True or false?

Trevor George
11th June 2008, 12:56
Could anybody help?
When I was at sea I heard a story of a Tanker, possibly a Shell, which sank whilst alongside in the Far East (Indonesia, Borneo somewhere like that)

The sinking was caused by some one in the engine room, who mistakenly removed the blank of the lower main suction to the Mn condenser circ. pump, which had been previously blanked off.

The story went that the person should have opened a double bottom tank inspection hatch! When the 'blank' lifted the ingress of water was so great that the pumps could not keep up, therefore the ship was abandoned and sank.

Only the Radar marst and funnel was visible from alongside. I've got a feeling in was in the 1960's.
I was told the story in 1980

Can you help? I hope I wasn't spun a yarn!!


11th June 2008, 16:44
Well I can not say that your story is completely true or false. Most ships are multi compartment ships so if one compartment is flooded the ship would not sink. Since only one compartment had water in it. The ship would be a little lower but still floating if there was enough water under her.

I know of a similar incident with the American Trojan in Diego Garcia. The American Trojan was anchored in the lagoon fully loaded during the morning one of the lube oil coolers was opened for cleaning. This job was finished and after lunch or some other break, some one started to open the other cooler with the valves still open. When the rest of the crew got to the engine room it was to late to close the valves. The ship ended up with around 36 feet of water in the engine room but the ship was still floating.


Trevor George
11th June 2008, 17:05
One thing I do remember about this story, it was defiantly told in the bar. So I guess some off the detail may have been lost in time, memory loss and alcohol!

Les Gibson
11th June 2008, 22:15
There maybe a thread somewhere about a BP tanker which finished up sitting on the bottom in port somewhere in Australia when a blank fitted to the outside of a sea water inlet broke because it was made of plywood?

11th June 2008, 22:42
Sorry, I don't know the details, but beleive a similar mistaken engine room flooding occured on Sea Witch of American Export Lines whilst berthed in Brooklyn, I believe in early 70's. This was prior to her famous collision with Esso Brussels. This same engine room still in operation, now attached to Chemical Pioneer. Once again, please excuse my lack of detail, maybe another member can fill in...

12th June 2008, 06:08
The one about the BP tanker rings a distant bell from my BP days. It could have been in Kwinana and it "could", have been one of the "42's"?

12th June 2008, 13:23
It was Kwinana, and I think it may have been the Dragoon.
C/E got his cards for it.