British Trent ... near disaster

derekhore
23rd August 2008, 15:26
With so many postings on disasters or near disasters...I wonder if anyone else remembers or knew about one on the British Trent in September 1975?

The Br Trent was port side alongside in Bandar-Mahshahr loading naphtha, supervised by myself as Third Mate..
It was about 7:30pm and a film was being shown in the officers bar, when the Texaco Liverpool came up-stream with tugs and swung off the berth to go st'bd side to in front of the Trent.
As she swung and came astern, she had an engine failure and just continued 'reversing' onto the main deck of the Trent!

The deck of the Trent cracked open like an eggshell around 3-4 st'bd wing tanks, which fortunately were both empty & fully inerted.

Chaos followed (ashore, not on board!) .... and eventually the Trent had to discharge all cargo from the centre tanks, then tank clean, inert & eventually gas free.
She was then escorted to Bahrain by a tug...where 3 railway lines were welded across the main deck split, and another 4 across the split on the side of the hull.
A trip back through Suez followed at slow speed terminating in a dry-docking in Amsterdam for full repairs.
All the way back we daily measured the cracks in the deck plating, marking their progress with a chalk line!!

Fortunately the weather was fair for the trip back or she could have lost her life not once, but twice in 1975!

The Master was Roger 'Ned' Larkin (with wife Anna), can't remember the Mate, but the 2nd Mate was Peter Giffen.

BlythSpirit
23rd August 2008, 18:34
Derek - interesting post - I'm more than suprised that Bahrain had any railway lines, they don't have a rail system!!(Thumb)

mjcoates
27th November 2008, 10:34
For what it's worth there's an account of the British Trent/Western Winner disaster in an audio podcast at http://www.maritimeaccident.org/about-2/mac-podcasts/transcripts/the-case-of-the-church-bell/
Very nasty incident.

derekhore
28th November 2008, 17:28
Thanks for that....I see it mentions the Texaco Liverpool incident there.

Hawkeye
28th November 2008, 21:37
I remember the British Trent in collision with another ship off the Belgian coast, can't remember the year, but we could see the burning ship when leaving Zeebrugge.

Dickyboy
23rd May 2009, 15:51
Just listened to the podcast of the British Trent / Western Winner collision.
I won't make any comments on it, but needless to say I'm extremley upset to learn the details of the incident, and the loss of so many good men.
I saw the event on the news, but knew no more than that about it.
Dickyboy

Dickyboy
23rd May 2009, 16:00
With so many postings on disasters or near disasters...I wonder if anyone else remembers or knew about one on the British Trent in September 1975?

The Br Trent was port side alongside in Bandar-Mahshahr loading naphtha, supervised by myself as Third Mate..
It was about 7:30pm and a film was being shown in the officers bar, when the Texaco Liverpool came up-stream with tugs and swung off the berth to go st'bd side to in front of the Trent.
As she swung and came astern, she had an engine failure and just continued 'reversing' onto the main deck of the Trent!

The deck of the Trent cracked open like an eggshell around 3-4 st'bd wing tanks, which fortunately were both empty & fully inerted.

Chaos followed (ashore, not on board!) .... and eventually the Trent had to discharge all cargo from the centre tanks, then tank clean, inert & eventually gas free.
She was then escorted to Bahrain by a tug...where 3 railway lines were welded across the main deck split, and another 4 across the split on the side of the hull.
A trip back through Suez followed at slow speed terminating in a dry-docking in Amsterdam for full repairs.
All the way back we daily measured the cracks in the deck plating, marking their progress with a chalk line!!

Fortunately the weather was fair for the trip back or she could have lost her life not once, but twice in 1975!

The Master was Roger 'Ned' Larkin (with wife Anna), can't remember the Mate, but the 2nd Mate was Peter Giffen.

Thank heaven for inert gas systems. A BP invention I believe...... Great protection against internal explosions I suppose, but not much good for an external explosian or collision.
Dickyboy

bplegs
26th May 2009, 17:06
The British Trent was struck by the Western Winner 3rd June 1993, with the loss of 9 from the British Trent.

Graham Wallace
26th May 2009, 19:17
I have the feeling that the loss of the Crown at Umm Said in August 1966 was motivation to produce the inert gas system

Graham

trucker
26th May 2009, 22:05
remember an incident at fawley refinery 1989.mobil petrel discharging crude.she suffered major structual failure in two adjacent cargo tanks.causing flooding to the e/r and pumprom.believe it was caused by over pressurisation of one of the cargo ballast tanks.an inert gas branch line ,had been unintentually operated preventing adequet venting of the tank,causing an implosion.

DWD
3rd October 2009, 18:34
I think that BP bought the inert gas system of Sun Oil, from the USA.
The 1966 British Crown affair did change tanker safety practises. I think BP bought the Mine Safety Appliances safety procedures and put them in a green cover with BP on the front. I think that the BoT had had enough of oil tankers going bang and told the UK tanker owners that if they couldn't put their own house in order, the Bot would do it for them. They all took the hint.

hamishb
3rd October 2009, 19:04
remember an incident at fawley refinery 1989.mobil petrel discharging crude.she suffered major structual failure in two adjacent cargo tanks.causing flooding to the e/r and pumprom.believe it was caused by over pressurisation of one of the cargo ballast tanks.an inert gas branch line ,had been unintentually operated preventing adequet venting of the tank,causing an implosion.

Was the ship involved not the Mobil Magnolia? or am I thinking of a similar event.
Hamish

Esiotrot
9th October 2009, 00:55
Derek
Not sure if you are interested but I sailed with Peter Giffen in the mid 90's on the Iolair - he was nicknamed Biffo then and did a trip as Master / OIM.

I actually sailed on the Trent twice back in the early 80's doing the West Africa stuff (Cotonu / Lagos etc).
Old man then was Lenny McGeoch, not sure who was on the second time I was on there.

Was quite a shock to hear about the Trent on the radio at home on the day that it happened and as always I think 'There but by the grace of God go I'

Cheers

Alan

derekhore
9th October 2009, 20:03
Hi Alan

I have been in touch with Peter recently, he still works for BP and still lives in Broadstairs, Kent!

Didn't know he had made Master though!

Cheers

Esiotrot
9th October 2009, 22:53
Derek

Not sure if he would like me telling you this but it happened I think as a result of one of the permanent OIM / Masters wanting to have Christmas at home .... Peter had the appropriate tickets .. was on the spot ... therfore became an instant Master.

I believe he is still doing the Fire and safety stuff, just hope his beard hasn't turned the same colour as my hair!!!

If you speak to him again pass on my best regards

Cheers

Alan

derekhore
15th October 2009, 17:37
I will certainly do that.

I am sure he wouldn't mind you passing that info on now .. long time ago and much water has flowed!!

djw1
17th October 2009, 14:56
dwd et al,

The 1966 British Crown explosion was not the reason for BP's interest in IG.
They had been working on IGS since at least 1961,
but the motivation was corrosion reduction in crude carriers.
By 1963 all their new crude tankers had IG.
The Crown probably awakened them to the safety value.
In 1968, they fitted their 1st product carrier with IGS.

IGS was indeed developed by Sunoil prior to WW 2.
The original BP system was a slight modification of the Sunoil system.
See BSRA Report 268, Heywood et al, 1969.

KTF

Jon Vincent
18th October 2009, 01:01
THe "British Soverign" was the first ship fitted with a working IG system in the early 1960's, I sailed on her as second off, chief off was Sid Garratt and the old Pinkney, loaded her last cargo at Umm Said on the day Sunderland won the FA cup, over half the ship were North Easters, we had mad couple of days of celebration, discharged the cargo at Genoa and handed her over to the Greeks. Spelling most probaly awful.

DWD
24th January 2010, 06:28
A lot of your North Easters were probably barcodes, monkey hangers and smoggies, who where taking advantage of Sunderland's glory. Won't be happening this season, mind.

DWD
(Cloud)

kevjacko
24th January 2010, 21:23
Was the Captain at the time of the Trent incident Cpt Montague ? if so was with him on the Respect when we got hit up the gulf in 87.

Satanic Mechanic
25th January 2010, 09:06
Was the Captain at the time of the Trent incident Cpt Montague ? if so was with him on the Respect when we got hit up the gulf in 87.

He was indeed the OM on the Trent when it got hit by the Western Winner.

xieriftips
25th January 2010, 23:11
I think that BP bought the inert gas system of Sun Oil, from the USA.
The 1966 British Crown affair did change tanker safety practises. I think BP bought the Mine Safety Appliances safety procedures and put them in a green cover with BP on the front. I think that the BoT had had enough of oil tankers going bang and told the UK tanker owners that if they couldn't put their own house in order, the Bot would do it for them. They all took the hint.

Yup, Sun Oil first put it on their ships in the 1930s. BP test installed it on the 28,000 Br. Skill & 32,000 Br. Sovereign in the fifties, not as a safety measure but in the belief that minimising the O2 percentage would reduce corrosion!
Thereafter 42,000 Br. Prestige got it in 1960, then the 50s got it, then the Mariner, Ensign & 'C' class, all in service before the 'Crown went up. And, of course, BP were sitting very pretty when Shell VLCCs invented internal lightning in 1969 & the BoT banned the use of guncleans until IG was installed.

mikeharrison
31st January 2010, 12:25
Hello Derek,

Yes, I remember the incident at Bandar Mashahr. I was 2/O on the British Aviator and we were on a regular run , taking fuel oil from Bandar Mashahr and "spiking" VLCC cargoes with it by discharging into them at anchor in the middle of the gulf. I am afraid that we had a little rhyme about the Trent of "British Trent - came in straight and went out bent". I believe that we arrived after the incident was over, but the Trent was still alongside at that time and our C/E etc went over to see if they could help.

Did you ever get ashore to see a film at the seaman's mission in Bandar Mashahr? That was fun as you got the added entertainment of some very large shoreside flying beetles being attracted by the lights and ricocheting off members of the audience in the dark!

I was very sorry to hear about the Trent at Wandelaar , which was a lethal place in fog. I sailed on cross channel ferries later and (on the rare occasions that we had to pick up a Pilot) always treated the Pilot station approach with even greater care than we had before the Trent.

One of the VLCCs that we "spiked" out in the gulf with Bandar Mashahr oil was a French BP Tanker and our Chief Steward could never got over the fact that they had 20 tonne wine tanks on board. If he could have made them a standard fitting on UK BP Tankers then he would have! <smile>


Warmest Wishes, Mike Harrison

Billieboy
31st January 2010, 15:16
Texaco, Esso, Total, and Shell; French and Italian flagged/manned tankers were fitted with wine tanks, red and white! Tonnage varied but 20 tons(20.000Litres) was common enough. As far as I know tanks never caught on with cruise lines as the Pax tended to be too particular. I've never has a bad glass of wine out of a ship's wine tank, mostly they've tasted better than some shore side bottled stuff.

GeorgeM13
31st January 2010, 16:40
Mike
a link to a photo of the Aviator alongside the Trident late August 1975.
Cheers
George
www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/data/503/BP_021_835x826.jpg

clarkie59
31st January 2010, 19:16
Hello Derek,

Yes, I remember the incident at Bandar Mashahr. I was 2/O on the British Aviator and we were on a regular run , taking fuel oil from Bandar Mashahr and "spiking" VLCC cargoes with it by discharging into them at anchor in the middle of the gulf. I am afraid that we had a little rhyme about the Trent of "British Trent - came in straight and went out bent". I believe that we arrived after the incident was over, but the Trent was still alongside at that time and our C/E etc went over to see if they could help.

Did you ever get ashore to see a film at the seaman's mission in Bandar Mashahr? That was fun as you got the added entertainment of some very large shoreside flying beetles being attracted by the lights and ricocheting off members of the audience in the dark!

I was very sorry to hear about the Trent at Wandelaar , which was a lethal place in fog. I sailed on cross channel ferries later and (on the rare occasions that we had to pick up a Pilot) always treated the Pilot station approach with even greater care than we had before the Trent.

One of the VLCCs that we "spiked" out in the gulf with Bandar Mashahr oil was a French BP Tanker and our Chief Steward could never got over the fact that they had 20 tonne wine tanks on board. If he could have made them a standard fitting on UK BP Tankers then he would have! <smile>


Warmest Wishes, Mike Harrison

I had the pleasure of being 4/E on the Aviator doing that run. Joined in Bremerhaven and called into Durban on the way around to the Gulf. Loaded a very suspect cargo of something! Steamed 24 hours into the Indian Ocean and discharged it over the side. We had to replace the seals of the pump we used as what ever it was corroded them. Started spiking the "Big Ones" about April time. I paid off at RAK covered from head to foot with Prickly Heat. Not fun.

mikeharrison
31st January 2010, 21:27
Hello George,

Many Thanks for the photo.
Those were happy days and good experience for later years when we did the Parita Bay transhipments, using a anchored BP VLCC to load Alaskan oil into smaller tankers to go through the Panama Canal.

Warmest Wishes, Mike

mikeharrison
31st January 2010, 22:12
Many Thanks Billieboy,

Red and white wine tanks sound extremely civilised!

If only they had been fitted to BP Tankers then they could have saved some of my shipmates from what they regarded as the ultimate horror.... We experienced this when the ship ran out of all drinks and the only thing available was the ONION BEER in the seamans mish at Kharg Island! <smile>

Warmest Wishes, Mike Harrison

Vital Sparks
1st February 2010, 10:45
One of the 1970's "P" boats was reputed to have had wine tanks. Originally destined for French BP she was reflagged towards the end of her construction so the tanks remained in place and unfortunately used. Anybody know if this is true and if which one ?

Trevor Clements
23rd November 2010, 20:28
My son Matthew Clements was Electrician on the British Trent, and was killed in the aftermath of the Wandelaar collision. It was a series of errors which caused the loss of life, and the initial collision was just the start of it.

Having been at sea myself, and knowing what I know, it has been at times, quite difficult not to ask some difficult questions; about the incompetence of the Western Winner's bridge team, the slackness of the local VTS that morning, and the delay in abandoning ship. However my wife and I decided that we suffered enough just losing Matt, without prolonging our pain, and we have lived with the Inquest Verdict of "Unlawful Killing" never expecting that anyone will be brought to justice for it.

We try to remember Matt as he was, very funny, quite conscientious, and just lovely. We try to support the Mission to Seafarers as a way to put something back, and I keep my membership of Nautilus, because Numast were absolutely brilliant in the two or three years after the accident, and we will be for ever grateful to them.

I love ships and the sea, but it is a bit of a bitter sweet relationship since June 3rd 1993.

Billieboy
23rd November 2010, 20:36
I remember that incident Trevor, but never got into it as the repair went elsewhere.

My belated condolences to you and your good lady.

derekhore
24th November 2010, 11:36
Very sorry to read your posting Trevor .. the Trent seemed to be somewhat jinxed didn't she, my belated condolences.

It was lucky no lives were lost at Bandar-Mahshahr that evening, I have often thought ..."what if?"

clarkie59
24th November 2010, 21:31
Had the pleasure of being 4/E on the Aviator whilst she was spiking cargoes in the gulf. That particular French ship was the Chinon. Paid off June/July time covered in prickly heat having edured the company for a coupe of months of a 3/E called Ishmail Baccus, a charming chap!!!

red devil
9th December 2010, 21:17
I was horrified by the loss of life on the British Trent. Some weeks before the collision she visited the Total terminal at South Kilingholme on the Humber were I worked as supervisor and was suprised to meet an old shipmate Kevin Kielthy the r/o. The vessel was alongside long enough for him to come ashore, visit me at home and have a meal were we talked of old times on the "Ensign".
I believe Kevin was one of those overcome by smoke in the lifeboat.

red devil
23rd December 2010, 21:11
I also sailed with the master when he was second mate on the Lancer( I was an apprentice), we met again years later when I was a cargo inspector working at the Immingham oil terminal and he was c/o on the Dragoon.
When the vessel was all fast and a gangway was out I was enjoying a long chat with him on the deck when we both witnessed a small coaster sailing downstream and obviously out of control collide violently with a large Stolt tanker loading motor spirit on the adjacent berth.
Fortunately the Stolt ship ended up with a few shaken crew members and some bent frames and shell plating but the coaster was badly damaged all along the starboard accomadation and had to be towed into Hull.
This was just one of a large number of serious incidents I have seen during 30 odd years on the Humber.
I often think of Stan,does anyone know what became of him after the Trent?

Satanic Mechanic
23rd December 2010, 21:42
Stan, after a while ashore during the investigation, inquest etc etc went back to sea as Master on the Northwest Shearwater and after quite a number of trips he retired.

red devil
24th December 2010, 16:44
Thanks for that Satanic Mechanic.
I hope he enjoys a long and happy retirement.

Trevor Clements
16th May 2011, 19:13
Red Devil,
Yes I'm afraid Kevin Kielthy was killed during the abandonment when the lifeboat was overcome by smoke and combustion products which prevented it being lowered. They were left with no option but to jump over the side and some didn't make it.

Kevin had been forced to abandon the radio room because it was full of smoke. In the case of Matt, he was missing in the sea for a month, and when they found him his blood was heavily contaminated with carbon monoxide.

I gather that things have not improved much at the Wandelaar in the last 18 years.

Trevor.

borderreiver
16th May 2011, 19:42
I also sailed with the master when he was second mate on the Lancer( I was an apprentice), we met again years later when I was a cargo inspector working at the Immingham oil terminal and he was c/o on the Dragoon.
When the vessel was all fast and a gangway was out I was enjoying a long chat with him on the deck when we both witnessed a small coaster sailing downstream and obviously out of control collide violently with a large Stolt tanker loading motor spirit on the adjacent berth.
Fortunately the Stolt ship ended up with a few shaken crew members and some bent frames and shell plating but the coaster was badly damaged all along the starboard accomadation and had to be towed into Hull.
This was just one of a large number of serious incidents I have seen during 30 odd years on the Humber.
I often think of Stan,does anyone know what became of him after the Trent?

On the Border Reiver 1962 new year a bunker barge come down out of control and went the pipe work on the original south Immingham jetty.

Graham Wallace
17th May 2011, 16:37
Red Devil,
Yes I'm afraid Kevin Kielthy was killed during the abandonment when the lifeboat was overcome by smoke and combustion products which prevented it being lowered. They were left with no option but to jump over the side and some didn't make it.

Kevin had been forced to abandon the radio room because it was full of smoke. In the case of Matt, he was missing in the sea for a month, and when they found him his blood was heavily contaminated with carbon monoxide.

I gather that things have not improved much at the Wandelaar in the last 18 years.




Trevor.

Trevor,

I'm just recently started a database on BP Radio Officers, only yesterday I came across the name PK Kielthy, as far as I know his first ship with BP was the Comet around September 1970, I guess this is the same person.

I took notice of his name as it was a very unusual spelling.

Graham

JohnD610
26th May 2014, 21:25
Mike
a link to a photo of the Aviator alongside the Trident late August 1975.
Cheers
George
www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/data/503/BP_021_835x826.jpg

My goodness the Aviator had some classy lines to her (Thumb)