esso Durham" O.N. 300766".


"20. The court has considered a number of pos-
sible causes of this casualty and has come to the
conclusion that the most probable cause of the first
explosion was that the cast brass hose carrier in
No. 4 centre tank fell off the Butterworth hose after
leaving the tubular rail while being removed from
the tank at the conclusion of tank washing in that
tank and in its fall struck a magnesium anode,
thereby causing an incendive spark which ignited gas
in the tank and that the subsequent explosions and
fire resulted from such first explosion."

I find it amazing that only the SOS in the Butterworth party was injured and no-one was killed.
Hi we were youre escort Esso Oxford You prob saw that I was junior sparky on my training trip of 6 months I trained with the junior on the Durham he may be around somewhere. Hope he gets in touch to let me know how he is going

Thanks Roy PS I think we pooped our pants the first SOS First Voyage!

canada tom
25th January 2012, 11:01
Hi we were youre escort Esso Oxford You prob saw that I was junior sparky on my training trip of 6 months I trained with the junior on the Durham he may be around somewhere. Hope he gets in touch to let me know how he is going

Thanks Roy PS I think we pooped our pants the first SOS First Voyage!

I was junior engineer on watch at the time of the explosion. The 3rd was in the BR doing water sampling and tests.
2nd eng. Mr coles came galloping down the Er stairs shouting "She,s blown up for'ard"
I ,and Mr.Coles, stood by the Durham in Gib dry dock
We stayed in the top classs Queens Hotel
I can still feel the pressure on the soles of my feet as the ship bucked under the explosion. I spent a lot of time sawing anodes in half for analyzing