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Hermes

Hermes

Hermes taken in Dover harbour 1966 I think

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HERMES (4), SEA QUEEN (1976), BATELEUR (1980)

Registered: LR60-61:64185 /LR66-67:514916
IMO 5149162 /GL57:H195 /GL67:01608 /(GBR)ON 364689
293 GRT, 16 NRT, L38,51m(36,20), B8,39m(8,43), D4,031m(3,87) (126'4"(114'2")x27'6"x12'6"(14'9")) - salv.
1 scr, diesel 4tew 6cyl K.H.Deutz type RBV6M366, 1420bhp1397kW-1900ihp @273rpm, sp 13,4kn, bp 18t

HERMES
1955 -xx/04: Launched by "F. Schichau AG" at Bremerhaven (DEU) (YN 1668)
1956 -23/07: delivered to "BRB - Bugsier Reederei- und Bergungs AG" at Hamburg (DEU)
(DEU flag, regd Bremerhaven, c/s DEPU)
1975 -xx/04: laid up at Bremerhaven (DEU)
1976 -12/03: To "C.J. King & Sons (Tugs) Ltd" at Avonmouth (GBR), renamed SEA QUEEN
(CYM (GBR) flag, regd Georgetown, ON 364689, c/s GVAW, 287 GRT, 0 NRT)
1980: owner taken over by "Consolidated Marine Contractors Ltd" at Guernsey (GBR), renamed BATELEUR
1980: To "Eagle Tugs Ltd" at Guernsey (GBR), mng "Shipmarc Ltd" at Mombasa (KEN)
(CYM (GBR) flag, regd Georgetown, ON 364689, c/s ZGKQ)
1983 -07/08: sank off Ile de Ste. Marie near Madagaskar

HERMES (4) (1956)
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2003/11/29252.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2004/11/55271.jpg
http://www.shipspotting.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=28955
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/55812/cat/516

SEA QUEEN (1876)
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images/2002/03/2276.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images/2002/03/2410.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2003/03/16219.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2003/05/19279.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2006/01/92999.jpg

BATELEUR (1980)
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2003/03/16214.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2003/03/16218.jpg
http://www.tugtalk.co.uk/images//2005/08/80012.jpg

regards
/ Jan
 

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From memory, HERMES also used to lie at Gibraltar in the early 1960s scanning the air waves and off to the rescue.
 

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Thought I recognised her. With all those radio antennas strung between the masts, she could indeed scan the airwaves, waiting for a 'catch'.

There's a picture of her about to (got to be careful how I say this) 'acquire' a salvaged tanker from my father's tug, Meeching, when his towline mysteriously snapped. Look at the photo and ask yourself what would a rival salvage tug be doing so close in to a casualty that's in no need of further assistance - especially when she's been asked to keep clear! And the fact that she then passed between Meeching and the tanker has no bearing on the matter, of course!

Alas, the photographer didn't have his camera there at that moment, drat!

http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3240/ppuser/448
 

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As an ex deep sea tugman - with all respect - tricks like that are a bit of scuttlebutt! If you entered into an LOF 'No cure, no pay' and the tow snapped, then the next tug to get a line on would be the contractor - the clue is in no cure - no pay!

If your dad's towline snapped, it could the tugman's worst enemy (next to the sea ) and that are Messrs. Friction and Chafe.

However, when there is a salvage on and another tug drops by, it is usually there to be on hand if you need assistance - so you contract them! If the tow parts and they get in quicker than you, well....all's fair in love and war!

I doubt very much that an outfit like Bugsiers would have don the piracy bit deliberately!

Then again, Ray Jordan and a few others might correct me on that one....!

BTW, she had a glass top to her wheelhouse this little beauty. Aided all round vision - and the radio antennae on her were typical of most deep sea tugs - you sat on 2182kHz and never switched it off!

Jonty
 

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Well, Jonty, I make no allegations, of course, and there are, as I said, none of Meeching's crew left alive to ask now, so all I can rely on is what I was told at the time by the crew - nearly 40 years ago! We can only guess at what actually may have happened. Extra 'assistance' was certainly no longer required, the fire having been put out and the ship made ready for towing to Rotterdam. Hermes had been instructed to stand clear, but didn't.

Towline? I was told that a brand new one was brought out for this job, so friction and chafe shouldn't really have played that much of a part.

As for piracy? Bugsier are indeed a reputable outfit and of course you wouldn't expect it. As you say, with other tugs standing by, it's all fair in love and war if a towline parts. However, I'm sure there are indeed those who will have tales of where such piracy has happened, and the tugs from the larger outfits certainly weren't afraid to harrass others. Later the same year, Zwarte Zee arrived on scene long after Meeching had beached the blazing tanker Sitakund and was fighting the fire along with Dominant from Dover. She got so close that she was hindering the operation and had to be ordered clear - the threat of high pressure fire hoses being 'accidentally' turned on her did the trick!

There was a lot a bitterness amongst Meeching's crew, as an LOF had indeed been accepted and they were expecting a handsome payout. As it was, Hermes waltzed away with the prize and Meeching's crew received only a small payout for their firefighting work in the operation. All Hermes did was tow!

At that time, Meeching's HF set was indeed always switched on to 2182, with the backup set on 1834 and VHF on Ch16. Newhaven Radio would do the same, of course.

Andy
 

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Andy,

It's a cut throat business but my own experiences were that they stayed clear - having said that, a big prestigious tug like the 'Zwarte Zee' may well have thought a rock dodger like 'Meeching' couldn't cope and muscled in....?

Bad news on the LOF bit but that is the nature of the game, alas.

Jonty
 

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ZZ left Dutch waters minutes after the first mayday call, offering LOF every few minutes on 2182. Working out her supposed ETA's, she would have had to do 30kts +. Superb tug that she was, she wasn't that fast!

In contrast, other than VHF traffic with the local lifeboats, our 'rock dodger' [I like that!] kept quiet, with her first words on 2182 being "We have taken the casualty in tow". 'No cure, no pay' got beaten by 'First come, first served' in this case.

Would be interesting if any other tugmen have any tales to tell. I'm pretty sure you must have a few, Jonty. Love to hear some..

Andy
 

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Ha! I did a thread on here a while back which some of the lads joined in on, Andy - look for it and you'll see there are tales amongst tugmen that are funny and tragic!

I loved the whole salvage / rescue business. The tows in between were bread and butter but there is nothing that can beat bringing in a damaged ship after her crew have given up and you are looking at a bit of extra cash once they sort it out. Not that I made a fortune either - that is a writer's imagination!

Jonty
 

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Cheers, I'll look for the thread. No, my Dad never made a fortune either! Now the owners, that's a different matter....
 

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