Vancouver Quarantine

Paedrig
10th January 2006, 14:37
Some time in the late 60s early 70s a P & O liner was quarantined in Burrards Inlet due to the outbreak a highly infectious stomach bug amongst passengers and crew. Have a feeling that she was there for nearly a month. I was in Vancouver at the time but just cant recall her name. Is anyone able to enlighten me?
Pat

Pompeyfan
10th January 2006, 15:11
Yes, it was Oronsay. We were also in same place for two weeks in 1973 due to the oil crisis. David

Paedrig
10th January 2006, 15:20
Yes, it was Oronsay. We were also in same place for two weeks in 1973 due to the oil crisis. David

Thankyou! It was one of those silly things that has bugged me for years. We had been berthed adjacent to her in San Francisco and as a precaution we all had to be innoculated before we could get ashore in Vancouver.

Pat

Pompeyfan
10th January 2006, 15:40
If memory serves me right, she had a case of Typhoid on board. I may have more details in an old edition of Arcadus, so will have a look. I seem to remember writing about this at some stage and feeling sorry for her medical department. David

Paedrig
10th January 2006, 18:08
If memory serves me right, she had a case of Typhoid on board. I may have more details in an old edition of Arcadus, so will have a look. I seem to remember writing about this at some stage and feeling sorry for her medical department. David

I think you may well be correct, either that or Paratyphoid. I recall asking the Doc sometime later how he'd managed to get so many Ampoules of vaccine at such short notice and got a very pithy reply. Since Certification was never provided beyond a typed slip of paper just stating that the Bearer had been innoculated, I thought it prudent not to enquire as to with what! We had the piece of paper that let us ashore and that was all that mattered.

Pompeyfan
10th January 2006, 18:37
It was Typhoid, just found it. She was in Vancouver between 7th January 1970 to 4th February with 69 passengers on board who had developed symptoms of Typhoid fever. She was the last ship to enter Vancouver I think flying the Q flag. It was thought that whilst the ship was in Southampton repairs were being done in the engine room and a sewage tank overflowed. It is thought that some of the fresh water tanks which were opened up at the time, thus contaminating the system. She had been dropping off sick people at ports coming up the Coast but it was not until she got to Vancouver that she was refused a 'Free Pratique' which meant she was going to be held in the port. I seem to remember a nursing sister on either Canberra or Arcadia who was on Oronsay at the time telling us about it, and how busy they were.

Buoy
2nd December 2006, 17:17
Hi all,
I haven't long joined this site and am browsing through.

I was one of the 5 R/O's in Oronsay at the time. All that Pompeyfan mentions is absolutely correct. We felt at the time that the USA didn't really know what to do with us. They gave us all little 'Medalert' cards to carry incase we were taken ill whilst ashore and sort of pretended we didn't exist! The Canadians on the other hand were having nothing to do with it and wouldn't let us in.
For a R/O it wasn't too bad a time. We were very busy with almost continuous phone calls and telegrams. There has been a rumour - and I believe he confirmed so in one of his books - that Ronald Biggs (the Great Train Robber) was aboard at the time. I bet he was panicking if he was as there was quite a lot of scrutiny of pax lists and a high police level making sure none of us sneaked off!
Most of the ships staff were ok as one of the assistant surgeons said as long as you had a certain amount of alcohol in your blood you would be ok!
We did come into the harbour flying the double "Q" flag which remaied until we were cleared.
My memory dims somewhat now so I am not sure if there were any fatalities.
Rgds
Derek

Paedrig
2nd December 2006, 18:29
It was said that she had a Golf driving range rigged on her after deck, for the duration. Was this the case or was it another "gem" from the Galley Press?

Buoy
4th December 2006, 19:05
I don't remeber there being a permanently set up driving range, although there may have been one or two individual sessions. As a golfer I think I would have remembered.

We had some exceptional 'discos' down at the pool bar - inside as it was freezing cold. I use the word disco loosely - there was a spool-to-spool tape deck behind the bar. Most of us would take turns in making up a tape to play.

Somewhere in the attic I have one of the little life buoys they used to paint up with the 'Double Q' flag painted on.

I think Jim French was Chief R/O, Brian Stewart 1st, Paul Barry 2nd, myself 3rd and Bob "Sunshine" Hill 4th. Jim French may well have retired by then however, so it could have been Ken ...? who was Chief at the time.

Stephen J. Card
11th December 2006, 05:15
A friend of mine was one of the Nursing Sisters on the ORONSAY that voyage... Mary Ross from Skye. She and a few other nurses were heading out to Australia and were working their passage. Mary had a boyfriend in Bermuda and she was allowed to disembark in odrt to take a bit of leave before flying out to Vancouver to rejoin the ship. She flew to Vancouver to rejoin but as the ship was under quaraantine she couldn't. I think eventually she was allowed to join to assist the medical staff. After a stint in Australia Mary made it back to Bermuda, married her boyfriend and is still there... several children later!

Stephen

Tony Selman
15th December 2006, 10:07
Derek (Buoy), Jim French would almost certainly have been the Chief at that time. I joined Oronsay later that year whilst you were still there and French was certainly Chief R/O then so it is a fair bet he was whilst you were in Vancouver.