When is a tanker not a tanker?

BillH
7th November 2008, 20:08
During my research into BP Tankers for our book, I was surprised to discover a quirky ending for two of their obsolescent vessels.

Earning money to the end, but not for the company.

Both vessels, one a survivor of a sub attack during WW2, were sold through Dutch intermediaries, for scrap but the story, unlike other vessels did not end there.

To the person studying the amendments to Lloyd’s Register at the time would have read something like broken up, but that would not identify the fact that both were taken to Rotterdam, had their deck cut open and tanks filled with scrap metal before being made watertight again.

Their last voyage was as “dry bulk carriers” to Japan were they were finally cut up.



BRITISH ENDURANCE (1936 - 1959)

O.N. 164726. 8,406g. 4,918n. 12,250d. 466.3 x 61.3 x 33.9 feet.
4-cyl. 2 S.C.S.A. (23-5/8" x 91-5/16") oil engine manufactured by Wm. Doxford & Sons Ltd., Sunderland. 3,435 bhp.

19.8.1936: Launched by Swan, Hunter & Wigham, Richardson Ltd., Newcastle (Yard No. 1500), for the British Tanker Company Ltd.

10.1936: Completed.

1.6.1956: Owners restyled as BP Tanker Company Ltd.

24.1.1959: Arrived at Plymouth.

28.1.1959: Sold via Rederi Wijsmuller, Holland, for demolition.

3.2.1959: Arrived at Rotterdam, for conversion into a dry cargo vessel, and renamed REDWIJS II.

21.6.1959: Departed from Rotterdam loaded with scrap metals.

11.8.1959: Arrived at Yawata, for demolition by Matsukura Shoten K.K., at their Hirao Works.


BRITISH ZEAL (1937 - 1959)

O.N. 165624. 8,532g. 5,005n. 12,180d. 467.6 x 61.7 x 33.9 feet.
6-cyl. 4 S.C.S.A. (29-1/8" x 59-1/16") B&W type oil engine manufactured by J. G. Kincaid & Company Ltd., Greenock. 3,200 bhp.

3.11.1937: Launched by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow (Yard No. 888), for the British Tanker Company Ltd.

12.1937: Completed.

31.10.1940: Damaged by submarine at a position 15.40N., 20.43W.

1.6.1956: Owners restyled as BP Tanker Company Ltd.

3.2.1959: Arrived at the Isle of Grain.

8.2.1959: Sold via Rederi Wijsmuller, Holland, for demolition.

12.2.1959: Arrived at Rotterdam, for conversion into a dry cargo vessel, and renamed REDWIJS I.

3.4.1959: Departed from Rotterdam, loaded with scrap metal.

8.6.1959: Arrived at Yawata, for demolition by Matsukura Shoten K.K., at their Hirao Works.

24.6.1959: Work commenced at Hirao.

John_F
8th November 2008, 13:25
Bill,
Interesting........I wonder if they were officially reclassified & given new loading marks for their final trip?
I remember seeing the Zeal at the Isle of Grain on February 4th 1959, the day I joined British Glory, my first vessel with BP. I remember thinking how lucky I was to be joining a modern, large vessel & not that clapped out oldie.
How little I knew............the older, smaller vessels were usually (in my experience) the happiest.
Kind regards,
John

chadburn
8th November 2008, 14:17
Although I am not a Tankerman I can confirm that the above was not unusual in the fact that my Old Man use to buy old tonnage of all sorts fill them with Battlefield scrap (in his case from N. Africa) and scrap the lot.