SS MELIKA 1958
This was the damage to the tanker "MELIKA" in the Persian Gulf. Picture taken from the cruiser HMS "CEYLON" which was delivering steel plates to repair this hole to her tanks.
This must be the result of her collision with the French BP tanker Fernand-Gilabert on 13 September 1958 0ff the Omani coast. As a result the French tanker was broken up but Melika lasted many more years.
"13 Sep 1958 - In ballast from Port de Bouc to Mena el Ahmadi, FERNAND GILABERT was off the coast of Oman when in monsoon conditions of heavy seas and poor visibility, when she went in collision with the full cargo Liberian tanker MELIKA. Fire broke out on both ships and seven members of FERNAND GILABERT and fifteen of MELIKA were lost. The engines of MELIKA were not stopped and she steamed over 20 miles until the British fregate HMS PUMA put a team on board. A salvage party from aircraft carrier HMS BULWARK got aboard FERNAND GILABERT and after getting fire under control, the ship was taken in tow stern first. It was handed over later to HMS LOCH KILLISPORT who arrived at Karachi on 20 Sep 1958. MELIKA was towed the same day at Muscat by HMS BULWARK. She arrived at Bombay 07 Jan 1959 and was laid up."
From the book : "La flotte des navires citernes français", by Paul Bois & Hans Pedersen.
At the time she was built she was the largest vessel launched into the Tees by the Furness Yard in 1953 and completed in 1954 for Afran Transport Co., Liberia. Her Steam Turbines were built by the well known Richardson Westgarth Company (Hartlepool) and she weighed in at 32,020dwt.
1961; Transferred to Afran Bahamas Ltd ( managed by Watts, Watts & Co)
1966; sold to Avondale Shipping Co (Panama S.A.) Liberia and renamed Olympic Gulf.