Customs inspections - Page 3 - Ships Nostalgia
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  #51  
Old 19th February 2009, 13:04
Fieldsy Fieldsy is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Stringer View Post
Fantastic Story. Kept me laughing until tears ran down my cheeks.

I laughed so hard the tears ran down my legs!
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  #52  
Old 19th February 2009, 18:33
sidsal sidsal is offline  
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On the Anglo American Oil tanker F J WOLFE on the voyage before I joined the 2nd Mate and an apprentice were found dead down an empty tank with ciggie cartons. The Mate was not awoken for his 4 to 8 watch and when he eventually woke up and went on the bridge there was no-one there. It appeared that the pair had decided to hide some cartons on the stringers in the empty tank. probably the apprentice went down and was overcome by the gas and the 2nd Mate tried to rescue him and was himself overcome.
I had a wierd experience when I was certain I saw someone at the back of the bridge in the dark. When I investigated there was no one there.
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  #53  
Old 25th February 2009, 18:59
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jmcg jmcg is offline
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London Customs (rummagers) appeared to be of the worst type. Bobbies on the gates were no better. Offer one of then a 10 shilling note would surely result in porridge at Belmarsh.

J
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  #54  
Old 25th February 2009, 19:13
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Pat Kennedy Pat Kennedy is offline  
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The very worst bobby on the gate I ever encountered was this pr**k at Tilbury, who tipped my open suitcase right into a puddle of oily water outside his hut. When I objected he threatened to arrest me for a breach of the peace. It seems he hated scousers and did the same to every one of us on that ship.
I would like to say we got our revenge, but we didnt, we slunk away muttering imprecations, and this odious bully laughed at us.
Pat
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  #55  
Old 25th February 2009, 19:27
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jmcg jmcg is offline
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Yes, they had full POA.

Not so sure if they have that power now.

BW

J
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  #56  
Old 25th February 2009, 20:46
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Ian6 Ian6 is offline  
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I think it was Prof Parkinson who produced his law that 'work expands to fill the time available'. It certainly used to apply to our friends in Customs & Excise. These days they are, rightly, only interested in intercepting heroin etc from entering the country. In the 1960's there were few drug smugglers so the brave lads of C&E had to harass ordinary citizens. I remember them checking the open bottles of spirits to see if the sum total exceeded your permitted allowance - who was going to manage to sell an opened bottle ?
Nowadays you pass through a UK airport and there are no Customs to be seen (unless you are foolish enough to arrive at the same time as a flight from Jamaica).
Border control is a farce. When you leave no one generally checks, if you return via Calais, or on Eurostar if you have a UK Passport you are normally waived through without inspection. The final insult is that the new uniformed Immigration Service seems to consist solely of the most recent 3rd world immigrants to have been accepted here.
I do not think I am racist, I worked always, and happily, with Indian/Pakistani crews but the last time we returned from Canada to Heathrow not a single Immigration Official appeared to have been born in the UK. What message does that send?
Ian
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  #57  
Old 3rd June 2010, 13:32
John Ringrose John Ringrose is offline  
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Returning from a trip on the "Mahout" - my wife had left the ship in Rotterdam with light suitcase as we were going over to UK - she needed to get back and I was coasting. I was leaving in Hull. Customs came down and did a cabin search finding all sorts of ladies apparel in the drawers in my cabin. I tried to explain why it was there - they were not anxious to listen and backed out of the cabin - post haste !!!! - mins you it saved a full search!!
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  #58  
Old 3rd June 2010, 15:30
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Ian J. Huckin Ian J. Huckin is offline  
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I think I posted this story somewhere else, however, on a Chemi tanker in Libia where all grog was bonded, except for the cook who hid his whiskey in the flour bin. The Libian customs could never figure out why he appeared wasted all the time, not even made suspicious by the flour permanently up to his right elbow and the big ring of it around his mouth....
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  #59  
Old 27th December 2010, 12:06
GRAHAM D GRAHAM D is offline  
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An engineer on the Norsky at Ipswich used to post duty free fags to his UK home address. He was German born and the story was that his father used to be in the SS and lived in South America. One night when posting his contraband home he was jumped by men wearing balaclavas. He said he was relieved to find they were HMC as at first he though it was MOSAD!!
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  #60  
Old 27th December 2010, 12:36
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Nick Balls Nick Balls is offline  
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We were always plagued by customs inspections at the tail of the bank on the clyde in the 1970's when the ore boats still used to go all the way up to General terminus. The worst culprit on board was the Master who used to always pay off with a transit vans worth of duty free. Anyway one day during an inspection one of the black gang asked me if I had anything hidden behind the bookcase in my cabin. Later after the ship was at sea I unscrewed the thing off the bulkhead to discover that a neat hole had been cut into the bulkhead by a previous incumbent .......Seemed like they knew a lot more than us about the ship! Intrigued, the next time around I asked them why they always targeted that particular vessel. The simple answer was that the bond having originated in Glasgow it was easy for them to calculate (looking at the chandlers receipts) that by the amount ordered we were either a crew of extreme drinkers or smugglers. Meanwhile the old man always got away with it. This was a chap so mean that he always overcharged enormously on the price of a case of beer, to the point where it would have been cheaper to buy the stuff ashore. However it was not the Customs who caught up with him but an alcoholic temporary chief steward who systematically drank through the entire beer locker and disguised the fact by replacing the empty cases back into the bottom of the locker with 4 empty cans one in each corner, thus disguising them as full. The Chief steward having long gone (and undetected) the old mans pay off commenced with the normal van hire and loading up with contraband and ships beer .... First few cases full the rest all gone! Cor! if ever I saw poetic justice it was that day!!! Not a lot the old fellow could do or say!

Last edited by Nick Balls; 27th December 2010 at 12:39..
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  #61  
Old 27th December 2010, 16:51
lochluichart lochluichart is offline  
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When I was an agent I rtemember a captain inviting female member of black gang back on board later for a drink. After copious amounts he eventaully managed to get her to stay the night. Next morning she awoke worse for wear and apparently not too happy. She left returned with the black gang for a second visit then announced that they had obviously drank far more than he had declared and fined him and the ship.

He did appeal to senior officier and the case was dropped.
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  #62  
Old 27th December 2010, 19:10
Billieboy Billieboy is offline  
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Never tried it on, or got lucky, with a customs bird; although we did get the Liverpool black gang in the Engine Room one day at Tranmere. They came down and wandered around, then one opened a switchboard starter door! LO pump stopped and alarms went off, so I charged over and asked what he thought that he was doing. Threw him out of the Engine room with orders to come back with his boss and a chitty signed by the Master and C/E, never saw him or his mates again.
Before paying off we retrieved, two cases of four bells from the Burner steamer sump!

Last edited by Billieboy; 27th December 2010 at 19:12..
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  #63  
Old 6th January 2011, 18:20
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japottinger japottinger is offline  
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Glad my original posting has generated so much interest.
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  #64  
Old 6th January 2011, 18:35
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japottinger japottinger is offline  
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Another story but not with a happy ending. On SS Matra UK out in December 1960 to New York and then southern states we had tons of the best malt aboard. Somehow there was an entrance to no3 hold ( I think) from bridge space. Naturally we engineers sampled some of the best water of life avaliable, so much so that we were commended at end of the trip on our low bar bill by the chief steward to Chief Eng. Jimmy Grant (giving a wry smile) on our sobreity as we only signed chities for sodawater, lemonade, no IRN BRU stocked I am afraid ) etc, when we went ashore to our favourite bar in New Orleans it was cowboy style gather round the table with a bottle on the table and six glasses, a spare bott. given to the barman allowed us to just buy mixers, (for the softies). When the ship rolled the clink of bottles was most noticeable emanating from drawers in the cabins. Upshot was when we docked in Tilbury we lined up at the rail chucking the excess flagons into the drink as was far too much for us to try and smuggle ashore, accompanied by much weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Only trip I can recall when a whisky and lot of ice was used as a cooler at the end of the watch below.
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  #65  
Old 7th January 2011, 14:22
lakercapt lakercapt is offline  
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When trading to Norway on "Robertsons" the customs asked for the outward clearance certificate.
On there was a list of the bonded stores and they checked that with what you were declaring.
Did not take much to figure out what the crew declared and what was left should be close as it was only a three day trip and unless we had been having a real booze up there should be little discrepancy.
Course what they could not check on was what we had bought in Poland the last trip or purchased in the UK. It was still profitable to buy in a local off license and sell it in Norway (or Sweden)
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