Originally Posted by TNW
As a new SN member, l have come across a few posts which refer to a grounding of the Taybank in the early 1970’s. As l was on board, l thought l’d add a little detail.
I joined the Taybank in late 1972 in North Shields, as a 2nd trip deck cadet, and after DD we loaded in UK and continental ports on a Brocklebank charter for Mahe in the Seychelles and a number of Red Sea ports.
Around the Cape of Good Hope and up the Madagascar strait, and all was going well. Day after day, we cadets chipped anything that took the Mates fancy! It was a Friday evening, and we were closing on the Seychelles. The Mate had us in his cabin for mock Orals questions. Just after ten, we got together in the senior cadets cabin to crack a few cans from our beer ration. At about 1030 we hit Wizard reef. The ship shuddered and ground to a halt, from full sea speed. We shot out onto the boat deck and as the overside lights came on we were hit with the strange sensation of the ship, stopped in the water, with the engines still banging away at full ahead. Eventually the engines were stopped.
The crew headed for the boat deck, with as much gear as they could carry. We were sent to sound round.
The result was, we were hard aground, but with no signs of water ingress. We subsequently got off the reef at around dawn, with much scraping and grinding, but under our own steam. However it soon became apparent that some of the shaft bearings had been displaced as a result of the grounding. This was an obvious cause for concern. After closer inspection, and l imagine, much discussion, we proceeded to Mahe on reduced revs. I think we spent a couple of weeks at the Mahe anchorage, where we had divers down to inspect the hull plating and a number of classification surveyors inspections. As l understood it there was considerable damage to the hull plating, particularly in way of the shaft tunnel. Hence the issue with the bearings. Eventually we were allowed to proceed, at reduced revs, on our discharge programme, to a number of Red Sea ports and then to Singapore for dry dock, for the necessary repairs. Unfortunately l had to fly home from Jeddah, for personal reasons, and did not get to see the extent of the damage.