Crude Britannia

ddraigmor
18th June 2009, 23:57
The story of the offshore oil industry http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00l7r9j/Crude_Britannia_The_Story_of_North_Sea_Oil_Episode _1/

Including the old style of anchor-handling I and many more on this site did - and compare it with the modern way of the latest TV programmes.

A good programme.

Jonty

RayJordandpo
19th June 2009, 13:55
I'm away at the moment Jonty but I will ask my missus to tape it for me, sounds interesting. The only anchor handling I do nowadays is behind a pint in my local pub telling everybody what "North Sea Tigers" we were (not that anybody is remotely interested)

Don Matheson
19th June 2009, 17:49
Its like a step back in time watching this. The whole concept from the tiny little American boats, to the tiny little British boats and the work that was done with these little boats and indeed by the first rigs was a wonderful achievement.
Watching the anchor handlers we had then, compare them to modern ones and wonder how we managed it at the start.
We must have had some wonderful Skippers and Deck Crew back then and I know we had brilliant engineers. With Offshore Marine the engineers drove the winches while the deck crew worked with, and were often chased around the deck by, the anchors. In my mind it created a breed of seamen of a special kind.
Brings it all back, but have watched new film on anchors recently and no one seems to be on deck at all.
Perhaps Ray is right we should restrict our type of anchor handling to the pub.

Don

ddraigmor
19th June 2009, 19:13
Maybe we should - but we took some serious risks! I watched it and I thought 'Oh my God, I did THAT exactly like THAT.....'! The crash barrier jumping, the knock the pin out and get clear sharpish bit....the rolling deck casing transfers.....it is the first time I have ever seen it shown as it was.

I think it should be mandatory for all newbies to the industry who say it is a tough and dangerous job to watch it - and see what it was really like!

Jonty

peter3807
19th June 2009, 22:10
Jonty,

Now that brings back some memories. Great to see the Wimpey boats again.

Peter

ALAN TYLER
20th June 2009, 12:16
Great programme, the bit that brought back some scary moments for me were the crew changes done by using the Personnel basket. I wonder if its still in use. I was offshore from 1975 to 1986. Happy days.

Don Matheson
20th June 2009, 12:54
No mentioned in the film but does anyone remember the lassoo used for recovering the bouys?
Nowegian seamen working with us on the Eckofisk on deck to pick up the bouy and recover the anchor. One seamans foot slips and he goes over the roller into the water, other seaman throws him the lassoo, signals me to heave up and we pull him out of the water. Lasse walks up the deck, thanks me as he passes and heads for the shower. Hot shower, hot coffee, fresh clothes a couple of swift beers and he is back on the deck ready to carry on. A very special breed of men worked the deck in the early days.


Don

RayJordandpo
20th June 2009, 13:20
the bit that brought back some scary moments for me were the crew changes done by using the Personnel basket

I must admit "Billy Pugh" crew changes were quite hairy but worse still was jumping across from one vessel to another in a North Sea screamer. You had to judge it just right or the deck you were jumping on suddenly became about 10 feet below you. It was always the joining crew who threw their gear across first so you had no choice but to 'go for it'. Nothing stops crew changes eh?

JimC
20th June 2009, 13:54
All these vessels were working the North Sea in the 70's. Can't rememebr them all but here's a few. Memorys are made of these:
Kattenturm,
Pinnastor,
Dearborn46,
Rig Tugger,
Berlinertor,
Gulf Fkeet 8,
Floodtide 2
Riptide2
Lady Marriann
Pecos
Gul Fleet 11
Gulf Queen 2
Polar 901
Lady Vera
Gulf Rambler
Northern Moon
Edda Star
Hustler
Border Blazer
Polar 902
Oil Explorer
Big Orange
John L. Guidry
Lily M. Gudry
Lady Moira
Asa D. Guidry
Wimpey Seadog
Wimpey Seahorse

Hard times indeed lads. Handfulls of guys being washed down the working deck - some riding on the buoy. Trying to lassoo the buoy. Releasing the pelican hook (senhouse slip for UK readers). Dragging up and down for hours trying to recover an anchor after the bouy pendant had broken, Lifting a bunch of 'buggers' over the stern roller and trying to un-tangle a fankle in 2.5 inch chain mixed with 55mm wire. All for British MN Ab.s wages while the guy on the rig cursing the time delay was wearing a gem-studded rolex, being paid an obscene amount of money and getting a couple of huge steaks four times a day if he wanted it!
Worst of all - arguing with the rig that the sea were indeed over 6 feet and it was now insafe to work!

Great but dangerous days!

Nick Balls
20th June 2009, 19:21
Don't forget the "Wimbrown" boats 1-3 Nor the "Lady" boats. Nor the "Star" boats........the list is pretty long .......Offshore marine , zaps.

I was last on a Billy Pugh in 2007 !!! You would not believe the paperwork involved!
First time was in the early 80's at Ekofisk in a gale..............not much sign then of the "safety case"

trevor8869
21st June 2009, 11:47
Good movie brings back memories of my time on the Wimpey Seadog as Master and to see myself in that movie brilliant!!

RayJordandpo
21st June 2009, 13:50
I was last on a Billy Pugh in 2007 !!! You would not believe the paperwork involved!
First time was in the early 80's at Ekofisk in a gale..............not much sign then of the "safety case"

It seems the "Billy Pugh" has been mainly superceded by the "frog". A contraption where you are seated and strapped in. An attendant rides with you. Personally I don't like it, you feel helpless, give me the old personnel basket anyday. Incidentally,just two weeks ago out here in Mexico, due to bad visibility and no choppers I did a crew change in a basket from a crew boat and must admit I rather enjoyed it (seeing the weather was almost flat calm). There was a fatality recently in the GOM where a crane wire parted, the personnel basket was lost with one guy in it.

BillH
21st June 2009, 14:39
Last night's episode
Not 100% certain as the clip was short but I think the ill-fated MERCHANTMAN (1964-67) of United Towing was shown portside - almost bow on in heavy swell. If not then MASTERMAN as the M just visible

ddraigmor
21st June 2009, 14:51
Worth watching and that i player is a handy thing.

Jonty

lakercapt
21st June 2009, 15:04
Would have loved to watch it but this is only available in the UK

gordy
21st June 2009, 17:43
Absolutely wonderful watching it all again. I remember well, when I got word that I'd got a job on the platforms, the chief on the supply boat I was on was over the moon for me. All in all I got 27 years in the North Sea, have had a comfortable life because of it, saw some great engineering, worked in the wildest of weather, met some great guys but lost a lot of good friends.
I consider myself to be very lucky to have been around at the right time.

RayJordandpo
23rd June 2009, 13:58
Last night's episode
Not 100% certain as the clip was short but I think the ill-fated MERCHANTMAN (1964-67) of United Towing was shown portside - almost bow on in heavy swell. If not then MASTERMAN as the M just visible

I worked for United Towing during that period. I remember the 'Merchantman' but I don't recall her sinking. Anybody know what happened?

BillH
23rd June 2009, 15:27
I worked for United Towing during that period. I remember the 'Merchantman' but I don't recall her sinking. Anybody know what happened?
From my forthcoming history of United Towing Group

MERCHANTMAN (2nd of name in fleet) (1964 - 1967)
O.N. 305761. 230g. 5n. 106'9" x 29'9" x 12'0".
Two, 8-cyl. 4 S. C. S. A. (325 x 370mm) Allen 6S37-E type engines made by W. H. Allen, Sons & Company Ltd., Bedford, single reverse reduction geared to twin screw shafts. 1,800 BHP. 17 tons bollard pull. 11kts.

11.3.1964: Keel laid by Charles D. Holmes & Company Ltd., Beverley (Yard No. 990), for the United Towing Company Ltd., Hull.

26.5.1964: Launched.

25.9.1964: Completed.

18.9.1967: Whilst 85 miles east from Peterhead preparing to tow the oil rig OCEAN PRINCE to a new location, collided with the rig and sank at a position 57.37N., 01.50 E.


She was closely followed by HULLMAN

HULLMAN (2) (1968 - 1971)
O.N. 334074. 251g. 106'7"x 30'9" x 13'7"
Two, 6-cyl. 4 S. C. S. A. (10" x 14") 6ATCM type engines made by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd., Lincoln, single reverse reduction geared to twin screw shafts. 2,800 BHP. 26 tons bollard pull. 11kts.

30.6.1967: Keel laid by Charles D. Holmes & Company Ltd., Beverley (Yard No. 1010) for the United Towing Company Ltd., Hull.

2.10.1967: Launched.

10.5.1968: Completed.

27.11.1969: Sank following a collision with the Liberian tanker CONOCO ARROW (18,504g./1954) during berthing operations at Immingham. Four of her crew were lost.

9.12.1969: Raised.

10.12.1969: Berthed for examination and repair.

21.1.1970: Owners restyled as United Towing Ltd., Hull.

23.10.1971: Capsized and sank, having been holed in a contact with the construction barge she was attending at a position 53.01 N., 2.20 E., about 100 miles east from Hull. Her crew was saved.

RayJordandpo
26th June 2009, 15:58
I remember 'Hullman' sinking, I was on the tug 'Workman' that towed the 'Conoco Arrow' off the jetty at Immingham when she had completed discharging her cargo. I was also on the 'Hullman' after she had been raised, we were anchor handling in the North Sea. She sank again after hitting a partially submerged anchor on a Brown and Root construction barge, thankfully this time no loss of life. I cannot remember 'Merchantman' sinking after colliding with a rig although I certainly remember the tug 'Norman' sinking after a similar collision.

George Simpson
26th June 2009, 16:21
I watched the programme for the first time last night (doing the old channel flicking routine). Anyway it brought back a few memories like working on the TLP and a few others.

BillH
26th June 2009, 17:28
I remember 'Hullman' sinking, I was on the tug 'Workman' that towed the 'Conoco Arrow' off the jetty at Immingham when she had completed discharging her cargo. I was also on the 'Hullman' after she had been raised, we were anchor handling in the North Sea. She sank again after hitting a partially submerged anchor on a Brown and Root construction barge, thankfully this time no loss of life. I cannot remember 'Merchantman' sinking after colliding with a rig although I certainly remember the tug 'Norman' sinking after a similar collision.
NORMAN (3rd of name in fleet) (1973 - 1975)
O.N. 359193. 412g. 287n. 127'8" x 32'10" x 14'7"
Two, 8-cyl. 4 S. C. S. A. (12" x 14") Ruston 8ATC type engines made by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd., Lincoln, single reverse reduction geared to twin screw shafts. 4,825 BHP. 51 tons bollard pull. 13 kts.

3.7.1967: Keel laid as FREDERIC B. INGRAM by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby (Yard No. 1517) for Janfield Ltd., Bermuda.

20.10.1967: Launched, for Ingram Maritime Ltd., Panama.

26.1.1968: Completed.

1972: Transferred to Oceanic Contractors Inc., (MacDermott International Inc., managers), Panama, and renamed JARAMAC 28.

25.5.1973: Purchased by United Towing (Norman) Ltd., (United Towing (Ocean Tugs) Ltd., managers), and renamed NORMAN.

1.4.1974: Sold to Star Offshore Services (Tugs) Ltd., (United Towing (Star Offshore Services) Ltd., managers), Hull.

13.12.1975: Capsized and sank whilst 38 miles from Spurn Point at a position 53.47N., 01.10E.

RayJordandpo
26th June 2009, 18:01
Just trying to jog my memory here. It's a long time ago but as I recall it 'Norman' capsized for no apparent reason. The skipper (David Betts) did a very good job indeed manoeuvring the vessel away from offshore platforms before having to abandon ship. I believe that on a previous rig move with the jack up rig 'Chapparal' slight contact was made between the two vessels with very minor damage (mainly cosmetic) to the topsides. Apparently at the enquiry nothing was linked between that and her sinking. Incidentally I was mate on her sister ship 'Scotsman' (ex E.Bronson Ingram), myself, the skipper and chief engineer had to attend an interview with Capt. Disden and Capt. Schultz of the Board of Trade (DTI?) in Hull and answer all sorts of questions as they were very concerned about possible stability problems for those vessels.

BillH
26th June 2009, 18:17
Just trying to jog my memory here. It's a long time ago but as I recall it 'Norman' capsized for no apparent reason. The skipper (David Betts) did a very good job indeed manoeuvring the vessel away from offshore platforms before having to abandon ship. I believe that on a previous rig move with the jack up rig 'Chapparal' slight contact was made between the two vessels with very minor damage (mainly cosmetic) to the topsides. Apparently at the enquiry nothing was linked between that and her sinking. Incidentally I was mate on her sister ship 'Scotsman' (ex E.Bronson Ingram), myself, the skipper and chief engineer had to attend an interview with Capt. Disden and Capt. Schultz of the Board of Trade (DTI?) in Hull and answer all sorts of questions as they were very concerned about possible stability problems for those vessels.
SCOTSMAN (6th of name in fleet) (1973 - 1981)
O.N. 359165. 412g. 287d. 127'8" x 32'10" x 14'7"
Two, 8-cyl. 4 S. C. S. A. (12" x 14") Ruston 8ATC type engines made by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd., Lincoln, single reverse reduction geared to twin screw shafts. 4,825 BHP. 51 tons bollard pull. 13 kts.

22.3.1968: Keel laid as E. BRONSON INGRAM by Cochrane & Sons Ltd., Selby (Yard No. 1520) for Janfield Ltd., Bermuda.

29.8.1968: Launched, for Ingram Marine Ltd., Panama.

31.1.1969: Completed.

1972: Transferred to Oceanic Contractors Inc., (MacDermott International Inc., managers), Panama, and renamed JARAMAC 42.

5.3.1973: Purchased by United Towing (Scotsman) Ltd., (United Towing (Ocean Tugs) Ltd., managers), and renamed SCOTSMAN.

17.3.1978: Owner restyled as United Towing (Sandwich) Ltd., (same managers), Hull.

1981: Sold to Arabian Bulk Trade Ltd., Saudi Arabia, and renamed AL BATTALI.

1986: Sold to Lake Ontario Cement Company Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario, and renamed PETITE FORTE.

1991: Sold to Great Lakes & International Towing & Salvage Company Ltd., Hamilton, Ontario.

6.2008: Still in service.

paj
26th June 2009, 21:51
hi jonty,
watched the second episode last night and thought to my self how the hell did i miss the first one. signed in tonight and saw that you had started a thread on the program. i was so pleased that you had put a link on for the first episode. as i spent a lot of the 70s out there on a pipe laying barge for j ray mcdermott i could relate to all of this. many thanks again jonty.
dick page (paj)

peteb
26th June 2009, 23:02
Ray, In 1967. Merchantman sank 106 miles off Aberdeen after being involved in a collision with a new oil rig Ocean Prince which she was helping to tow to its site nine miles off the Humber with Irishman and Welshman. Danny Betts (snr.) was skipper at the time and George Maltby ch/eng. Because of the depth of water (45 fathoms) she was never salvaged.

BillH
27th June 2009, 07:59
Ray, In 1967. Merchantman sank 106 miles off Aberdeen after being involved in a collision with a new oil rig Ocean Prince which she was helping to tow to its site nine miles off the Humber with Irishman and Welshman. Danny Betts (snr.) was skipper at the time and George Maltby ch/eng. Because of the depth of water (45 fathoms) she was never salvaged.
Pete,

MERCHANTMAN details 8 posts up

Bill

ddraigmor
27th June 2009, 11:09
PAJ - no worries - it was the best of times and the worst of them as well. It deserves its place in history.

Jonty