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Westgate under Consruction.
Westgate under Consruction.

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Photo Details
Oz.



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Registered: September 2005
Posts: 1,099
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Taken from the deck of M.T. Vulcan, and showing M.V.Straitsman outward bound for Tasmania. Straitsman rolled over in 1974, with two seamen losing their lives. I was lucky, trapped in an airpocket for 5 hours before divers got me out.
· Date: Sun, 22 January 06 · Views: 365
· Filesize: 55.2kb, 55.2kb · Dimensions: 800 x 553 ·
Additional Info
Keywords: Westgate, Melbourne.
Source of Image, If not your own: Yes
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KPC
Senior Member

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1,324
Sun, 22 January 06 23:42

Straitsman ended up in NZ on Wellington to Picton run.....lot of argy bargy re non Union labour. I think she ended up with Union crew. I was in Wellington once and on board another ship having a cold refreshing ale when the Straitsman came past towards her berth. The assembled group turned out on deck and gave the crew of Straitsman an awful spray verbally and a few hard odds and sods were hurled also........strange days indeed. That must have been an interesting experience to be cut out of your ship....I was on a couple that I wanted to cut my way out of but was too far from terra firma. Witnessed Straitsman entering Stanley a number of times...all over the place like the proverbial mad womans....tell us the story of the escape.
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KPC
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Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1,324
Sun, 22 January 06 23:43

PS...the bridge was an interesting story also
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thunderd

Registered: April 2005
Posts: 3,034
Mon, 23 January 06 03:17

Didn't it fall down at one stage?

------------------------------
Regards
Derek Blair



A house is only a badly designed ship
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David Wilcockson

Senior Member

Registered: July 2005
Location: Merseyside
Posts: 4,370
Mon, 23 January 06 03:28

Hi Robin
Whereabouts in Melbourne is this bridge, anywhere I would remember?
David
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trotterdotpom
Senior Member

Registered: April 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 18,357
Mon, 23 January 06 04:47

The bridge crosses the Yarra just after Webb Dock (eastern side) Bay and Williamstown (western side) approximately, just before the river becomes the Bay.

A section of the bridge collapsed in 1970 during construction - 35 workers killed. Finally completed in 1978. There is quite a bit about it on the internet.

John T.
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Oz.
Senior Member

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 1,099
Mon, 23 January 06 07:35

Yes Dave, on the port side going up river there was a large factory, the Glass Works was followed straight way by what looked like swamp land. The bridge is buillt across the swamp land and connects on the other side, the Melbourne side, at what used to be an airstrip behind the still existing Aircraft Factory, now owned by, I think, Hawker Syddley. (pardon the spelling). The bridge is around two miles up from the mouth of the Yarra. There is some talk already about another bridge, but this one was tallked about for forty years before construction. There was a collapse in 78, and the man that pulled me from the Straitsman was decorated by Lloyds and by the Queen for his efforts on the bridge rescue. He also was decorated for assisting me and his work on the sinking. Sadly, this man died a couple of years ago but was a fascinating guy, he helped pioneer SCUBA when in the British Navy, helped with the salvage of a submarine that went down off Liverpool (Thetis??). He was also decorated by the City of Hamburg for saving the life of a seaman who fell from his ship into the Yarra. For Melbourne people, I speak of Reg Willing, of the now defunct Port Emergency Service.
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Tom Haywood

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Registered: December 2004
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 3,219
Mon, 23 January 06 21:55

KPC, went into Stanley several times on the Bass Reefer (ex Sid McGrath) in the winter months, one go astern only onto the old ANL ramp. The skipper had to make the commitment to berth if not get the hell out of there with a very tight port turn.

------------------------------
Tom Haywood
R822244
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KPC
Senior Member

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 1,324
Mon, 23 January 06 22:15

It was not for the faint hearted.......did some work out of Stanley on 75 foot Timber ex Derwent River Schooner/Trader called Terralinna.....famous boat. Was used as mother ship for Abalone diver........spent a lot of time around Tassie coast including the West Coast. The one go at this manoeuvre was it for sure......
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trotterdotpom
Senior Member

Registered: April 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 18,357
Sun, 29 January 06 06:20

Oz, sorry to hear about the demise of the Melbourne Port Emergency Service, they were brilliant, no other word for it!

John T.
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Oz.
Senior Member

Registered: September 2005
Posts: 1,099
Wed, 1 February 06 07:12

Yes, they were brilliant! I have no idea who co ordinates rescue and fire fighting now in the Port of Melbourne. I do know that Skilled Engineering have security, so it may be that they also do Rescue, etc. Without those PES guys, I wouldnt be here today. I have a copy of the report that was written by the man that pulled me out of Straitsman, its truly an epic of determination and pure courage.
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JeffM

Senior Member

Registered: January 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 471
Tue, 30 October 07 08:25

Oz, this is truly an historic and significant photo. Have you offered a copy to either the State Library of national archives? Have any historians talked to you about your experiences? Got any more like this? Jeff
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Tom Haywood

Senior Member

Registered: December 2004
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 3,219
Thu, 3 July 08 05:57

Hi Oz. I understand he was awarded the MBE for "bravery and outstanding devotion to duty"

------------------------------
Tom Haywood
R822244
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Kraffy
Member

Registered: September 2009
Location: Wagga, NSW
Posts: 2,208
Sun, 3 July 11 11:33

The bridge is a 'Box Girder Bridge' & I believe there was a similar accident with one in the U.K., Not being 'shored up' enough during construction. I have driven over the West Gate bridge quite often & it gives me the creeps every time!
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