esso saranac

4th January 2009, 12:43
Hello there,

I've been researching my father-in-laws MN service and he served on the Esso Saranac in 1947, according to what I've found out they was an exposion in her boiler room while the ship was in Norfolk, Virginia and 2 men where killed.
My father-in-law's name was Kenneth Fenton.

Many thanks for your time

4th January 2009, 14:25
SS Esso Saranac (ex Empire Sapphire -1946) 8031 tons, built 1941.
463.5 x 61.2 x 33.0. One 3 cylinder reciprocating engine built by Richardsons, Westgarth Ltd, Hartlepool. 3 single ended boilers at 220psi.
DF, ESD, Radar. Code flags MAJR. Cruiser stern. Machinery aft. 1 deck.
Ship built by Furness Ship Building Co; Ltd, Haverton on Hill Tees and owned by Esso Petroleum Company. British flag. Registered Middlesborough

4th January 2009, 15:52
A bit more information. Ship's Official Number 164847. Having been built for the Ministry of War Transport as Empire Sapphire in 1941 she had a number of managers as follows: From completion The British Tanker Co. Ltd., 1942 Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. (Became Esso in 1951) appointed managers, 1943 The British tanker Co. Ltd. re-appointed. 1945 Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd. re-appointed.
1946 Sold to The Anglo-American Oil Co. Ltd., R. A. Carder appointed manager, renamed Esso Saranac.
23.9.1947 she suffered a boiler explosion in position 3620'N, 7125'W while on passage from Corpus Christi to Hull. She was towed to Norfolk, Virginia, for repairs and boiler re-tubing. 2 members of her crew died in the explosion, Alexander Bodner and John William Drabble, the cause of their deaths being attributed to severe scalds and shock. Because she was a UK flagged ship a Coroner's Inquest was held into the deaths. Records pertaining to the incident are held in the National Archives at Kew, reference MT 9/4869, and are available for inspection. Following completion of her repairs the ship Departed Norfolk on 31.10.1947.
She was sold to the Esso Petroleum Co. Ltd., London, in 1951; Esso Transportation Co. Ltd. managers.
1958 Laid up at Fawley
1959 Sold for scrapping, arriving at Antwerp on the 25th January for demolition by Scrappingco S. A.
Hope that's of interest,

4th January 2009, 19:09
Hi Alastair,

Thanks for that, we thought that the explosion actually happened while she was in Norfolk. (Thumb)


John Rogers
11th January 2009, 02:37
She was a nice little Tanker,as I said I sailed on her in Nov 1952.