hazards on passage....

Alan Rawlinson
7th February 2011, 17:49
Apart from weather, refugee boats, congested ports, and possibly lack of expert medical attention when needed, I guess we had it easy in the Bank Line days. We could focus on the next run ashore and what was in the kitty to spend.

Just had a conversation with my son Guy, who is in the thick of it with the so called pirate menace ( kids with guns). The ships he has responsibility for are having to buy reels of razor wire to go all around the bulwarks.....

Made me realise how straight forward our passages were in general.

Did anyone get boarded by hostile gun bearing boat crews?

sparkie2182
7th February 2011, 18:30
Only Saudi port "authorities".

And Iraqi, Jordanian,Egyptian,Iranian Somali etc etc:

Alistair Macnab
7th February 2011, 20:39
Got boarded by pirates twice when I was at sea with Bank Line. The first time was on "Ettrickbank" in Manila Bay. We had arrived ovenight and were slow steaming up the bay to make the pilot boarding station at dawn when a couple of small boats powered by outboard motors came alongside and threw up grappling irons to prepare to board. Ship was fairly high out of the water so we were aware of the boarding attempt before any of the pirates made it to the deck. We fended them off with throwing bolts and nuts at them but the final blow came when we dropped a bucket of bolts and nuts into their boat and it went right through the hull. Pirates jumped from the sinking craft to the second boat and they fell back into the night. Just as well we never had to ballast the deeptanks as there would have been no bolts and nuts left to secure the lids!

Second incident was aboard "Fleetbank" in Chittagong when the thieves came aboard up the forward mooring lines and made off with all the manilas and wires from the forecastle head leaving the ship tied up only with the moorings, ropes in use being cut off at the bitts. Never saw or heard anything from my night watchman position on the after deeptank hatch having a cup of tea with the duty sixth engineer. Needless to say, rockets flew next day and the Mate was all for stringing me up from the forward crosstrees!

jimthehat
8th February 2011, 16:28
Only Saudi port "authorities".

And Iraqi, Jordanian,Egyptian,Iranian Somali etc etc:

If you went to jeddah 81-86 you would have been boarded by me as well ,I was the marine safety officer.

jim

Alan Rawlinson
8th February 2011, 18:04
If you went to jeddah 81-86 you would have been boarded by me as well ,I was the marine safety officer.

jim

Jim,

Did you have a gun?

RayL
8th February 2011, 21:28
Following a repair job on an item of my equipment while we were in Penang, the friendly chap who did the work offered to take me in his car to see some of the countryside, but halfway through the journey he informed me that he had noticed that there had been a vehicle following us for the last several miles, and he suspected it must be connected with the fact that he had just received his pay packet. i.e. he suspected that it might be an armed bandit!

His solution was to stop off at the house of the police chief, who he knew personally. Fortunately we did this successfully, although he happened to be absent at the time. The suspected bandit also stopped outside and seemed perplexed by the situation, which proved that my friend had read the situation correctly. After a minute or two he drove off and the incident was over. I think we cut the sightseeing short thereafter and hightailed it back to town and safety.

I will never forget the police chief's little servant girl who noticeably took to me during our short visit despite our communication difficulties. It all added to a memorable adventure.

John Dryden
8th February 2011, 22:11
How can I forget the blood curdling screams of the of the Olivebanks third mate?He had turned in early worse for drink,only to be awoken by the infamous West African trouser pirate just fastening up his best pair of strides.I was on cargo watch and just happened to be passing his cabin when I heard the commotion.When I got into his cabin poor third mate was laid on the floor tugging at his precious going ashore trousers trying to de bag this evil marauder.Anyway,we overpowered him and retrieved the trousers then turned him over to some of the Indian crew who,I think, locked him up for a few hours to teach him a lesson.

jimthehat
9th February 2011, 00:31
Jim,

Did you have a gun?

Are you kidding,we in the safety and marine dept had full authority to board any ship,but we could and did get held up by these desert diddies with a rifle bigger than themselves.

jim

China hand
9th February 2011, 19:16
Are you kidding,we in the safety and marine dept had full authority to board any ship,but we could and did get held up by these desert diddies with a rifle bigger than themselves.

jim

Ahem; aint that a trifle non-PC? Desert diddies? We used to refer to them as Little Shites. An insult to excrement, I know, but ces't la vie.[=D]

Joe C
11th February 2011, 12:19
Shanghai was a menacing place to visit in the fifties,the approach patrolled by warships and the river lined with what looked like landing craft.There was martial music blasting out and we were all lined up on deck while our cabins were searched.
After dark the famous Bund was completely blacked out and to top it all the Pilot,from Eastern Europe I believe, took us down river "sideyways" over all the mooring buoys,resulting in a dry dock visit in Japan for repairs delaying our departure.No complaints there!

commander
11th February 2011, 13:33
When mate of a 2000 ton vessel with low freeboard in 1978 anchored off the quays in Lagos, I recall spending all night sat on the focsle store hatch with a shotgun. The captain was on the bridge with a pistol. Happily we did not have to shoot anyone.

IBlenkinsopp
12th February 2011, 18:56
Bows and arrows whilst at anchor off Durban for a few weeks, became quite hazardous, almost got Jardine-Smith, but he was too quick

China hand
15th February 2011, 19:36
Bows and arrows whilst at anchor off Durban for a few weeks, became quite hazardous, almost got Jardine-Smith, but he was too quick

Not the dreaded Dave J-S?

IBlenkinsopp
16th February 2011, 08:49
Not the dreaded Dave J-S?

Hi,
Yes, Dave J-S with whom I am still in touch he is enjoying his retirement, lucky b****r.

Eddie

China hand
16th February 2011, 19:16
Very Good. Pass on regards from a previous Potters client (and a friend of Roy Baggot ~ much thought over and missed)

rabaul
20th February 2011, 15:08
Spent a day in Freetown on the Beechbank early 1977 discharging bales of cotton piece goods loaded some months earlier in Calcutta. We were alongside using union purchase to get the bales ashore onto a variety of trucks. By lunch time we were visited by a number of dugout canoes and every so often a load of cargo would swing out over the wall where it would be dropped into the water to be collected by the ' bad guys' - no guns but lots of shiney blades flashed at us as we made our annoyance known. We stopped cargo and a small ' grey coloured gun boat' was sent around to patrol around the berths. Things calmed down a little for a couple of hours and then a couple of loud bangs were heard ( gunshots ?) and the ' gun boat ' disappeared - guess what the canoes returned and the CPG bales started to go overboard again into the waiting dugouts. This continued for our stay - I remember at the time thanking my lucky stars that I never joined Palm Line . The Beechbank was my only trip along the West African Coast - it included six weeks off Apapa - Happy if I never see the place again.