Taybank grounding - Ships Nostalgia
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Taybank grounding

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  #1  
Old 13th January 2020, 21:34
TNW TNW is offline
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Taybank grounding

As a new SN member, l have come across a few posts which refer to a grounding of the Taybank in the early 1970s. As l was on board, l thought ld 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.
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  #2  
Old 17th January 2020, 15:22
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Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNW View Post
As a new SN member, l have come across a few posts which refer to a grounding of the Taybank in the early 1970s. As l was on board, l thought ld 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.
Who was Master?
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  #3  
Old 17th January 2020, 16:30
TNW TNW is offline
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Captain C Howe
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  #4  
Old 19th January 2020, 15:02
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Waighty Waighty is offline  
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Captain C Howe
I remember reading about this incident in one of Bank Line's Incident & Accident Reports that they used to circulate around the fleet after such an event. If memory serves there was some comment about not using the radar and altering course on the basis of a single position line and DR? I might bw wrong of course.
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  #5  
Old 21st January 2020, 14:07
TNW TNW is offline
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Taybank

Waighty
I am not in a position to comment on the possible Radar issue. It seemed to me that the wheelhouse was not really a place in which cadets were welcomed on ships under this command, with the possible exception of steering!
Wizard Reef is within the Farquhar group of Islands, some 600m SW of Mahe. As I understand the situation, we were heading NE'ly, about 650miles from our destination, and should have passed well clear of any danger. However, it seems that we were further to the west than thought, and hence the accident. This is the region of the south equatorial current and the equatorial counter current and this may have been a contributory factor.
Re the radar, this was the days of Raymarc's and Marconi Mark IV's, which were not renowned for their reliability. I am aware that some Master's did like to limit their use, in the hope that they would work when they were most needed. However I am unable to confirm that this was the case on the Taybank.
regards
Trevor Wilkinson
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  #6  
Old 23rd January 2020, 15:56
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Alan Rawlinson Alan Rawlinson is offline
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Re use of the radar...

Way back in 1955, I was on the bridge of the old Irisbank with a Mississippi pilot who asked the Master to switch on the radar. He was told it was 'only used in emergencies', pilot! - at which the pilot replied, " Mister, if that radar doesn't go on, we are going straight to anchor".
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Old 24th January 2020, 09:28
Ian Harrod Ian Harrod is offline  
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I joined the Taybank in 1973 in Tampa as 3rd Mate. Nice ship but she could vibrate awfully at times, probably due to the grounding. Capt PH Thomas with his wife. Commonly referred to as Capt Thomas and her husband, Peter!
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Old 24th January 2020, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Alan Rawlinson View Post
Re use of the radar...

Way back in 1955, I was on the bridge of the old Irisbank with a Mississippi pilot who asked the Master to switch on the radar. He was told it was 'only used in emergencies', pilot! - at which the pilot replied, " Mister, if that radar doesn't go on, we are going straight to anchor".
I came across this myself, when sailing as uncert 3rd Mate on the Beechbank. We loaded Sugar in Lautoka, for the UK, I think. We headed west via the Basilan Strait, the Sulu sea, the Balabac strait and down the South China Sea to the Malacca Strait. The old man, who I shan't name, insisted that the radar was not used until the approaches to Singapore, on the 'save it until you need it' principle.
Inevitably, as we approached Singapore, the old man switched it on ........and it went pop!
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Old 24th January 2020, 11:45
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Originally Posted by Ian Harrod View Post
I joined the Taybank in 1973 in Tampa as 3rd Mate. Nice ship but she could vibrate awfully at times, probably due to the grounding. Capt PH Thomas with his wife. Commonly referred to as Capt Thomas and her husband, Peter!
Ian, as mentioned in my original post, unfortunately I left the ship before the dry docking and consequently never saw the bottom damage.
However, I understand that when we 'drove' of the reef that morning, there was talk of the Engineer's playing water from fire hoses on the shaft in an attempt to cool the displaced shaft bearings. In addition
it was probably a further 6/8 weeks before the dry dock, as the vessel completed discharge around the Red Sea, albeit on reduced revs. Taking that into account, I can only guess that it was always going to be something of a task to repair the damage to the point that everything was perfectly aligned. Which probably explains the vibration.
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Old 24th January 2020, 12:49
Pilot mac Pilot mac is offline  
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Originally Posted by TNW View Post
I came across this myself, when sailing as uncert 3rd Mate on the Beechbank. We loaded Sugar in Lautoka, for the UK, I think. We headed west via the Basilan Strait, the Sulu sea, the Balabac strait and down the South China Sea to the Malacca Strait. The old man, who I shan't name, insisted that the radar was not used until the approaches to Singapore, on the 'save it until you need it' principle.
Inevitably, as we approached Singapore, the old man switched it on …........and it went pop!
You were not alone in Bank Line, I think it was a generic attitude of most old men at the time. Thinking back, when away from the land the radar remained firmly off only being flashed up when landfall was imminent.

I did a trip on a Greek ship and we constantly complained to the owners about the radar, or lack off. It took a Pilot on the St Lawrence to say 'no more' and we were put to anchor off Montreal. Owners were contacted and they arranged for a new radar to be installed. We got a derrick ready in anticipation of the new radar arriving.A technician duly arrived carrying what looked like a large lunch box but no sign of a radar. On opening said lunch box, contained therein was the smallest radar you have ever seen. The screen was about the size of a modest ash tray. The radar was installed ie plugged in and away he went. We had problems sourcing an A/C supply, the closest was in the Old Mans cabin which meant that if you were using the radar you had to first switch off the old man's fridge! Warm beer, grumpy Old Man. Happy Days?

It is probably this that gave me my dislike of the 'Lakes', warm beer and those disgusting chemical toilets!

regards
Dave

Last edited by Pilot mac; 24th January 2020 at 12:52..
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