Jimmy Cochrane
7th December 2005, 21:59
This is myfirst posting, so forgive me if I dont do things right.
I was a junior engineer on my first trip on MS Grainton, a Chapman & Willan tramp reg. Newcastle.when we ran on to a reef in the South China sea, we were a day out of Singapore on route to Japan, it was a clear calm night and the 3d mate was on watch with a young AB, they saw a white line of surf ahead and instead of taking immediate action, decided to call the old man to the bridge by which time it was too late and we struck pretty hard.
We were stuck fast for a day and a half,during which time we discovered a huge hole in the forepeak extending into no1 hold. The bilge pumps soon clogged up,{ we were carrying bagged cattle feed from the river Platte}so we,the engineers had to remove the emergancy bilge pump from the steering compartment and manhandle it upon deck, where we got it forward and all hands set to removing enough cargo to get a suction hose down to the bilges. Meantime the deck crew made a collision mat from hatch covers and cargo nets.
When we finaly got her off we managed to keep afloat, just, and the Skipper by the way refused to send out a mayday or to inform anyone, we limped in to Manilla bayand got emergency repairs made by local divers.We eventually got to Japan and spent six weeks in the shipyard in Yokahama having a new bow section fitted.
My question after this long winded spiel, is I never heard of the results of any accident inquiry, which I am sure there must have been. can anyone tell me after all this time where I might find any detail of this.

8th December 2005, 00:42
Jimmy, welcome to the site, what a great story to introduce yourself with. I have no doubt someone will soon come up with an answer to your question.

non descript
8th December 2005, 01:33
A warm welcome to you Jimmy and an excellent story to start with; well done. I'm sure that wiser folk than I will add a useful response and answers will come in for you. In the meantime I see your endeavours included sailing for that fine company with the Maltese Cross, an excellent company.

8th December 2005, 02:30
Welcome Jimmy!
sounds like you ran aground on the Paracel Islands from your description. A disputed group of small islands and reefs in the South China Sea, about one-third of the way from central Vietnam to the northern Philippines . they have been "occupied" by the Chinese since 1974..
Not that they hold any stategic importance...well, not until they found oil & gas nearby!

A very infamous area for running aground...

Can you give me a date ( preferably) or the year & I will see what I can find?


8th December 2005, 03:40
Welcome Jimmy!
sounds like you ran aground on the Paracel Islands from your description..
(One day out from Singapore, Patalavaca?)

Nice story Jimmy. Welcome to, and I hope you enjoy the site.
The location of the incident and outcome would make further interesting reading.


Jimmy Cochrane
8th December 2005, 09:51
Thanks for your quick responses lads, I told you I was new, thats why I forgot to say when this happened!
We arrived in Singapore to take on bunkers on Christmas day 1963, we left on boxing day I think. My memory is a bit sketchy on this but it was sometime during the next 42 hours we ran aground.
I had just turned 21 and it was all a big adventure to me, it wasn't untill later I realised the danger we had been in.

Doug Rogers
8th December 2005, 10:02
Great story Jimmy and welcome to the site..

8th December 2005, 10:22
Hi! I Am Making A Model Of The Rae Tug Hazelgarth. Has Anybody Any Pictures Of The Deck Details Winches And Also The Interior Of The Bridge?
Sorry If This Query Is I The Wrong Place I Am A New Member And Not Yet Familiar With The Site.

8th December 2005, 11:34
(One day out from Singapore, Patalavaca?)

Nice story Jimmy. Welcome to, and I hope you enjoy the site.
The location of the incident and outcome would make further interesting reading.


I agree that the Paracels are more than a day from Singapore but those reefs have seen more strandings than any others I can think of in that area....i.e. en route Singpaore to HK or Japan.

... I gave it a bit of poetic licence too, as Jimmy said "a day out of Singapore" , with a possibility now of 42 hours... I will go and do some calculations and look in my books for more info !


8th December 2005, 12:10
Welcome to both Jimmy and maxferrie< Jm a good starter story maybe more to come . Max I expect a photo will appear sooner or later.

15th December 2005, 00:35
I have trawled through " Marine News" for 1963 & 1964 and found no trace of this incident, which is strange.

I had a feeling that the World Ship Society , of which I am a member ,had published a book on this company and , on looking , found that there is a book:-
the following is taken from the WSS site,

"For just over 100 years, the Chapman family of Newcastle was involved in shipowning -- as Chapman and Miller, R. Chapman and Sons and finally as Chapman & William Ltd. This booklet tells their story in some detail. Beginning with the SUSAN GRAY in 1863 it traces the fleet's fortunes through the sacrifices of two world wars, through the ups and downs of the tramp trade until it finally succumbed in 1974, when it was sold to become Burnett Chapman Ship Management Ltd., part of the **** Federal Commerce and Navigation Group.**** The 73 ships owned and 14 managed are fully detailed and there are a total of 83 photos. 80 pages."

So, my advice would be to buy the book ( thus having a permanent record )and then tell US what the result was !!!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ +++++

To locate the book see

under " Publications" click on " WSS publications available" and then scroll down until you find the book and how to buy it.

I have many of the other WSS published books and fleet histories and can thoroughly reccomend them.


26th October 2007, 02:43
Hi Jimmy

Brian Quinn here and I was the R/O on that great voyage. Many happy memories came flooding back when I read your question about the fate of the captain. I was 22 at the time and it was my second ship having sailed on the Athenic for the previous 12 months from London to NZ where I now live. Unfortunately I can't throw any light on the captain's fate but I can fill in some details. The grounding on the Royal Captain Shoal West of Palawan Island took place at 1.30am on Sunday 29th December 1963. Martin Moorish the 2nd mate was on watch at the time. After many manoeuvres and with the help of the falling tide we came off the shoal at 5.03am and immediately started sinking. As you described we had to remove the bagged meal pellets from the holds to repair the water tight doors between holds 2 and 3 as they were proving to be anything but water tight. It took a day and a half to complete the temporary repairs and we then headed for Manila at half speed with the bow down and the stern up reaching there at 6am Wednesday 1st January 1964. I can confirm that we never sent a Mayday and it was at lease a couple of days before a message was sent to the Owners indicating our plight. We carried only a Medium Frequency Transceiver with a maximum range of about 100 miles during the day so I remember it was at least a day before I made contact with a Shell tanker and he stayed in contact until we were under way. The Chief Mate was Barry Prudhoe and the 3rd Engineer was Tom but I can't remember the Captain's name. We had some great times ashore in B A, Durban, Japan and New West Minster. Remember the Peanuts Bar in Yokohama plus the night big Tom wrecked the bar in Moji. You may also recall when we arrived at anchor outside Manila harbour 3 of us you, me and big Tom went for a swim over the side and the divers came rushing up to warn us that they were being bothered by sharks under the bow. We made a quick exit back on board. Contact me by PM


Edited to remove email address as per site policy

Bruce Carson
26th October 2007, 03:19
Brian, a warm welcome to Ships Nostalgia.
And what a way to begin--a super addition to the fascinating story Jimmy started.
Thanks, I hope you find this site to your liking and enjoy the galleries and forums.