Fyffes M boats early 1970's-Motagua

9th August 2009, 22:46
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.

9th September 2011, 01:06
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.