Kwinana Incident

ChiefCharles
22nd June 2006, 02:51
Kwinana Incident
This dramatic incident occurred in the last half of 69 or early 70. I remember the ship as the “British Dragoon” but I cannot be certain. After reading this story I’m hoping someone will definitely remember which ship it was. I know with absolute certainty that the Chief Engineer was George Johnson but that’s the only person I know was there.

The ship had arrived at Kwinana, a BP Refinery in Western Australia with a full cargo of crude oil from the Gulf. During the passage from the Gulf there was a problem with one of the ships bottom sea valves (8 inch) leaking preventing shut down of (unknown equipment) for repair. The Chief had arranged with the BP resident Engineer Superintendent to supply a dive team to blank off the aperture so that the valve could be removed and replaced with a spare. Head Office in London was aware of the impending repair and assumed it would be completed after the full cargo was discharged and ship at a light draft.

The actual sequence of events was as follows.
Ship berthed and commenced cargo discharge.
Dive Team met with Chief Engineer and Engineer Superintendent to discuss the repair. Chief Engineer and Super then went ashore to places unknown by me. I do not know what repair scenario was decided upon.
Diver(s) immediately entered water, located valve and placed a wooden circular blank over the aperture, held in position by the water pressure. Thickness of wooden blank is unknown.
It is believed that the pipe between valve and equipment was then removed.
The valve securing nuts were then loosened and efforts commenced to separate valve flange from the hull. As the flange was separated the wooden blank split in half (believed caused by hydraulic shock) and an 8 inch gusher under intense pressure (due to the ships deep draft ) erupted into the engine room.
All attempts by ship staff to plug the opening were unsuccessful.

As the ship was almost fully loaded the water rose to the level of the main boilers steam drums, a water depth of approximately 50 feet.

It is fortunate that as the ship sunk alongside the berth she sat on the bottom before the after end was submerged.
Obviously all electrical equipment was severely damaged and other equipment, turbines etc. required full dismantling.
The ship was in Kwinana for several weeks undergoing repairs.

I would be delighted to hear from any member of SN who can shed more light on this incident, especially the ships name with certainty. I have to assume it was a complete miscommunication between all parties that this repair was attempted in a deep drafted condition and why a tapered steel or wooden plug was not used instead of the circular wooden blank.

Roger

John_F
22nd June 2006, 08:40
Roger,
There is a photo of her in the gallery at anchor off Kwinana following the incident. The poster seems to know a bit about the incident & sounds as though he was on board when it happened.
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/19665/sort/1/cat/503/page/1
Kind regards,
John.

rknibbs
22nd June 2006, 09:36
I was indeed on board and it was the British Dragoon. It was my first trip, I was the 2nd R/O and I joined the Dragoon in the Isle of Grain on the 12th June 1969. We loaded at Das Island for discharge in Kwinana.
I cannot tell you much about the technical details of what happened and why as I as a lowly sparks was a not a party to those discussions. We remained at Kwinana for around 6-7 weeks whilst they pumped the water out and cleaned everything out. It was interesting to note that the local press reported that the Dragoon sank whilst Lloyds reported her as aground.

ChiefCharles
22nd June 2006, 20:29
John
Thanks for info. Being new to site had not visited the photo gallery before. I happened to be in Head Office when this incident ocurred. I was there for 12 months after leaving the British Venture in 69 as Second Engineer. I actually initially answered the phone call from C/Eng Johnson before handing the phone to David Gibbons(Fleet A Super). Gibbons had to shout as it was a bad connection and he could be heard all around the 10th. floor. He was mad!! Being the good BP in those days they found the Chief another C/Engineers job with another UK tanker company.
Best regards - Roger

ChiefCharles
22nd June 2006, 20:37
Thanks for reply. Glad to know my brain cells are not completely dead yet and I did get the ships name correct. John_F directed me to your photos of the Dragoon in Kwinana. Hope you enjoyed the extended stay there, more so than the Engineers.
Roger

rknibbs
23rd June 2006, 09:19
The deck and radio staff had around six weeks on extra pay, a survivors bonus I think they called it. We were put up in a motel in Rockingham for most of the stay. As I remember the C/E and Capt were both sent home. We left Kwinana and sailed for the Gulf and then to Antwerp where the Dragoon caught fire and we were all sent home the next day. That was my first trip!!
Robert

John_F
23rd June 2006, 15:57
Robert,
Is your middle name Jonas???? It must have put you off the sea for the rest of your life!
Kind regards,
John.

rknibbs
24th June 2006, 09:36
That was said many times. It being my first trip I was not aware of the benchmarks and if this was a normal trip I was just glad I had not joined a less reputable shipping company. In the end I didn't stay at sea long but that was more to do with career opportunities than concerns of safety at sea.

I don't know how true it was but it was said that the two divers died in the incident.

On a lighter note, it was also said that the first harbour authority presence during the incident was the harbour master with a fine for polluting the harbour. At the time of the sinking I was returning from ashore and as I climbed the gangway I saw the main deck strewn with vegetables. They had used the sacking to try and plug certain areas.

Robert

Blade Fisher
10th September 2006, 19:16
Yes my late father wasn't amused either as he was C/Eng prior to this happening. He left BP in spring 69 with the Dragoon being his last ship. We heard about it at Kharg in the late summer.

johnb8219
1st May 2007, 16:35
Were the Super and Chief ashore playing golf???

david freeman
3rd May 2007, 10:58
if you contact maritime museum greenwich and obtain copies of articles and log extra (Deck log Only) you may enjoy reading and reminising. It will cost you? quite a few bob? but if you are delving it may make interesting reseach or just a damp squid- I have no idea. But i wish you well.
Tanker

Gordon L Smeaton
16th May 2007, 19:07
Took the Dragoon to scrap at Gadani Beach to the west of Karachi, a strange sensation being paid to drive a ship ashore. She still had the tide mark in the engineroom where the flood water rose to, no amount of paint would cover it up.
Regards
Gordon

paul0510
16th May 2007, 22:05
Gordon,
I would be very interested to know just how vessels of deep draft are 'beached' at Alang.

Gordon L Smeaton
18th May 2007, 12:51
Paul
Regarding beaching, the procedure at Gadani beach was trim the ship to the angle of the shoreline at high tide, deballast as far as possible and keeping as much of the propellor in the water. Then head for the beach at maximum speed the object being to drive her as far up as she can go. The sensation was not what I was expecting, no sudden lurch. Disembark by lifeboat and then leave her to her fate.

Regards

Gordon

BlythSpirit
18th May 2007, 16:49
Try this link to see what the poor guys have to do when it arrives on the beach:
ship breakers (http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=2154127n?source=search_video)

trucker
22nd October 2008, 16:40
can anyone shed some light on the british admiral[i think it was the admiral].they had suspended tank cleaning operations because of bad weather,dueto electrical storms.but the ship was hit by lighting and opened up the deck like a sardine tin.this took place in the far east.i was e.d.h on the british security at the time ,in singapore. this would be about early seventies

John_F
22nd October 2008, 19:53
Trucker,
The vessel you are thinking of is the British Architect & the incident took place in the China Sea in 1970. There is a photo of her in drydock at Kowloon here:
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=55160
Kind regards,
John F.

trucker
22nd October 2008, 21:45
thanks for that info ,john.trying for ages thinking of the right ship iknew it was an a ship.also it was the british mariner i was on in 1970.[grey matter is not what it used to be].

kewl dude
23rd October 2008, 05:50
I am surprised by this: "8 inch gusher under intense pressure (due to the ships deep draft ) erupted into the engine room. All attempts by ship staff to plug the opening were unsuccessful."

I was on watch on a Victory ship mid Pacific enroute to Vietnam when something similar happened. Our 6 inch evaporator brine overboard fell off at the skin. True it looked awful but I knew that the pressure was slight. I just planted my posterior over the hole.

Meanwhile my Oiler sounded our engine room emergency signal -- whistles in the accommodation block tied to our compressed air system -- which generated lots of help. We stopped the ship and the deck crew rigged a collision mat outside of the hole.

The Bos'n and a couple AB's set up wooden forms for a cement box in the engine room which after a couple hours drying time held the brine overboard line in place. That cement box along with some temporary braces held that six inch line until we completed our voyage and returned to USA.

The formula is .434 pounds per foot of head. Even if the draft was 50 feet the pressure would be about 22 pounds.

Greg Hayden

BillH
23rd October 2008, 12:42
Trucker,
The vessel you are thinking of is the British Architect & the incident took place in the China Sea in 1970. There is a photo of her in drydock at Kowloon here:
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=55160
Kind regards,
John F.
There is a photograph of her arriving damaged at Hong Kong in the book BP Tankers by myself and Dr Ray Solly, the dust jacket image of which you use as your avatar

Bill

tankerman2
23rd October 2008, 14:29
I was on the Dragoon when she was a lightering ship.
I remember the incident in Australia when I was on the Diplomat but thought it another ship.
Did the Dragoon become a lightering ship ofter she "sank"?

derekhore
24th October 2008, 16:12
I was on the Dragoon when she was a lightering ship.I remember the incident in Australia when I was on the Diplomat but thought it another ship.
Did the Dragoon become a lightering ship ofter she "sank"?


Did you know Dave Cummins?

Weemac
25th October 2008, 11:16
It was the British Dragoon as I joined her in Aden as 3m and that was just after the Kwinana incident She then went to Antwerp where the pump room went on fire, a guage glass above a bearing broke dripping oil on to a bearing and setting the bilges on fire this happened at 0200hrs,the engineers took immediate action shutting pump room down and co2 on and saving the ship. I believe she had fires on other trips. Bob McG Weemac

johnny.x
21st January 2011, 14:08
was also on british dragoon,in kinana 69.eng/room rating at the time,thought i was only one still alive,johnny.x

david freeman
21st January 2011, 16:13
Kwinana Incident
This dramatic incident occurred in the last half of 69 or early 70. I remember the ship as the “British Dragoon” but I cannot be certain. After reading this story I’m hoping someone will definitely remember which ship it was. I know with absolute certainty that the Chief Engineer was George Johnson but that’s the only person I know was there.

The ship had arrived at Kwinana, a BP Refinery in Western Australia with a full cargo of crude oil from the Gulf. During the passage from the Gulf there was a problem with one of the ships bottom sea valves (8 inch) leaking preventing shut down of (unknown equipment) for repair. The Chief had arranged with the BP resident Engineer Superintendent to supply a dive team to blank off the aperture so that the valve could be removed and replaced with a spare. Head Office in London was aware of the impending repair and assumed it would be completed after the full cargo was discharged and ship at a light draft.

The actual sequence of events was as follows.
Ship berthed and commenced cargo discharge.
Dive Team met with Chief Engineer and Engineer Superintendent to discuss the repair. Chief Engineer and Super then went ashore to places unknown by me. I do not know what repair scenario was decided upon.
Diver(s) immediately entered water, located valve and placed a wooden circular blank over the aperture, held in position by the water pressure. Thickness of wooden blank is unknown.
It is believed that the pipe between valve and equipment was then removed.
The valve securing nuts were then loosened and efforts commenced to separate valve flange from the hull. As the flange was separated the wooden blank split in half (believed caused by hydraulic shock) and an 8 inch gusher under intense pressure (due to the ships deep draft ) erupted into the engine room.
All attempts by ship staff to plug the opening were unsuccessful.

As the ship was almost fully loaded the water rose to the level of the main boilers steam drums, a water depth of approximately 50 feet.

It is fortunate that as the ship sunk alongside the berth she sat on the bottom before the after end was submerged.
Obviously all electrical equipment was severely damaged and other equipment, turbines etc. required full dismantling.
The ship was in Kwinana for several weeks undergoing repairs.

I would be delighted to hear from any member of SN who can shed more light on this incident, especially the ships name with certainty. I have to assume it was a complete miscommunication between all parties that this repair was attempted in a deep drafted condition and why a tapered steel or wooden plug was not used instead of the circular wooden blank.

Roger

From a fellow eng who was there I understood they thought that the water head pressure would keep the wooden disc in place? It did not work. Besides how do you throw or turn a large 24" or even greater Dia plug, in a non drydock/eng port. You have the knowledge, but what would you have done? I think there are some previos passages to this incident. Lokk and you shall find on this enjoyable web site. You have the right ship? I am not sure but something tells me she was a 35 Non Italian Built tanker. (Steam Propulsion-) Try Graham Wallace with his knowledge of BP. He may be able to help with the name of the ship.

ChiefCharles
21st January 2011, 22:43
David: It's been confirmed in posts on this thread and in personal e-mails from Ship Nostalgia members that the Dragoon (50,000) was the ship involved in this incident. Your comment re "how do you throw or turn a large 24" or even greater Diam. plug, in a non dry-dock/eng port." leaves me confused. Why would you need a 24 inch diam. plug to plug an 8 inch line?
You ask what would I have done and as always hindsight is 20/20 and it's always easier not being directly involved or knowing the Engineers involved and their thinking.
1. Never would have attempted this type of repair with the ship at fully loaded draft but upon completion of cargo discharge with ship at minimal draft. Co-ordination, planning with Master and Chief Mate essential to ensure this.
2. Would have used a tapered wooden plug machined on the ships lathe if suitable wood was available or had it made ashore prior arrival from dimensions telegraphed/phoned to local Superintendent.
3. After divers fitted the plug would have cracked open valve to ships shell flange leaving all nuts in place until sure no leakage from sea was occurring. Prior to arrival Kwinana would have renewed nuts one at a time to ensure they would be easily removable and replaceable during the actual valve renewal.(this would apply to the associated piping as well.) --- Roger

Graham Wallace
21st January 2011, 22:56
Yes it was the Dragoon. In SN 'Hello' section is a thread from 'Johnny.x' who was aboard her at the time

At the moment I am not sure of the precise date she
'sank' but have a 19th August 1969 Ships Movements indicating arrived Kwinana from Mina; Kwinana repairs 30/7/69.

The crew at the time;
Master, J Picken
CO, WG Cornock
2M, JP Carter
U3M, R Rowan
RO, EP Early
2RO, RK Knibbs
1E (?) TJ Smith
2E, JE Humble
3E, RH Lees
X3E, GG East
4E, SN Train
JE's, R Houlton, PE Cross & PJ Arnot
Elect, A Mackay
ERS, R Souter
ERB, CJ Leavey

Graham Wallace
21st January 2011, 22:59
Jeepers Roger, I was typing up that reply , entered it in and find you had replied to David already!

Graham

rknibbs
22nd January 2011, 09:28
Br Dragoon loaded Das Island for Kwinana having sailed from Isle of Grain around the 12 June 1969. Don't remember date of sinking but do remember coming on board and seeing the main deck covered in vegetables after the sacking had been removed for use in the engine room. The 3M came and told me the ship was sinking. The local paper, the West Australian, reported that The British Dragoon had sunk at Kwinana whereas Lloyds reported it as a grounding.
RJ Knibbs, 2R/O at the time.

johnny.x
22nd January 2011, 11:31
seem to be muking my replies up.i was on br dragoon at time of sinking in kwinana. it was my 3rd ship 2nd one to have problems! as only engroom rating at time . not an expert things happened that could have been avoided she was meant to have discharged first. as those there at the time knew and everyone else now knows that did not happen and a man lost his life "heads did roll" i have tried to reply to people but as the gray matter is a bit tardy i'm not doing something right .hopefully i will get the hang of this. from johnny.x

Billieboy
22nd January 2011, 12:35
No Problem mate, you're doing OK, some of us didn't know the story until you came along. We all have problems getting the right bits in the right places at times.

johnny.x
22nd January 2011, 15:03
hope at last ive mastered this. sailed from isle grain june 69 loaded at das island destination kwinana.as i have already said i was engroom boy. junior eng took sick in the gulf had to be paid of. i was put on 12-4 watch with 4th eng to replace him,"the start of his nightmare!".on passage to kiwnana troubles started with seacock.was to do repairs kwinana. arrived kwinana at anchor awaiting berth. i think bp endeavor was alongside she was on aussie coast run at time. we berthed early next day, as we were to be there a couple of days 2nd eng got me 24hrs shore leave so i could see rellies in nollamara. 4th eng & me left ship about 10am as my rellies picking me up and gave him a lift to fremantle. a few hrs later a news flash said she had sank on jetty. we were meant to have discharged first then go back to anchor in ballast and dip the bow as no drydock to take us. as i said in my earlier attemt that did not happen. they tried it alongside a diver lost his life! engineroom flooded to about 50-60ft. cheif eng & capt discharged. it took a couple of mths to turn a sub back to a ship. throughout this great episode all crew lived ashore me mainly with my rellies. when finally ready for departure we were delivered a dbs deckboy to take home to meet his fate. we were given a grand fairwell as we left "mainly glad to see the back of us". back to the gulf load up landsend for orders later changed to antwerp, on entering english channel thick fog when an ab came of the bridge with the good news radar was playing up "running out of toilet roll very fast now!". when arrive antwerp pump room catches fire! were we meant to have a good trip or not! but we did have a good crew as for "the 4th eng who had to put up with me till they got him a new junior eng well done! i learned a lot from him". as i said she was my 3rd ship still had a few to do " But i wo'nt forget her. johnny.x

rknibbs
22nd January 2011, 15:56
Hi Johnny, you will see from other threads I was the 2R/O. Same time as you, I joined in Grain and paid off in Antwerp. Robert

david freeman
23rd January 2011, 12:04
David: It's been confirmed in posts on this thread and in personal e-mails from Ship Nostalgia members that the Dragoon (50,000) was the ship involved in this incident. Your comment re "how do you throw or turn a large 24" or even greater Diam. plug, in a non dry-dock/eng port." leaves me confused. Why would you need a 24 inch diam. plug to plug an 8 inch line?
You ask what would I have done and as always hindsight is 20/20 and it's always easier not being directly involved or knowing the Engineers involved and their thinking.
1. Never would have attempted this type of repair with the ship at fully loaded draft but upon completion of cargo discharge with ship at minimal draft. Co-ordination, planning with Master and Chief Mate essential to ensure this.
2. Would have used a tapered wooden plug machined on the ships lathe if suitable wood was available or had it made ashore prior arrival from dimensions telegraphed/phoned to local Superintendent.
3. After divers fitted the plug would have cracked open valve to ships shell flange leaving all nuts in place until sure no leakage from sea was occurring. Prior to arrival Kwinana would have renewed nuts one at a time to ensure they would be easily removable and replaceable during the actual valve renewal.(this would apply to the associated piping as well.) --- Roger

I apologise all round to all readers. Memory is a dangerous attribute when not in the right hands. Once again I apologise. Good reading to all. It is great to know one gets a blooded nose once in a while.
PS I understood mistakenly it was the High suction for the main condenser?

johnny.x
23rd January 2011, 13:45
hello robert 2nd radio officer, i do actually remember you! you did a couple of ship to shores for me. good to hear from you,..johnny.x.

davet
27th January 2011, 17:53
The story was that the Captain was at the Golf Club and in the bar when the phone went. The barman answered it and then announced 'It Captain X here ?'
The Captain said 'Yes' and then the barman announed in a load voice for all to hear 'Well Captain, your ship has just sunk alongside the jetty.' I have no idea how true this is.

johnny.x
28th January 2011, 08:54
yes davet, you are about right. no offence to aussies as i live here now. but they are not very discrestionary at times, most of us were ashore but no one was goining to blame me as i was only a bilge rat at the time. over time since ive been here i have met some people from w/aus who like us are old enough to remember and laugh about it now. best wish's to you and all...johnny.x

jehumble
28th February 2011, 21:37
Hello, this is my first post so please be patient. My name is John Humble and I was first trip 2nd. Eng. on the 'Dragoon' when she sank. Thankfully nobody was killed during the incident, though one of the divers was very lucky when he tried to insert a sack of potatoes into the sea box where the valve was located. The valve was a 24 inch. low auxiliary suction, the lid of which had become disconnected and had become wedged in the outlet throat of the valve so reducing the flow of water to both the alternator condensers and the cargo pump condenser. In the last trip to the Persian Gulf we could just maintain enough vacuum on the alternater condensers, less than 20 inches.
The problem had been known about for some time, attempts at repair had been carried out previously in the I.O.G. but were abandoned due to high tide flow. It was then decided to attempt repairs at Das Island, however due to a breakdown in communications nothing was arranged, so the repair was then moved to Quinana.
Finally the blank, yes it was one inch marine ply, it was placed against the valve inlet throat insde the sea box and held there whist the valve cover was eased off its seal until the sea pressure held the blank against the valve throat. Only then was the valve cover removed, I actually stood on the blank in order to remove the valve lid, the lid was refitted to the valve spindle and was ready to be refitted when the blank collapsed, this was some 20 minutes after the valve cover had been removed. Remains of the blank were sent to Perth unniversity and it was found that new marine ply of that thickness could easily have stood the pressure, however the blank used was second hand and had been subjected to a heavy shock load.

johnny.x
1st March 2011, 00:23
john humble, i was your engroom boy at the time. i must say sorry..as i thought the diver died. but sometimes memory can go wrong with time.. you used to call me the jona if i remember right. but to prove the gods wrong im still around! i made eng in the end, what was the name of the 4th eng never remember his name, if i remember you were short dark hair, glasses? the 2nd who replaced you used to give me a hard time! can laugh about it now. you may not remember but i met a girl there who used to go to the mission, she went to uk and stayed with my parents we married a few years later. in 89 we moved out here to oz. as i said earlier sorry i got the diver wrong! it was good to have sailed with you! you did look after me and that poor 4th eng. johnny.x

twogrumpy
1st March 2011, 19:25
X3/E, GG East, would that be big Gavin?
(Cloud)

jehumble
2nd March 2011, 21:06
To answer twogrumpy, yes you are correct it was big Gavin. To Jonny.x, yes I used to have hair in those days and I wore glasses, I cant remember the 4ths name, I know we were short staffed, and I know I allowed two lads to have a break the afternoon of the accident. one of the juniors was from Leeds and the third engineer was keen on photography.

johnny.x
3rd March 2011, 02:11
To john h. we all had hair then john. the4th was the photographer he did a lot of photo's for me, you put me on 12/4 with him when a junior had to payoff the 3rd was a big fella!! used to be really cranky when i called him for his watch as he was a deep sleeper, and i used to have to yell to get him up, he used to nearly hit the bulkhead!. when you left the 2nd who replaced you took me down the tanks on way back to gulf to fix leaks in the pipes, nearly passed out with the bloody fumes, the only consolation was he took me to his cabin after and gave me a bloody big glass of rum! did wonders!!!!! donkeyman was a big fella with a beard called Dunks, welsh i think, sailed with him a couple more trips after dragoon. regards johnny

david freeman
3rd March 2011, 11:13
To answer twogrumpy, yes you are correct it was big Gavin. To Jonny.x, yes I used to have hair in those days and I wore glasses, I cant remember the 4ths name, I know we were short staffed, and I know I allowed two lads to have a break the afternoon of the accident. one of the juniors was from Leeds and the third engineer was keen on photography. Is that You J Edward from Constanine College 59-61?

twogrumpy
3rd March 2011, 19:10
To answer twogrumpy, yes you are correct it was big Gavin. To Jonny.x, yes I used to have hair in those days and I wore glasses, I cant remember the 4ths name, I know we were short staffed, and I know I allowed two lads to have a break the afternoon of the accident. one of the juniors was from Leeds and the third engineer was keen on photography.
Hm!! my first 2/E in 68, amazed that I stuck it for so long after the experience.
(Cloud)

ChiefCharles
3rd March 2011, 20:11
David Freeman: I must apologize to you ref the size of the valve. Its only about forty years ago and an 8 inch valve is still in my brain instead of the 24 inch auxiliary suction noted in the post by John Humble (who was the Second in charge of the repair). Your memory served you well!
John Humble: I'm very pleased that finally an engineer who was on the Dragoon at the time came forward with a posting. It was very interesting to note that you actually stood on the blank during the repair and also that you clarified that there was no loss of life. You could restore some faith in my memory for me by acknowledging that the Chief was George Johnson. I was first trip Second with him on the Destiny in 1965. Cheers - Roger

jehumble
5th March 2011, 20:12
To Chief Charles
Roger, George was Chief Engineer at the time of the accident, sadly he has passed on quite some years, his wife Dorothy who sailed with him quite regularly is still alive and we still exchange xmas cards.

jehumble
5th March 2011, 20:14
Twogrumpy
I'll say no more he still lives quite close!!!

twogrumpy
6th March 2011, 16:29
Twogrumpy
I'll say no more he still lives quite close!!!
Interesting this, are we talking the same GG East, the one I am talking about passed away a couple of years ago.
(Cloud)

Graham Wallace
6th March 2011, 23:01
Is that You J Edward from Constanine College 59-61?

As far as I know David there were only two 1959 EA's at Middlesborough, and you were one, he was the other.

Graham

jehumble
8th March 2011, 14:37
Interesting this, are we talking the same GG East, the one I am talking about passed away a couple of years ago.
(Cloud)

I must admit it is a long time since I saw Gavin, and we didn't exchange Xmas cards. If I was to say his nickname rhymed with his surname, his father had a garage, his wifs's name was Anne and he liked fast cars would we be talking about the same person.
I know Gavin had quite a reputation, but on the Dragoon we got on quite well(he was doing steam time). When the accident happened he was the one with me trying to save the boat(hopeless) and indeed we didnt leave the bottom flat until the water was up to our waists.

jehumble
8th March 2011, 14:47
As far as I know David there were only two 1959 EA's at Middlesborough, and you were one, he was the other.

Graham

Graham

Yes you are quite correct I was David's other BP apprentice and I will be checking out your website, sorry for the tardiness

John

Graham Wallace
8th March 2011, 15:12
Graham

Yes you are quite correct I was David's other BP apprentice and I will be checking out your website, sorry for the tardiness

John

John your name is on the website, has been for years.

Graham

twogrumpy
9th March 2011, 09:26
I must admit it is a long time since I saw Gavin, and we didn't exchange Xmas cards. If I was to say his nickname rhymed with his surname, his father had a garage, his wifs's name was Anne and he liked fast cars would we be talking about the same person.
I know Gavin had quite a reputation, but on the Dragoon we got on quite well(he was doing steam time). When the accident happened he was the one with me trying to save the boat(hopeless) and indeed we didnt leave the bottom flat until the water was up to our waists.

Yep, it is the same Gavin, saw his obit. in the Telegraph a couple of years ago.
(Cloud)

jehumble
9th May 2013, 18:55
This is a reply to a message from Blade Fisher.
Richard, the problem with the water supply to the alternators was noticeable when two alternators were in use and was quite critical in warmer waters, even in the Eastern Med at the port of Banias( I think it was Banias, it was certainly the Eastern Med}. It was after the voyage to Banias that we requested an inspection and possible repair in the I.O.G.. As I stated before the tide was to strong in the I.O.G..
I never met your Dad, but I did join in Marseille with the Chief George Johnson, I believe your Dad sailed with George when he was second engineer, again on the Dragoon. I sailed on the Dragoon twice, after the Kwinana incident about two years later I rejoined her again and stood by her whilst she was refitted for Lightering. The voyage before and the voyages after refit were always incident filled.
John.

Blade Fisher
12th May 2013, 22:40
This is a reply to a message from Blade Fisher.
Richard, the problem with the water supply to the alternators was noticeable when two alternators were in use and was quite critical in warmer waters, even in the Eastern Med at the port of Banias( I think it was Banias, it was certainly the Eastern Med}. It was after the voyage to Banias that we requested an inspection and possible repair in the I.O.G.. As I stated before the tide was to strong in the I.O.G..
I never met your Dad, but I did join in Marseille with the Chief George Johnson, I believe your Dad sailed with George when he was second engineer, again on the Dragoon. I sailed on the Dragoon twice, after the Kwinana incident about two years later I rejoined her again and stood by her whilst she was refitted for Lightering. The voyage before and the voyages after refit were always incident filled.
John.

Thanks for that John, What happened to George? In an earlier post it said he went to another tanker company. You mentioned earlier he died some years ago. Gordon my father was killed the following year with 8 others when the ship blew up in the Indian Ocean. They never found him.

My mum went with Gordon when he was 2nd on the Dragoon. Have got a number of photos of that time taken on board. I recall Peter Cazalet was aboard at the time. I'll see if she remembers if George's wife was there too. My mum is 80 now, but her longer term memory is good.

jehumble
20th May 2013, 17:00
Richard, George was asked to leave the company and from what I could understand B.P. made it possible for him to join the Blandford shipping company as chief engineer( I understand as commodore engineer). He retired from there after a couple of years and became a postman!!! There were many rumours circulating about George at the time, most untrue and from what I understand his situation was governed principally by the insurance companies, I, myself, supposedly carried the vast majority of the responsibility for the sinking of the Dragoon.
On a personal note when I first saw your thread I thought it was from a friend in my last company, James Fisher Tankships, I retired from the Severn Fisher.
I recall Peter was he not the extra 3rd. on the Dragoon, relieved by Gavin East? Things are somewhat hazy about those days especially when I joined, my first trip 2nd. and my first trip on a 50,000 tonner!!!!

retfordmackem
12th September 2013, 22:51
Richard, George was asked to leave the company and from what I could understand B.P. made it possible for him to join the Blandford shipping company as chief engineer( I understand as commodore engineer). He retired from there after a couple of years and became a postman!!! There were many rumours circulating about George at the time, most untrue and from what I understand his situation was governed principally by the insurance companies, I, myself, supposedly carried the vast majority of the responsibility for the sinking of the Dragoon.
On a personal note when I first saw your thread I thought it was from a friend in my last company, James Fisher Tankships, I retired from the Severn Fisher.
I recall Peter was he not the extra 3rd. on the Dragoon, relieved by Gavin East? Things are somewhat hazy about those days especially when I joined, my first trip 2nd. and my first trip on a 50,000 tonner!!!!
What finally happened to the Dragoon ? .As i sailed on her in early 73 when she was a lightering ship and never heard any of these tales. Alan Scott -lecky.

ben27
12th September 2013, 23:44
good day.chiefcharles.m.22june.2006.11:51.re:kwinana incident.i have been reading this old thread,starting with your post(p1)a most interesting chain of events.and not a happy ending for the captain,and chief eng,thank you again.have a good day,regards ben27

Blade Fisher
13th September 2013, 00:49
What finally happened to the Dragoon ? .As i sailed on her in early 73 when she was a lightering ship and never heard any of these tales. Alan Scott -lecky.

I think she was broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan.

I remember when she 'sank'. I was only 12 but at sea with my father and mother. We had berthed at Kharg Is en route to Durban and strolling along the jetty one evening we chatted to someone off a BP tanker.

The 'Dragon' (sic a silly nickname he gave her) was one of my father's favourite ships and he was well miffed to hear it had sunk! I think Gordon was well respected but didn't suffer fools gladly and considering he was a steam man and had endured time on the Officer and Guardian (ships he didn't rate) had a soft spot for the Dragoon.

I visited her in IoG the nearest us whipper snappers could get to going to sea with our fathers, with BP. It was one of the reasons he went to Safmarine.

Sadly it cost him his life, but we had a great year in '69 though when as a family we were at sea for nearly six months (Europoort-Einswaden-Cape Town DD-Bandar M-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Bandar M and flew home).

vardon (jimmy) jewell
22nd September 2013, 21:22
A number of years have now past But I can remember the Dragoon incident. I sailed with C/E George Johnson & his wife, the Master on this vessel was Fred Lowther as 4/E, This could have been the Br Merchant or Industry just prior to Kwinana. I then went to Bonny Nigeria some years later on the Dragoon 3/E for her conversion for lightering C/E onboard at that time was Jimmy Kinsella? The voyage was for tank cleaning and back load crude. And George was indeed C/E on a Blandford vessel, I think the Biddiford Priory? Yes the water level mark was still to be seen from the engine room control platform.
Another vessel that suffered e/r flooding was the British Signal, Italian built that was dried out to sail again with plenty of heat lamps I was made up to 3/E and joind at Perth Amboyd? New York. Who remembers the dreaded Italian vessels. There hangs many more tales.



John
Thanks for info. Being new to site had not visited the photo gallery before. I happened to be in Head Office when this incident ocurred. I was there for 12 months after leaving the British Venture in 69 as Second Engineer. I actually initially answered the phone call from C/Eng Johnson before handing the phone to David Gibbons(Fleet A Super). Gibbons had to shout as it was a bad connection and he could be heard all around the 10th. floor. He was mad!! Being the good BP in those days they found the Chief another C/Engineers job with another UK tanker company.
Best regards - Roger

twogrumpy
23rd September 2013, 11:56
So much said about the Italian vessels perhaps we should start our own website.(Jester)
www.isurvivedtheeyties.com

2G

retfordmackem
23rd September 2013, 19:36
[QUOTE=Blade Fisher;702531]I think she was broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan.

I remember when she 'sank'. I was only 12 but at sea with my father and mother. We had berthed at Kharg Is en route to Durban and strolling along the jetty one evening we chatted to someone off a BP tanker.

The 'Dragon' (sic a silly nickname he gave her) was one of my father's favourite ships and he was well miffed to hear it had sunk! I think Gordon was well respected but didn't suffer fools gladly and considering he was a steam man and had endured time on the Officer and Guardian (ships he didn't rate) had a soft spot for the Dragoon.


I visited her in IoG the nearest us whipper snappers could get to going to sea with our fathers, with BP. It was one of the reasons he went to Safmarine.

Sadly it cost him his life, but we had a great year in '69 though when as a family we were at sea for nearly six months (Europoort-Einswaden-Cape Town DD-Bandar M-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Bandar M and flew home).[/QUOTE
Any chance of uploading the photos pal?

david freeman
26th September 2013, 19:43
I think she was broken up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan.

I remember when she 'sank'. I was only 12 but at sea with my father and mother. We had berthed at Kharg Is en route to Durban and strolling along the jetty one evening we chatted to someone off a BP tanker.

The 'Dragon' (sic a silly nickname he gave her) was one of my father's favourite ships and he was well miffed to hear it had sunk! I think Gordon was well respected but didn't suffer fools gladly and considering he was a steam man and had endured time on the Officer and Guardian (ships he didn't rate) had a soft spot for the Dragoon.


I visited her in IoG the nearest us whipper snappers could get to going to sea with our fathers, with BP. It was one of the reasons he went to Safmarine.

Sadly it cost him his life, but we had a great year in '69 though when as a family we were at sea for nearly six months (Europoort-Einswaden-Cape Town DD-Bandar M-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Kharg Is-Durban-Bandar M and flew home).
Interesting read this post. Did you kind sir sail as a member of a family a ship/tanker from Kharg Island? The only company I am aware of for wives and family was Lowland Tankers. Why were you not a school? Or was it the summer hols. I am just noisy as BP and most MN British Shipping Companies at this time did not allow childeren to sail!! Wives yes but not children?

retfordmackem
27th September 2013, 20:58
I was on the Dragoon when she was a lightering ship.
I remember the incident in Australia when I was on the Diplomat but thought it another ship.
Did the Dragoon become a lightering ship ofter she "sank"?
I was also on her as a lightering ship as lecky .22-1 73 to 4/5/73.

Blade Fisher
13th October 2013, 01:25
Interesting read this post. Did you kind sir sail as a member of a family a ship/tanker from Kharg Island? The only company I am aware of for wives and family was Lowland Tankers. Why were you not a school? Or was it the summer hols. I am just noisy as BP and most MN British Shipping Companies at this time did not allow childeren to sail!! Wives yes but not children?

Well that was why my father left BP to join Safmarine. I had passed my 11 plus and left Rotterdam in July. I was at sea for near on 6 months and quite frankly it was a better education than any schooling. I was actually between schools and started back in early December. On board I did some English schoolwork but to be honest the education on the ship was worth 2 years of school. It was and will remain the best holiday of my life. Little did I know that within 7 months of returning our lives would be destroyed for ever, but that's another story.

My mother had sailed with my father before on the Dragoon in the autumn of 1967 and I boarded, but absolutely hated it. These days apart from H&S no doubt we'd do academic modules via satellite!

Cisco
13th October 2013, 02:49
I was 3/0 on the Safmarine managed tanker 'Lanmar' ex Gudrun Maersk in 1967.. the master had his wife and two young ( under 10) children aboard for the first 4 months I was on her.

Some extra detail... Safmarine didn't own her or any of the others at that time ... they were owned by the SA goverment and were actually managed by an outfit called ' Safcover'.
The master and a number of others were ex Caltex UK ... some were ex Athol....

Blade Fisher
15th October 2013, 00:30
I was 3/0 on the Safmarine managed tanker 'Lanmar' ex Gudrun Maersk in 1967.. the master had his wife and two young ( under 10) children aboard for the first 4 months I was on her.

Some extra detail... Safmarine didn't own her or any of the others at that time ... they were owned by the SA goverment and were actually managed by an outfit called ' Safcover'.
The master and a number of others were ex Caltex UK ... some were ex Athol....

Cisco was that Ivan Currie? Pretty sure it was. Went on to become Commodore of Safmarine.

Ivan was Old Man on the Thorland until the autumn of '69. He often referred to the Lanmar which was in dry dock in Durban I think when we called there in the September/early October.

Ivan was all right but a bit how can I put it "full of his own importance". His son kindly threw a dart into my leg whilst in Europoort for no apparent reason. Ivan was fine with me though, probably because my dad was C/E! We often played board games when time permitted.

Ivan nicknamed Ivan the Terrible, came from Northern Ireland, Newtonards I think, but I preferred Peter Lucas ex-Bank Line, then 2/O (who was killed on the Thorland) who also came Northern Ireland.

jehumble
16th October 2013, 17:44
I don't know what happened eventually to the 'Dragoon' I sailed on her again a couple of years after the 'Kwinana Incident'. We sailed to Bonny, on leaving destined for the I.O.G. we picked up an Insurance wire which neatly coiled itself around the outer shaft seal. This had the effect of pumping sea water into the stern tube housing. On reaching the I.O.G. attempts were made to cut the wire off, however it was obvious that if all the wire were removed the seal would become completely ineffective, and it was decided to bring the lightering conversion forward and we sailed for Falmouth. I was second, Muckel Mckay was chief and I think Ron Watson was third.
After the conversion I sailed on trials, but did no actual lightering, I left the vessel in March '72
The Chief during conversion was Peter Mckenna, relieved by Muckel Mckay one of the Old men was Capt. Lefeuvre (excuse spelling), the cargo mate was Terry Tetheridge, the Engine room third was Con Doyle, the deck third was from Scotland and the fourth eng. was called Colin. I apologise to all those I can't remember.

Graham Wallace
16th October 2013, 22:34
John,

Dragoon Crew list Nov 11th 1971. Arriving Falmouth( Lightening Conversion ) 26/10.

Master JAP Farret
CO Terry Tytheridge
ExCO DAG Lloyd
2M GJ Vandenburch
3M Stephen Tuck
RO PW Ferguson
CE PA Mckenna
2E You
3E C Doyle
X3E GD McInness
(Unfortunately from here on corner of page is missing so educated guessing)
4E? C O'Neill (1965EA)
JE's? G Hughes, IJ Vickery,WT Leigh
Lecky MJ Alderdice
Cat O ? Holt.


I have the crew list for Dragoon March and April 1972 if you are interested.
March ,Falmouth -Bonny FO. Then April, 'lightening vessel' arrived Finnart 10/4 presumably unloading from Bonny!

Graham

jehumble
17th October 2013, 17:09
Graham

Wow that takes me back, that's the crew that stood by during the conversion, I had sailed with Con Doyle a number of times and Terry was something else, great times.
Became good friends with Colin O'Neil and Elizabeth, but never heard from them again after I left the vessel. I left some time in March '72, having completed one trial in which short comings were found with the quick release hose couplings, the rest of the time we did short haul trips between U.K., Ireland and Europe.
One of these days I'll get back to you on what I did in the rest of my life.
I notice quite a number of threads about the Ambassador(Great Ship) I was on her with Muckel McKay(Chief) and Joe Hughes (what a character) when the main condenser door split open, that was exciting!!!!