Ships Nostalgia - View Single Post - J & J Denholm
Thread: J & J Denholm
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Old 5th March 2009, 04:28
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,950
Originally Posted by ronmac6 View Post
hi Mike
Bet you never thought you would ever get a reply to your post Nov/05 !
I've just recently signed up to this site so apologies for the 3 year delay.

The weak signal your R/O heard was me on the monkey island using the lifeboat radio. (Our radioroom batteries had long since expired altho I did manage to raise Esperance Radio ESP before they packed in). We were completely blacked out & not for the first time that trip. We were high in the water as we had just discharged our cargo & not yet gas free. So when rocket after rocket fizzed across our deck it was squeaky bum time. There was 1 line secured but snapped shortly after. That was when the old man decided not to continue. We were extremely grateful for the assistance at a very vulnerable & hazardous time for us.

When we dropped the hook & appraised the situation our comms consisted of the lifeboat radio & the cadets transistor radio which he brought to the bridge. The engineers were labouring away trying to get life back into the ship without success. For the next few days Albany radio had us as the headline news until a whale washed up on the beach & stole our glory.
A tug did indeed come out to us from Albany along with a battery powered transceiver supplied by a guy called Harry who was a radio ham and had a TV shop in Albany. So comms between the ship & Glasgow were restored as we would call Harry up & he would phone Denholms and hold the phone to the speaker. Crude but effective.

Albany radio announced on air they would have a request programme for us and asked us to call Harry with a list of names & songs. I remember mine was The Clancy Brothers & Maries wedding. This probably sounds trivial considering the situation but it really lifted everyone's morale. Another bonding exercise was the meals on the bottom plates of the ER when we feasted on coffee & beans heated by Acetylene torches. The Asian crew were catered for, when the tug arrived with cages of live chickens which were swiftly taken away & processed. (we didn't ask how).

After about a week a super from Glasgow arrived on the tug (what a journey he must have had) disappeared down the ER & a few hours later lights flickered on to wild applause (because we all knew what this meant, yes COLD TENNANTS!!!).
We were not towed to Singapore as you (Mike) suggested but managed to limp our way quite slowly under our own steam to a well needed drydock.

We all paid off then but for the life of me I can't remember who else sailed on the ship at this time, O/M JJ Rose? Cat/off Harry Moon? I hope someone somewhere can put me out of my misery.

I often wonder if Denholms ever follow up with their appreciation of people like Mike & Harry who literally came to the rescue. I'm sure they did.

Yet another long winded post but it was hard to know what to leave out.

ronmac -

Many thanks for your response - I have Gulpers to thank for putting me wise to your posting!! What a fascinating read your story is and to have first-hand knowledge of your side of the incident is priceless! I do remember that we stayed with you for a while until you got into an "anchorable" depth of water - so far as line-throwing equipment is concerned, I'm sure we didn't do anything with rockets until we'd cleared it with you ..... by whatever means of communication we had!!

I think our company's (ASP Melbourne) Assistant Fleet Manager at the time was aware of what was being done and as he was an ex-Ship Manager with Denholms (he'd come to ASP in 1964 on its creation), I'm sure he'd have been in touch with old colleagues!
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