Glen Shiel incident 1962 ( copied from Glen Line forum)

johnkathmartin
23rd June 2010, 10:16
I wonder if anyone can help me out there - I am researching the death of a Chinese sailor on board the Glenshiel, and the subsequent events that followed.
My memory is that the ship had anchored in San Fernando Bay, sometime in early 1962, north of Manila, probably for customs and immigration clearance, and perhaps also to board a pilot.
The accident was a ' working aloft' one, where the seaman fell to the deck from an improperly rigged bosun's chair. We had a ship's male nurse on board, but nothing could be done to save him.
My recollection is that a decision was made to have him taken ashore and buried in the Philippines, and that the ship's carpenter built the coffin. This was 'parbuckled' over the side on the day of the funeral, into the waiting ship's lifeboat, not before an unfortunate incident whilst it was lowered past an overboard discharge line coming from crew cabins.
We took the coffin to a small landing jetty, where it was taken away by a van, and the master and agent also went off to attend the funeral. They returned an hour or so later, at the exact time that a further agents runner appeared waving a telegram from the owners instructing us NOT to have him buried, but to keep the 'remains' on board until they could be returned to the seaman's family in Hong Kong.
Glen shiel then had to wait two to three days to obtain exhumation orders, whereupon the coffin was returned to the vessel, and the coffin, complete with remains, remained on board for the 5 or so days it took us to load up in Manila and arrive in Hong Kong. On arrival in Hong Kong, whilst lying at the buoys, the sailor's poor wife and family came on board. There then followed a bit of a row with the mate, and I believe that knives were exibited in what was a fairly unpleasant turn of events.
I was a first trip middy at the time, and not the most observant of creatures you might say, so if anyone out there remembers this incident, but in fact remembers it differently, I should be grateful indeed to see comment, either on the forum, or by private message.
Thanks indeed for any assistance that might be forthcoming.

John Martin