Wellpark Rescue Article

Iain Lourie
21st September 2008, 10:20

21st September 2008, 12:03
Thanks for posting the link Iain.
It's interesting to read another account of the rescue. (Applause)

21st September 2008, 12:22
Hi, Iain,
just read the article posted - brilliant, isn't it! Brought a wee tear to my eye. Did a couple of trips on the wellpark myself, but that was after the rescue. Hope to post some photos of her today.


21st September 2008, 12:39
I had vaguely heard of this rescue, but had never read about it before. It makes fascinating reading and tells a lot about the true spirit of the British Merchant Seaman.
Thanks Ian for giving us the chance to read it from somebody that was actually there.

Regards Robert

21st September 2008, 13:04
I had vaguely heard of this rescue, but had never read about it before. It makes fascinating reading and tells a lot about the true spirit of the British Merchant Seaman.
Thanks Ian for giving us the chance to read it from somebody that was actually there.

Regards Robert


There is an excellent series of articles about Wellpark and the rescue here (https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/MV_Wellpark?cruise_forum_g__session=ce424abd557af3 7bfc95b3d688870a66) in the SN Directory. (Thumb)

21st September 2008, 13:42
Should / could this article be included in the Directory (subject to permission)?

21st September 2008, 14:18
Should / could this article be included in the Directory (subject to permission)?

I will seek advice! (Thumb)

21st September 2008, 15:53

Thanks for the directions.

Regards Robert

21st September 2008, 17:21
A great story, I remember the incident very well a very humane act by the Skipper and Crew, unfortunatly sometimes other Nations ships turned a blind eye when it was all going on as they were concerned about the Diplomatic wrangling that it involved when trying to land the Refugee's and the delay's it could cause to the ships sailing programme/Charter.

21st September 2008, 17:22
You are welcome Robert. (==D)

21st September 2008, 18:05
as promised, I have posted a few of my photos of the Wellpark, a couple of years, or so after this incident. They can be found in the cargo vessels and members faces gallery. It is interesting to see her compared with the Ga Chau and Firstec, pictures.

21st September 2008, 23:47
Shhhhh!!! Click here and for a very limited period, less than 5 days, you can see the original Wellpark Story www.westdigital.co.uk?Jo_Wall_Film.wmv (www.westdigital.co.uk/Jo_Wall_Film.wmv)

Jo Wall is producing a 10 minute feature on the Wellpark Reunion which will be on Inside Story 7.00pm 1st October, London Region only but maybe available on BBCi player for 7 days afterwards

23rd September 2008, 08:35
Hi, Pentland Pirate,

thanks for the chance to see the original Wellpark story, Mike. I enjoyed it and found it a little emotional although I was only to join the Wellpark, some year and a half later. You should all be proud of the part you played.

As you will see, I have posted a few more pics of her and other Denholm ships in the gallery. I was telling my mum about the site, etc and she brought out a box of all my letters from sea (which didn't last long), so I look forward to seeing what I wrote about my time on the Wellpark (and others.)

All the best,


23rd September 2008, 14:48
There will be a 10 minute piece on the Wellpark Reunion on TV on BBC Inside Story at 7.00pm (or is it 7.30 pm?) on 1st October. It may only be the London region that will get this feature, but others may be able to view it on BBCi player.

26th September 2008, 14:57
Interesting film, I'd have like to have seen more about the Wellpark and the potential problems that the Old Man could have had though. Having sailed with Denholms I feel a slight connection, if very remote! I'd like to use the film, or rather get the Geography Department to use it, as they study refugees and migration at GCSE and will probably find it useful.

30th September 2008, 23:47
I have added a link to the article to the Directory entry to make it easy for people to get access to as much information about this as possible.

Thanks for drawing our attention to it JImmy.

1st October 2008, 21:18
Fascinating story and emotional too.
I guess there is a touch of Schindlers list about it in that without the Wellpark it is likely that none of those families would would have survived. I suspect the Russian ship would not have offered them the compassion that the Brits did. Well done to them and the compassion shown by the British government.
One point that struck me was that with 24 Cadets on board did they have a crew? or did Denholms put all their Cadets in one basket. Be interested in the answer. Kevin
PS SN shows it's value again, in matters nautical, as I only chased this up when I saw Inside Story this evening.
PPS I have now discovered that the Wellpark was a training ship hence the number of Cadets. I'd still be interested to know how the ship worked, were the Cadets effectively the crew?

2nd October 2008, 10:42
Yes, the cadets were the crew. As we were training as Navigation/Deck officers the only additional 'crew' were catering staff and a few engine room ' firemen'. The cadets did all the deck maintenance of chipping, painting, overhauling deck fittings, mooring/anchoring/tug duties, lookouts on the bridge, emergency crews under the direction of the officers. Throughout cadets would take turns to be put in the position of the officer overseeing them to allow the cadet to learn how to make the correct decisions. For the rescue mentioned in this feature, again, with a few officers, it was cadets who made up the crew of the lifeboat.

In many respects it was the 'cadet' involvement that made this rescue so special, particularly in the way that they bonded with the Vietnamese they rescued.

Denholm's probably had about 200 deck and engineering cadets in training at any one time in the late 1970's, as they had over 60 ships in their fleet then. The aim was that each deck cadet would do at least one trip on Wellpark during their four years of training.

2nd October 2008, 14:40
200? Must have been a lot more than that .... I'd say nearly 150 Engineer cadets (2 year Phase I, plus Phase III) in college, and that's just Glasgow alone, remember Aberdeen, South Shield's etc but with cadets at sea, on leave, etc - and then more than double that for deck side? I've got a contact than knows Bill Gibb, will get him to ask.

Maybe see how I can pass on this Wellpark stuff for him too.

3rd October 2008, 22:17
200? Must have been a lot more than that .

Just in from my mate - Jim Gray, ex SSM & Clyde Marine Training Officer

"Spoke to Bill tonight and he remembers taking on approx 100 (cadets) per year and with the Cadet programmes at that time lasting 4 years, Denholms`would have around 400 at any one time. Having said that, in the first and a few years after the Wellpark came into operation, he recruited about 125 in order to maintain the numbers onboard the Training Ship so peak was probably between 400 and 475."

He's passing on print outs of this Wellpark thread as Bill isn't online.

Thanks to all

ps A very good SSM website (http://www.scottishshipmanagement.com/)