Fyffes M boats early 1970's-Motagua

R870879
9th August 2009, 21:46
Any fellow crew members aboard the Motagua in early '71 (February, I think !) when we were caught in a hurricane off the Hawaiian Islands whilst on route from Ecaudor(?) to Japan? The ship suffered severe damage to the bows and we were forced to limp into Midway Island for emergency repairs, courtesy of the US Navy's engineers. We were there for about 10 days I think whilst they welded steel railway lines between the main deck and the bows which were bent upwards at an alarming angle. The ships sides by No 1 hold had cracked open and the refridgerators could no longer maintain the correct temperature resulting in the decision to jettison some 78,000 boxes of slowly ripening bananas. Each day the US Navy engineers came out in their Landing craft to work on the repairs and each day we loaded them up with boxes of bananas to take back with them. They told us that normally they never had bananas on the base and that as a way of thanking us, we were they're guests and they laid on boats to take us ashore every night and we were welcome in all the various clubs and parties taking place whilst we were there. We had a ball!! We had to leave our anchor and chain behind when we sailed as the hydraulics were US. We crawled across to Kobe in Japan ditching a trail of bananas all the way. We were flown home while permanent repairs were carried out.

GINGEREGENT
9th September 2011, 00:06
Hello, Thanks for that story, I always wondered about it. I was on MV Motagua in 1981 for a few months. When we left Almirante in north eastern Panama to sail off into a force 10, we ran aground on our way out, then within an hour of re-foating, it was getting very choppy out at sea, we were told to put extra lashing on the puree drums which were stored on both sides of the hold, and threatened to break free and roll all over the place. Later I went to have a beer, as we were get thrown around quite a bit, long story short, lol, one of the crew told me that the ship was once held together by some old railway tracks, because she broke up a bit in the Pacific a few years back. Well I was a 17 year old deck boy (2nd trip), this ship was on it's own, no security (like on my first trip) of helicopters and other ships around, with the RFA, and as you imagine, that story spooked me a bit. I thought if there's a good time for some Dutch Courage, I can't think of a better time than now, ha ha. Thanks again, Rob.

Craneguy13
8th March 2015, 08:00
Hello Gents,

Not sure how it happened but somehow, I actually ended up with a brass bell from the Motogua dated 1970. I came on here to look up the history of the ship and was very excited to see a couple of glimpse's into her past. Thank you very much for sharing!

R815614
10th March 2015, 21:06
Hello Gents,

Not sure how it happened but somehow, I actually ended up with a brass bell from the Motogua dated 1970. I came on here to look up the history of the ship and was very excited to see a couple of glimpse's into her past. Thank you very much for sharing!

Montagua was the third of six reefers,i sailed maiden voyage on the second Morant and fourth Musa, and a couple of others...EDDIE

R870879
21st May 2015, 18:54
Montagua was the third of six reefers,i sailed maiden voyage on the second Morant and fourth Musa, and a couple of others...EDDIE

I also sailed on the Morant's maiden voyage from the Kawasaki shipyard in Kobe mainly on the Central/North America/Japan trade, culminating in a diversion down to Tasmania to pick up a cargo of apples for Hamburg, Helsinki and finally after six months away, London where we paid off.

R815614
29th May 2015, 16:57
I also sailed on the Morant's maiden voyage from the Kawasaki shipyard in Kobe mainly on the Central/North America/Japan trade, culminating in a diversion down to Tasmania to pick up a cargo of apples for Hamburg, Helsinki and finally after six months away, London where we paid off.

I paid off in tokyo at end of 4 months so missed trip down under.I was a gp stwd on their. joined her again i jan 71 at dover.

Seaboot
30th May 2016, 20:27
QUOTE=R870879;347888]Any fellow crew members aboard the Motagua in early '71 (February, I think !) when we were caught in a hurricane off the Hawaiian Islands whilst on route from Ecaudor(?) to Japan? The ship suffered severe damage to the bows and we were forced to limp into Midway Island for emergency repairs, courtesy of the US Navy's engineers. We were there for about 10 days I think whilst they welded steel railway lines between the main deck and the bows which were bent upwards at an alarming angle. The ships sides by No 1 hold had cracked open and the refridgerators could no longer maintain the correct temperature resulting in the decision to jettison some 78,000 boxes of slowly ripening bananas. Each day the US Navy engineers came out in their Landing craft to work on the repairs and each day we loaded them up with boxes of bananas to take back with them. They told us that normally they never had bananas on the base and that as a way of thanking us, we were they're guests and they laid on boats to take us ashore every night and we were welcome in all the various clubs and parties taking place whilst we were there. We had a ball!! We had to leave our anchor and chain behind when we sailed as the hydraulics were US. We crawled across to Kobe in Japan ditching a trail of bananas all the way. We were flown home while permanent repairs were carried out.[/QUOTE]

I remember it well, was the gp1 on er watch the night of the incident, couldn't figure out why it was taking so long to pump out the bilges on No2 hold!! Crack in the ships side was the answer.
It is exactly as you mention (apart from damage being across the starboard side of No2 hold and down the ships side. Railway lines were bought in from Hawaii and welded to give lateral strength. I seem to remember when we left midway the sea was just about as bad.
The damage was noticed at first light. I believe a US coastguard plane was flown off from midway to see weather conditions ahead of us. Showing no improvement the decision to alter course to midway was taken. Lifeboats swung out and triced in. Would not have been much chance of getting them away in that seaway however.
Eventually made it to Japan. Was flown home and rejoined the ship about two weeks later.
It is thought that the engine problems the Motagua suffered a year later could have been the forces involved in the damage had put the engine and prop out of alignment.
I spent 8 years on the M boats
Happy days

endure
20th July 2016, 17:39
I joined the Motagua in Sheerness on the 28th of March 1980. It was quite a stormy night.

Two hours after I joined she broke her moorings and rammed an Israeli cargo ship up the chuff. We had to divert to Bremerhaven to get the bows welded up before we were allowed to cross the Atlantic.

It was my first, and last, trip with Fyffes.

Seaboot
20th July 2016, 18:19
Poor old Motagua.
Not the luckiest ship in the fleet bur always interesting!!!����

jmcg
20th July 2016, 19:07
Musa, Matina and Motagua, the Matina being the best as I joined her in Bremerhaven (I had "missed"the Musa in Cardiff and was clad only in ER gear - everything I owned was aboard her.) This included Dis. Book , passport Seamans ID card, clothing etc.

Matina's crew looked after me well - I was the best dressed and presented DBS in Panama when I was sent ashore to await the Musa transiting the Panama canal Eastbound. Musa transited early and although I was under the control of the agent and ready to rejoin her from the agents launch Musa's old man (an ex RN Captain) decided to steam on without me. Frantic calls on VHF finally alerted him to my return and he turned around & slowed down. Hilarious!.

No more shore leave and I got a VNC from him.

Back in Mushland they shipped me out again on Motagua in an effort to ameliorate the effects of the VNC.

Never again was I to buy a G&T for the girl in Cardiff!

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

bbarr
20th July 2016, 21:31
Hearing of the fate of the Montagu reminds me of a trip I made on the 'Tortuguero' to West Africa in the early. Avery 1950's. I seem to remember we went to Tiko (?). Deep into the bush! Very old ship, but a happy and interesting voyage.
I also did a couple of trips on the 'Camito' in 1958 to the West Indies. A very different experience, but enjoyable nonetheless.