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  #276  
Old 19th July 2008, 22:09
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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After some reflection I think that "FRINGE" may have hit on the answer as to the possibility of the hatch seal leaking water. The leak would not be caused by outside forces (heavy seas over the Bow) dislodging the hatch or it's fittings but by an internal force and that is through pressure panting with the movement of the ships sides, this "panting" over a period of time could stretch the threads on the holding down bolts or within the wing/butterfly nut or even bend the fork shaped clamp arms which could cause a gap between the seal and the hatch coaming, although I must admit that I cannot remember as to whether we had this problem his words sound plausable to me.
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  #277  
Old 19th July 2008, 22:19
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An interesting post. Now I sailed on the English Bridge (one voyage only thank God) and can recall a conversation between the 2nd Mate, 3rd Engineer and myself rounding the Cape. At the time it was a query regarding any noticable issues down below whilst we on deck were wallowing and creaking from wave to wave. She was bending like a banana -not riding the troughs like other lesser vessels. No more was discussed when we cleared the Cape en route in ballast to Ras Tanura. The English Bridge subsequently foundered off Bantry in Eire as the Kowloon Bridge and was then sold as wreck to a local chap for £1.00 -yes £1.00.

I followed the inquiry, and initally it blamed the Master for putting to sea with the focsle hatch open or failure to ensure when at sea that it was closed. No Master in the world would be stupid enough to allow that in the Pacific - yet the initial findings were never challenged on this fundamental point. When the roving sub took the sub sea photographs (subsequently published) there was clear evidence that the hatch was open and that the ropes were strewn across the focsle leading from the opened hatch. The lawyers and many other actors in the "inquiry" seized the "evidence" to confirm their ignorance of basic seamanship. They again laid the blame firmly on the Master for the reasons set out above.

Anyone who has been to sea will surely know that poly prop (Polyproelene) ropes float on the water. The fact that that the rope locker hatch was shown to be open support this submission and the ropes are clearly shown "floating" out of the rope locker.

The rope locker hatch or focsle hatch as it erroneously decribed on this post was of the traditional "dog" type. If my memory serves me corrrect there would be a minimum of 8 - all of which would be "hardened down" as soon as possible after rope stowage for the voyage. On some short sea or coastal voyages where heavy weather was not the norm the ropes would remain on the focsle but securley lashed down.

As discussed no sane Master would permit opening of the rope locker hatch whilst at sea until say 6 hours before they would be required i.e arrival at port. Because the locker hatch was shown to be open these actors jumped to a wrong conclusion that the Master was at fault for permitting his vessel to be at sea with the hatch open. They leaned heavily on the mooring ropes as shown leading from the rope locker hatch and out on the focsle to suggest that the Master was culpable.

It was with all credit to John Preston MP (two jags), the member for Hull that the second inquiry was ordered. This inquiry threw up more monkies. It seemed to cast some doubt on the quality of build of that class.

The second inquiry also concluded that it was the ingress of seawater that caused the loss of the ship. Notwithstanding the many other theories and conclusions one thing is certain - that rope locker hatch would not be deliberatley or inadvertenly open in mid Pacific in a typhoon.

The second inquiry also appered to clear the Master of any blame for the loss. I use the word "appeared" because there are some still persons about who will not and do not accept that these ships were unseaworthy and that the Master was culpable.

Regarding the internal securing of the rope locker hatch on the Derbyshire - I cannot offer a definitive yes or no. I can however confirm that rope locker hatches correctly hardened up or dogged down (usually confirmed by the bosun after using a hammer or piece of heavy gauge metal tubing) will withstand any typhoon in the Pacific or China Sea. It would not be necessary to afford further internal hardening or dogging. I state that with conviction after sailing through many on much,much smaller but better built vessels than the Derbyshire class.

The rope locker could possibly be further accessed via the Bosuns' Locker in the focsle head. This would facilitate additional hardening up and permit egress from the bosuns locker. Unfortunately I cannot remember the exact configuration on the English Bridge for reason set out below

My one trip on this class of ship did not permit much deck work for us AB's sailing as GPSI's. Such were the problems in the engine room that save for our deck watch keeping duties almost all of us would be "turned to" down below to assist the engineers. Lub Oil used to pour out of her engine on all levels - 40 gallon drums were the normal recovery items before returning the oil to the seperators. These would be emptied on each watch. Although designed to operate as "unmanned" this was not the case.

As mentioned I did one trip (Voyage 3 if my memory serves me well) and some short time afterwards I was told that she couldn't get a crew from Liverpool to sail her.

I have quite a volume of historical paperwork on the loss of the Derbyshire and that class of OBO. Some published and some not so.

I went on to take a Masters degree in Health and Safety and European Environmental Law and have acted as expert witness in two shipping fatalities and other marine incidents.

So steady on you two - Bill and Rand........!!

BW

John

Last edited by jmcg; 20th July 2008 at 22:08.. Reason: Typo
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  #278  
Old 20th July 2008, 10:20
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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JCMG,
It would appear that you have sailed in one ship of this type as AB. Is that correct?
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  #279  
Old 20th July 2008, 10:24
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jmcg

I'm not exactly sure what the point of your post is (apart from advising us of your 'superior' qualifications); however the fore peak hatch was open and the ship had sunk.

Either its not possible to dog this type of hatch efficiently. Or it is and it wasn't.

Poly Prop floats - so what?
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  #280  
Old 20th July 2008, 12:03
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Bill

Sailed on the English Bridge as GPS1 (General Purpose Seaman 1). I think there were about 3 traditional AB's including me + Bosun, Bosuns' mate and Chippy. Very much undermanned with AB's. The remainder of the GPS1's were traditional engine room chaps - donkey-men, greasers etc. Certainly on that ship the Chief Engineer ran the "crowd". The Chief Officer (appeared) to have little influence or control of the day work crew activities. Whether this was a consequence of the real engine room problems I do not know, although I can recall Fyffes vessel "Musa" (also GPS1) following a similar pattern although there were no abnornal issues down below.

Jebsens (MV Binsnes) was also GP crewed - I was only one of two English speaking AB's on her. Such was her deck machinery (5 or 6 cranes and self loading attachments i.e.(grabs etc) I don't believe I was down below more than two or three times.

As to the comment from MM. I dont have any "superior" qualifications as suggested. When my career at sea ended I studied law - simple as that. Like all other professions one has to keep ahead and this included studing at the highest level - not for any "superior qualifications" nonsence as suggested - but to earn a decent living!

As the years rolled by and the decline of the British Merchant Navy there were fewer British seafarers. Consequently when incidents and or losses occurred there were fewer individuals to provide "expert" or other opinion on certain practices and procedures. This was and is particularly so when lawyers and insurers become embroiled and cannot find a solution.

My comment on the Derbyshire is based on my experience and recollections of the English Bridge and a variety of other vessels - nothing to do with "superior qualifications".

Hope this clarifies.

Bw

John

Last edited by jmcg; 20th July 2008 at 22:47.. Reason: typo
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  #281  
Old 20th July 2008, 12:17
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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There is no doubt the hatch is open the photographic proof is there for all to see, but the question has always been why? From the very start I have never believed that the Crew were negligent, it could and does happen with some Foreign Crews who's attitude to Safety is a bit lax but I believe that this Crew would have made damn sure everything was securely battened down. I have never believed that (dare I say it)a perfect wave took the hatch cover and vent tops away, my personal belief is as I have previously said is that she rolled over, (B&W are not the most reliable of engines we had a host of problems with ours) and on the way down this cover and the vent covers blew off with the pressure on the hull however, "Fringe" has opened my eye's to a highly plausable reason in regards to internal pressure build ups inside the Compartment due to Hull deformation. This vessel would be slamming in pretty hard and with everything securely battened down any sudden deformation on the hull would give a significant pressure increase inside the compartment (like squeezing a pair of Bellows), the weakest parts of the structure are the vents and this hatch cover which is held down by large wing nuts on forked brackets, it is not inconceivable that the open ended brackets could be ripped out from under the wing nuts and the hatch fly off if the sudden pressure increase was high enough then I would agree she would go down by the head. The ore carriers I served on had "proper" forec'sles which are considered by experts to be a plus point and I must admit that I had not give a thought to "pressure Panting" highlighted by "Fringe" but in my view it could well be the answer to this type of hatch in the Bow area passing water as others have previously said and not what is as previously believed to have been large greens coming over the top loosening the hatch dogs.
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  #282  
Old 20th July 2008, 12:19
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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Derbyshire

I have only been on one bulk carrier and I was Chief Engineer.

These hatches are being by screw threads and in this one probably whitworth threads about one inch diameter, 8 threads per inch.
When a screw thread is tightened it is held in position by friction forces between the flanks of the thread and the nut. These are all internal and they all balance. As movement of the ship comes on these forces hold the nut tight. Grease reduces friction as does wear. The nut thread is approx one inch long and the bolt six inches. The nut in this situation becomes distressed first through use and the flanks wear. The flank angle of the nut is not the same as the bolt and it tends to slacken. Chippie cant see the inside of the nut, it may not be able to screw off. Nobody knows its worn they do not have the special thread gauges required to check a nut flank angle. It tightens and everyone thinks its OK.
The natural movement of worn threads is to slacken and to stop it you need to lock them. Anything held by screw threads can have this natural opening you do not need massive internal or external forces to cause it.

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jimmys
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  #283  
Old 20th July 2008, 12:29
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Jimmys,
Most experienced mariners would readily recognize what your saying and I would venture better described in an anomaly with the stretching of cylinder head studs. However, what exactly is the point you are making??
This all falls under Human Error!!
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  #284  
Old 20th July 2008, 13:14
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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Derbyshire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davies View Post
Jimmys,
Most experienced mariners would readily recognize what your saying and I would venture better described in an anomaly with the stretching of cylinder head studs. However, what exactly is the point you are making??
This all falls under Human Error!!
We stretch studs to stop this natural opening. If there is wear on the threads the stretching does not work. There is no human error involved. It is wear and tear
We fit a new nut and stud. If we don't and we did not check the threads, that is human error.

If the person on deck cannot ascertain the wear and he has no means to check the threads, it is not human error. It may possibly be a design fault and that is not human error either.

I am saying the opening of previously secured hatches in weather can be laid down to simple thread faults, I am not saying that is what caused it here but it could have. It has not been put forward before and it is put forward purely for discussion.

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  #285  
Old 20th July 2008, 13:21
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Jimmy

Good point and well made! Would not a competent marine surveyor pick up on the "wear" during the routine and mandatory survey?

BW

J.
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  #286  
Old 20th July 2008, 13:34
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Jimmy S, A good solid engineering explanation on the interaction between bolt and nut however that is not really the point I am making which is as follows; the "opened fork clamping Bracket" over a period of time and due to "harding down" will have been bent into the downward position and although the fork mouth is turned upover to prevent the nut "walking"out of the clamps through wear and tear when being tightened if there is sufficient pressure and and the clamps are already most proably bent downover to start with the clamps would slide out from under the wing nuts given there was sufficient pressure under the hatch cover.
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  #287  
Old 20th July 2008, 13:40
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Even if these dogs were new and by definition the ship on her maiden voyage the devices were inherently unsafe. Green water on top of these hatches will compress these hatches to such an extent the dogs can an will 'spring off'.

I have commanded no less than eight of these vessel in the period 73/85 and experienced enough prior to the 'Derbyshire' for me to know they (the dogs) were inherently unsafe. Fortunately, the type of companies I worked for allowed me 'greater freedom' than British Flag companies and I always fitted 'external steel strapping' where no exotic internal devices were fitted or design precluded other internal securing arrangement.
Hopefully, we can move on from Youngs Modulus of Elasticity. I left that with Ozzie Steward in 68 when up for Extra's
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  #288  
Old 20th July 2008, 13:42
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmcg View Post
Jimmy

Good point and well made! Would not a competent marine surveyor pick up on the "wear" during the routine and mandatory survey?

BW

J.
It should be picked up in the load line survey which has closure of all openings as a specific. They have all got to be checked and initialed.
The nuts tend to rock and lift, you would slacken off all the winged nuts and rock and lift them. Once there is excessive play the thread is no good. If you test a new nut and bolt you can feel the requisite play. It is not much, screw threads are quite closely toleranced.

regards
jimmys
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  #289  
Old 20th July 2008, 14:07
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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At least one person read the Modulus possibly two
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  #290  
Old 20th July 2008, 14:30
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Chadbourrne,
If this thread is to have any benefit to the membership of the site and not wanting it to go off on a tangent I think it important that contributors 'keep our eye on the topic' and not introduce 'smoke screens'.
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  #291  
Old 20th July 2008, 14:48
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadburn View Post
Jimmy S, A good solid engineering explanation on the interaction between bolt and nut however that is not really the point I am making which is as follows; the "opened fork clamping Bracket" over a period of time and due to "harding down" will have been bent into the downward position and although the fork mouth is turned upover to prevent the nut "walking"out of the clamps through wear and tear when being tightened if there is sufficient pressure and and the clamps are already most proably bent downover to start with the clamps would slide out from under the wing nuts given there was sufficient pressure under the hatch cover.
I thorougly agree with what you are saying, it is all very reasonable and it should be picked up at the loadline survey as well. I have seen this before it is all wear and tear.
If hatches are being pressurised from below or from above to any degree we have another problem there is design limitations. This type of hatch as you know is very limited in its ability to take pressure. It will blow open with quite modest pressures.

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  #292  
Old 20th July 2008, 20:15
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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Bill, I have read your comment and this discussion is about the Derbyshire, fortunatly my experience comes from standing by and then sailing on the series of OBO'S built Just before the Derbyshire at the same yard which you have no knowledge off so I am well aware of the type of hatch jointing material used and I am sorry that your lack of engineering knowledge precludes you from being able to understand that "bounce" is a red herring in my view on this type of hatch.
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  #293  
Old 20th July 2008, 20:39
Bill Davies Bill Davies is offline  
 
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Chadbourn,
You assume a lot. Another 'smoke screen'
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  #294  
Old 21st July 2008, 13:25
chadburn chadburn is offline  
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I have been a Professional Marine Engineer in both the R.N.& the M.N. it,s a matter of knowing and doing my own job without telling other people how to do their's, complaints about smoke I leave up to Deckies who in the event of a real emergency can always open "Envelope Tango" to tell them what they have to do.
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  #295  
Old 21st July 2008, 15:26
Chouan Chouan is offline  
 
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I think you'll find, chadburn, that its nothing to do with any difference between Deck and Engineroom, but more to do with an individual refusing to accept that his pet theory is wrong, or indeed that anything that he might say can be open to criticism or question. My posts are invisible to him now in any case because of this same problem. Please don't condemn a whole department with the same brush because of the intolerance of one member of that department.
The member in question in convinced that the "Derbyshire" was lost through human error, and will not be convinced otherwise.
I also sailed on one of that class when I was with Denholms , as 2/O, and I can't remember any means of securing the foc'sle hatch from the inside either.
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  #296  
Old 21st July 2008, 18:26
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Whey Aye! Yer bugger ma Chadburn!
The ballast system was supposed to be hydraulic. Operated from the cargo control room where there was a mimic diagram and various pneumatic open/shut indicators made by Dobie McInnes (correct spelling?). But only the indicator bit worked. Opening the valves was a long job. Down the duct keel, up into the stool, sit astride the pipe (36" dia) and hand crank it open with a 24" long ratchet. I remember it well. It was 90 double throws from open to shut. You had muscles on your spit by the time you'd done a load/discharge.
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  #297  
Old 21st July 2008, 19:03
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Just spotted another bit that needs a response. The flexing on the Tyne Bridge (and probably the others) was such that the British Ship Research Association (Wallsend) had fitted torsion meters - long rods clamped to the structure at one end and an electronic sensor fitted to the other end. These were fitted all over the vessel and fed up to a magnetic tape recorder in the accommodation. On the bridge, there was a separate set of receivers (20?) from different rods in the duct keel. The readings - just counters really - had to be logged every hour. In heavy weather you could actually hear them clicking round.

As for being able to secure the booby hatch from inside. No it wasn't possible. As has been stated, the vessel didn't have a separate raised forecastle deck from which it would have been possible to secure from underneath then exit aft. Nor, if memory serves, were there any lugs or pad eyes that could have been used to secure some form of strongback. The other thing I remeber was that it was not of your typical booby hatch dimensions - it was a big lid which even Bertie Shrieve (bosun) had difficulty moving sometimes.

I do concede that eight to ten inches movement for a panting beam is a bit much. But I was working on what I remember - that it moved about half the length of my forearm. So in fact I was right - I just forgot to subtract the depth of the beam! My apologies - I stand corrected.

ABs and GP ratings down below? You have my sympathy, or rather would have had at the time. Such a mess was the engine room that we had a double compliment of engineers (except for the Chief) and I can only recall the dayworkers - engineers and ratings - getting one day off during the five months trip. They certainly had a much worse time of it than we deckies had - yet at the same time, I don't recall that much squealing.
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  #298  
Old 21st July 2008, 20:10
jimmys jimmys is offline  
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derbyshire

Hi Fringe,

I note you do not seem to believe the movement of panting beams. It is a function of the length.
I joined a vessel as second engineer, a front line tanker company where one of the boilers, a mono wall boiler. The panting beam or in engine talk, explosion beam was deflected eighteen inches and was in permanent set. A senior person on that vessel told me this is how these boilers were built.
I did not stay on that vessel for long.
There had been a furnace explosion it was evident, a build up in pressure, not a large pressure but enough to bend the beam.

regards
jimmys

Last edited by jimmys; 21st July 2008 at 20:18..
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  #299  
Old 21st July 2008, 20:48
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We never had a day off -arrived Ras Tanura Christmas eve. I remember some crankcase work shortly after mooring stations and "finished with engines". Chrismas day we sailed for Rotterdam. Had a few hours "off" at about 11pm when the fire alarm sounded just off the Canaries. The "leckie" had set his bunk alight triggering the fire alarm. Believe he was dismissed Bibbys upon arrival Europort.

No, we never complained. But for us "traditional" deck crowd it was tough. I might add that there was more "comradiarie" down below than was the case with Deck Officers on that vessel.

Such was the appalling running operations of the engine I would welcome some postings from engineers or others who sailied on these classes.

Please, this is a discussion forum (of which I have enjoyed) not a slagging off match.

BW

J

Last edited by jmcg; 21st July 2008 at 22:00.. Reason: typo
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  #300  
Old 21st July 2008, 20:51
Chouan Chouan is offline  
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fringe View Post
Whey Aye! Yer bugger ma Chadburn!
The ballast system was supposed to be hydraulic. Operated from the cargo control room where there was a mimic diagram and various pneumatic open/shut indicators made by Dobie McInnes (correct spelling?). But only the indicator bit worked. Opening the valves was a long job. Down the duct keel, up into the stool, sit astride the pipe (36" dia) and hand crank it open with a 24" long ratchet. I remember it well. It was 90 double throws from open to shut. You had muscles on your spit by the time you'd done a load/discharge.
My memory is that the main valves in the duct keel were hydraulic, just that the motors weren't strong enough, so they had to be started with a big stilson. Once hand started they moved alright. Obviously, I can only talk about the one ship of the class (Sir John Hunter/Kona) that I sailed on.
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