Rapana

loylobby
18th March 2009, 11:51
Was wondering if any SN members were on the Rapana at the time of her explosion and fire in 1990; or joined immediately after for the investigation and clean up.

I joined by launch, with many others, as she arrived in the Firth of Forth and spent the next 6 months on board dischaging and tank cleaning in Rotterdam and more cleaning and the drydocking in Lisbon.

Must have been my most traumatic, emotional yet interesting trip. Would like to hear if others have any memories of the events.

Radiomariner
27th March 2009, 00:56
Was wondering if any SN members were on the Rapana at the time of her explosion and fire in 1990; or joined immediately after for the investigation and clean up.

I joined by launch, with many others, as she arrived in the Firth of Forth and spent the next 6 months on board dischaging and tank cleaning in Rotterdam and more cleaning and the drydocking in Lisbon.

Must have been my most traumatic, emotional yet interesting trip. Would like to hear if others have any memories of the events.

My good friend Peter Marsland was Master on the Rapana at that time.He had
just handed over to his relief the day before. He had to assume command again as his relief accompanied the non essential crew ashore. Sadly Peter passed away about three years ago. The mate Dave, who was killed was my shore going buddy in Malta dry dock just a few months earlier. I later bacame aquanted with Alex Macphedrian-Brown a rough dimond but very likable and able engineer also on the Rapana at that time.
Shell got out of the "OBO" scene after that.

loylobby
27th March 2009, 09:01
My good friend Peter Marsland was Master on the Rapana at that time.He had
just handed over to his relief the day before. He had to assume command again as his relief accompanied the non essential crew ashore. Sadly Peter passed away about three years ago. The mate Dave, who was killed was my shore going buddy in Malta dry dock just a few months earlier. I later bacame aquanted with Alex Macphedrian-Brown a rough dimond but very likable and able engineer also on the Rapana at that time.
Shell got out of the "OBO" scene after that.
I am so very sorry to hear about Peter passing away. I sailed with Peter a couple of times; when I was a cadet and also as 3rd mate. After the Rapana he was also in Shell Centre when I was in there for a while. He was a real character with a great sense of humour and fun; him and his wife Angie were inseperable. He was still on the Rapana when we joined in the Firth of Forth. The Rapana incident must have taken its toll on him; I have a photo copy of the Official Log Book entries for those fateful few hours and they show it must have been terrifying, traumatic, sad.....every emotion going.

I too knew Dave, I relieved him on an "L" boat in Malta drydock, so maybe I know you. The ironic thing is that the pumproom hatch or vents that were blown off during the Rapana explosion smashed the window of his forward facing cabin and badly dented his cabin bulkhead.

Billieboy
23rd May 2009, 19:16
Bad show that explosion, I'd been on board just before she sailed from Rotterdam, was most upset when I heard of the casualties. I had to arrange the tanker cleaning berth in Rotterdam on STUK orders.

loylobby
25th May 2009, 10:26
Bad show that explosion, I'd been on board just before she sailed from Rotterdam, was most upset when I heard of the casualties. I had to arrange the tanker cleaning berth in Rotterdam on STUK orders.

The timescale of events are a bit blurred by time, but I remember that we spent ages in Rotterdam; RISC recovered one of the bodies from the pumproom bottom once it had been pumped out.
Then discharging the remaining cargo using emergency hydraulic submersible pumps with a team from FRAMO; a great set of lads who helped keep us sane. It was strange that in the midst of the disaster the cargo was still a cargo and we had a team of cargo surveyors trying to sort out the various quantities because so much oil and water had been mixed together and wasn't in the places it should have been.

Then gas freeing and tank cleaning once again using portable pumps, it was a real work up for all concerned. The centre tanks (holds) were a doddle but the wing tanks were horrendous. The duct keel was also full of oil and water so had to be cleaned.
The damage to the pumproom and adjacent tank/hold bulkhead was extensive.

We also had a memorial service at the Seamans Mission in Rotterdam which was a very moving experience especially as I knew 2 of those killed.

Billieboy
30th May 2009, 19:35
I knew the C/O, C/E, and the Super who was killed, just before the vessel left Rotterdam for the North Sea, I said to the super, (cargo, ex C/O, due to take an office job), "Don't forget; If you think that you're safe, YOU'RE DEAD!", it was a warning that I'd polished and proven, on OBOs, in the previous fifteen+ years. I am still miserable.......

stevie p
23rd November 2009, 00:49
Hi, I was the second mate on the Rapana duroing the explosion. Due to the sad death of Dave and the injuries to Ray Gill I was Iwas thrust in charge of the emergency response. The things that we seen were very harrowing and have had a longstanding affect on me. Th voyage for me started 9 months prior to the incident and every day was extremly interesting!!!

R58484956
23rd November 2009, 11:15
Greetings stevie p and welcome to SN on your first and rather sad posting, however do enjoy the site and all that goes with it and bon voyage.

Billieboy
23rd November 2009, 11:22
Welcome aboard Stevie, there are people who know you, on the site; have a look around and enjoy the trip.

loylobby
24th November 2009, 07:45
Hi, I was the second mate on the Rapana duroing the explosion. Due to the sad death of Dave and the injuries to Ray Gill I was Iwas thrust in charge of the emergency response. The things that we seen were very harrowing and have had a longstanding affect on me. Th voyage for me started 9 months prior to the incident and every day was extremly interesting!!!
Hi Stevie P, I do remember you but only vaguely I am afraid.

I met so many new faces in that 6 months, especially the first couple of weeks when people were coming and going pretty rapidly; the existing complement, numerous reliefs - some short term - others for the long haul, Shell Tankers supers, SIM bods, MAIB investigators, Fife Fire and Rescue, cargo surveyors, etc etc, all coming and going with repetetive monotony.

I can only imagine the extreme trauma you went through during the explosion, fire and immediate aftermath. Having listened to the numerous account of events, it would appear that your pumproom firefighting efforts saved the ship from being a total loss, well done. No amount of boat and fire drills can ever prepare you fully for that sequence of events.

I trust you are well.

stevie p
1st September 2011, 05:19
Hi Mate,


I was wondering if you could send me a copy of the Log Book it will be good to show my son who is soon to embark on a seagoing career.

Rgds

Satanic Mechanic
1st September 2011, 08:20
The pumpman who was killed was St Thomas Auban from Barbados. The L class in Malta you are talking about - was it the Lepeta in 1989, totally seperate but that drydock was marred by a dockside crane collapse with I think 3 fatalities.

loylobby
3rd September 2011, 09:52
Hi Mate,


I was wondering if you could send me a copy of the Log Book it will be good to show my son who is soon to embark on a seagoing career.

Rgds

Steve, I will look it out, (it is only 2 or 3 A4 sheets) and let you know when I find it and then get your postal address by PM. Might take a while to find it though - it is in a "safe" place somewhere, if you see what I mean.

loylobby
3rd September 2011, 11:05
The pumpman who was killed was St Thomas Auban from Barbados. The L class in Malta you are talking about - was it the Lepeta in 1989, totally seperate but that drydock was marred by a dockside crane collapse with I think 3 fatalities.

I was the C/O on the Lepeta in Malta drydocks when the dockside crane collapsed in to the drydock. It really was a tragic accident. The Lepeta was not in the drydock, but adjacent to it, in a wet berth, having left the drydock a couple of days earlier. In fact, the accident had nothing to do with the Lepeta at all.

The ship in the drydock was a small cargo ship and was positioned on blocks quite far from the actual drydock side. The crane involved was not one of the tall cranes but a sort of cherry picker on rails/track which ran up and down the length of the dock.

I was down one of the cargo tanks when the old man, Ernie Wilkinson who was on Lepeta's bridgewing, called me to say there had been a crane accident in the dock and could I lend some help, if needed.

Myself and the 2/O grabbed the stretcher, and the 2 resuscitators and went to the drydock bottom where all the casualties were being treated by a dockyard first aid team. They were waiting for doctors and ambulances to arrive. Our offers of help and our equipment was declined. The doctor arrived plus other medics and they worked hard on the casualties who were very obviously in a very bad way. Tarpaulins were draped over those who had been killed.

The dockside cherrypicker was lying in a heap on the dock bottom. Apparently, while painting the small cargo ship in the dock, the cherry picker platform was working at its maximum reach from the dockside; this resulted in excessive forces on the dockside rail/track and the concrete footings causing it to crumble and fail casting the cherry picker to the dock bottom. (bearing in mind it was a VLCC drydock it was a long drop.)

I thought that there was more than 3 fatalities - one of them being a worker who just happened to be on the dock bottom under the crane when it fell. Having been in the drydock for ages I knew the cherry picker driver very well, he was only a young lad with a wicked sense of humour. We used to see him out and about at the weekend in one of the local bars. Sadly he lost his life in the accident.

Getting back to the Rapana, the pumpman was indeed Barbadian but I think you got his name back to front, I think it was St Aubin Thomas.

Satanic Mechanic
3rd September 2011, 11:57
I was the C/O on the Lepeta in Malta drydocks when the dockside crane collapsed in to the drydock. It really was a tragic accident. The Lepeta was not in the drydock, but adjacent to it, in a wet berth, having left the drydock a couple of days earlier. In fact, the accident had nothing to do with the Lepeta at all.

The ship in the drydock was a small cargo ship and was positioned on blocks quite far from the actual drydock side. The crane involved was not one of the tall cranes but a sort of cherry picker on rails/track which ran up and down the length of the dock.

I was down one of the cargo tanks when the old man, Ernie Wilkinson who was on Lepeta's bridgewing, called me to say there had been a crane accident in the dock and could I lend some help, if needed.

Myself and the 2/O grabbed the stretcher, and the 2 resuscitators and went to the drydock bottom where all the casualties were being treated by a dockyard first aid team. They were waiting for doctors and ambulances to arrive. Our offers of help and our equipment was declined. The doctor arrived plus other medics and they worked hard on the casualties who were very obviously in a very bad way. Tarpaulins were draped over those who had been killed.

The dockside cherrypicker was lying in a heap on the dock bottom. Apparently, while painting the small cargo ship in the dock, the cherry picker platform was working at its maximum reach from the dockside; this resulted in excessive forces on the dockside rail/track and the concrete footings causing it to crumble and fail casting the cherry picker to the dock bottom. (bearing in mind it was a VLCC drydock it was a long drop.)

I thought that there was more than 3 fatalities - one of them being a worker who just happened to be on the dock bottom under the crane when it fell. Having been in the drydock for ages I knew the cherry picker driver very well, he was only a young lad with a wicked sense of humour. We used to see him out and about at the weekend in one of the local bars. Sadly he lost his life in the accident.

Getting back to the Rapana, the pumpman was indeed Barbadian but I think you got his name back to front, I think it was St Aubin Thomas.

Roy? - things didn't get much better on there - what with third engineers catching fire etc etc

It was indeed St Aubin Thomas - he went by the name Thomas and had previously been on the Lepeta

loylobby
4th September 2011, 09:37
Roy? - things didn't get much better on there - what with third engineers catching fire etc etc

It was indeed St Aubin Thomas - he went by the name Thomas and had previously been on the Lepeta

Indeed it is I. 3/E's shouldn't lean across superheated steam pipes when there is oil on their boiler suit legs. Are you this combusting person? If so how is the leg?

Satanic Mechanic
4th September 2011, 09:45
Indeed it is I. 3/E's shouldn't lean across superheated steam pipes when there is oil on their boiler suit legs. Are you this combusting person? If so how is the leg?

No, but funnily enough I met both said third and the Roger C/E in Korea in the last couple of years on Rasgas/Qatar gas projects.

loylobby
4th September 2011, 10:09
No, but funnily enough I met both said third and the Roger C/E in Korea in the last couple of years on Rasgas/Qatar gas projects.

I am useless with remembering names and even if I do remember them I can't remember which blooming ship it was on especially as I was on Lampas, Leonia, Lepeta. I do remember the self combusting 3/E's name but won't embarrass him on here but a C/E Roger ?? is not ringing any bells. You seem to know me, can you give me a clue as to your I.D.?

Satanic Mechanic
4th September 2011, 12:48
I am useless with remembering names and even if I do remember them I can't remember which blooming ship it was on especially as I was on Lampas, Leonia, Lepeta. I do remember the self combusting 3/E's name but won't embarrass him on here but a C/E Roger ?? is not ringing any bells. You seem to know me, can you give me a clue as to your I.D.?


C/E Roger Smith


as for me - well I'm the Satanic Mechanic (Jester) - i'll pm you later

Do you still turn that wild shade of red on contact with sea food?

loylobby
5th September 2011, 07:41
C/E Roger Smith


as for me - well I'm the Satanic Mechanic (Jester) - i'll pm you later

Do you still turn that wild shade of red on contact with sea food?

Roger Smith, did he have blond hair and a bit of a fitness freak who ran round the Lepeta's deck on Sunday. Did he also arrange for the "football pitch" surrounded by netting on the incinerator deck?

Yes, me and certain types of seafood have disagreements - mainly Lobster

As regards your I.D. did you sail on Lepeta or were you a docking super???? You seem to know a fair bit about me!! Put me out of my misery!!

marinemec2004
26th August 2012, 14:31
I too sailed on Rapana as Pumpman.
What a "work -Up" she was. Ex San Giusto?? Very unlucky ship .
Before I joined her, a member of the deck crew - PO Deck slipped between the quay and the gangway whilst either turning it out or stowing it ( I wasnt on her then, but vaguely remember the story) -he was also killed.

Tank cleaning was a nightmare. I remember joining in France. Me and the mate went 6/6 for 18 days straight getting here ready for Iron Ore .
It was the time of "slow steaming " to save on fuel. 59 day sea passage from Brazil to Japan! Didnt have videos or dvd's then, but a Bell and Howell projector! Distinctly remember that the only Walport film we had was Grease!! Watched it over and over....
Good crowd on her, but the vessel was beset with problems .

stevekelly10
26th August 2012, 15:05
I still cringe everytime I hear the name "Rapana" mentioned here's a post I made about it elsewhere on this site!
I had the misfortune of sailing on one once and it was not an experience I ever want to repeat! It was my first trip with Shell as 3/E on the Rapana, a V.L.O.O as Shell called it. The trip got off to the worst of starts possible as I was sat on the jetty at Tubarao, waiting for them to lower the gangway so I could get onboard. They where having problems lowering the gangway as the two pieces of the telescopic ladders became jammed with iron ore dust. The mate and the chief engineer were in the process of freeing it, when it suddenly freed itself due to the strain it was under. Unfortunately it caught both men trapping them by the feet, their screams turned my legs to jelly! once freed they had to be rushed to hospital as both had suffered nearly complete amputations of one foot each.
The trip never got any better, ship was a disgrace. fortunately it only carried iron ore on my time onboard as I said that if they loaded it with oil. I would not sail out of port on it and would be sat on my suitcase waving goodbye to them!
Later events proved me right! after a long drydocking the Rapana loaded oil again and had just discharged the first part of her cargo at Brofjorden and was on her way to Tranmere when she suffered a pumproom explosion and fire killing 3 of the crew. Shell sold her and her sister ship shortly afterwards! A lesson learnt the hardest of ways!

Caperora
27th August 2012, 07:59
I still cringe everytime I hear the name "Rapana" mentioned here's a post I made about it elsewhere on this site!
I had the misfortune of sailing on one once and it was not an experience I ever want to repeat! It was my first trip with Shell as 3/E on the Rapana, a V.L.O.O as Shell called it. The trip got off to the worst of starts possible as I was sat on the jetty at Tubarao, waiting for them to lower the gangway so I could get onboard. They where having problems lowering the gangway as the two pieces of the telescopic ladders became jammed with iron ore dust. The mate and the chief engineer were in the process of freeing it, when it suddenly freed itself due to the strain it was under. Unfortunately it caught both men trapping them by the feet, their screams turned my legs to jelly! once freed they had to be rushed to hospital as both had suffered nearly complete amputations of one foot each.
The trip never got any better, ship was a disgrace. fortunately it only carried iron ore on my time onboard as I said that if they loaded it with oil. I would not sail out of port on it and would be sat on my suitcase waving goodbye to them!
Later events proved me right! after a long drydocking the Rapana loaded oil again and had just discharged the first part of her cargo at Brofjorden and was on her way to Tranmere when she suffered a pumproom explosion and fire killing 3 of the crew. Shell sold her and her sister ship shortly afterwards! A lesson learnt the hardest of ways!
I did one trip with Shell as C/O for my second trip was offered Rapana for the change back to oil. Personnel dept got very arsey when I declined and went to Mobil instead(Fly)

pilot
27th August 2012, 13:59
Caperora. Mobil had their share of tonnage that gave one a good night's worry too though.

randcmackenzie
27th August 2012, 22:36
They surely did. The ones re-engined with Pielsticks come to mind at once.

Caperora
28th August 2012, 05:28
Caperora. Mobil had their share of tonnage that gave one a good night's worry too though.

Thats for sure the Acme springs to mind!

pilot
30th August 2012, 08:49
Think there's a thread that's devoted to Mobil's bold steps undertaken with the challenge of the Pielsticks. Although in fairness to Mobil they also took over 2nd. hand tonnage that required no running down to meet our standards. Rgds.

Derek Wallace
13th April 2014, 18:53
I still cringe everytime I hear the name "Rapana" mentioned here's a post I made about it elsewhere on this site!
I had the misfortune of sailing on one once and it was not an experience I ever want to repeat! It was my first trip with Shell as 3/E on the Rapana, a V.L.O.O as Shell called it. The trip got off to the worst of starts possible as I was sat on the jetty at Tubarao, waiting for them to lower the gangway so I could get onboard. They where having problems lowering the gangway as the two pieces of the telescopic ladders became jammed with iron ore dust. The mate and the chief engineer were in the process of freeing it, when it suddenly freed itself due to the strain it was under. Unfortunately it caught both men trapping them by the feet, their screams turned my legs to jelly! once freed they had to be rushed to hospital as both had suffered nearly complete amputations of one foot each.
The trip never got any better, ship was a disgrace. fortunately it only carried iron ore on my time onboard as I said that if they loaded it with oil. I would not sail out of port on it and would be sat on my suitcase waving goodbye to them!
Later events proved me right! after a long drydocking the Rapana loaded oil again and had just discharged the first part of her cargo at Brofjorden and was on her way to Tranmere when she suffered a pumproom explosion and fire killing 3 of the crew. Shell sold her and her sister ship shortly afterwards! A lesson learnt the hardest of ways!
I was the unfortunate master at the time. During that voyage I reported to the company that the Rapana was totally unsuited to carry oil cargo ever again. I got my knuckles rapped for this opinion which was tragically proved correct a year later.

stevekelly10
13th April 2014, 19:14
I was the unfortunate master at the time. During that voyage I reported to the company that the Rapana was totally unsuited to carry oil cargo ever again. I got my knuckles rapped for this opinion which was tragically proved correct a year later.

Hi Derek
Shell had a lot to answer for! I can remember having an interview with the Company solicitor on our arrival back in Rotterdam, regarding the accident, as I was a prime witness. He said he would get my statement typed up and I could sign it next time, we arrived back in Rotterdam. When we arrived back, I read the statement and was shocked to find it virtually opposite to what I had actually stated!
I refused point blank to sign it and was told OK they would re-type it and I could sign it yet again the following time back in port! This happened and low and behold, the statement was exactly what I had stated the first time! A blatant attempt by Shell and their solicitor to cover the truth initially!