British Renown Tank Gassing fatalities - Ships Nostalgia
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British Renown Tank Gassing fatalities

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  #1  
Old 3rd June 2014, 01:02
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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British Renown Tank Gassing fatalities

British Renown, 3 Fatalities in Tank gassing incident (1975?)

I have just noticed a recent thread started on 2 May 2014 that “commemorates” the loss of the British Trent on June 23rd 1993. Much to my chagrin I missed this date, I usually put up a thread prior to the anniversary of loss of life.

It reminded me of the loss of three personnel in a tank gassing on the British Renown which was originally mentioned as an aside in a thread started on 24th January 2008 titled, “What happened in 1986”.

This thread was essentially about the personnel redundancies which happened that year ,however on posting #46 ( August 2012) a mention was made of Andy Parsons an ex BP Navigating Apprentice losing his life in a tank gassing accident . From then on the thread became a little confused as nobody could remember the date of the incident, but the ship was the British Renown.

I think it time that the accident should be reported (in its own thread) with what up to date information I have been able to glean from copies of Ships Movements, however I still do not know for certain who all the three fatalities were, is it certain there were three?

It is known Andy Parsons (AB Parsons ex BP Navigating Apprentice) Third officer, was one victim. By chance last week I was told Robert Blackburn (ex 1961 Navigating Apprentice) Chief Officer was also a victim. I do not know who was the third victim.

From Ships Movents Andy Parsons and Robert Blackburn joined the British Renown less than one month before January 22nd 1975, by April 15th 1975 neither of their names are listed on the Renown. There are no Deck Cadets listed as sailing on the Renown February 1975 until April 1975. B Petch was the only Deck Cadet on her in January 1975, he appears on my NA/NC database and was alive in 1979.

It is highly unlikely Parsons and Blackburn would ever have sailed the Renown together again so I have to presume the incident occurred late March 1975.

But that does not answer who was the third party! During March 1975 the Master was M Boyd and the Second Officer RA Dickson (1965 Navigating Apprentice.) In April 1975 issue The Master was the same but CO, 2M & 3M are all new.

The Second officer could not have been involved, somebody had to be on watch. If there was a third party could it have been one of the Deck GP1 personnel?

Ships Movements do contain errors at times, but this is the best I can do at present.

Any comments?

Graham
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  #2  
Old 3rd June 2014, 03:00
holystone holystone is offline  
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I have a photo of a Bob Blackburn under the heading British Patrol Pool. He is in the pool with 2 other Nav Apps, sailed with him in 61/62. I wonder if its the same guy
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Old 3rd June 2014, 22:53
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I know there were definitely 3 Graham. Just checked The British Tankers by Norman L Middlemiss and although it gives snippets of a lot of events the Renown incident isn't mentioned.
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Old 4th June 2014, 02:53
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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Kev,

Somehow my memory tells me you mentioned a relative helping trying to resucitate personnel, On the Renown? WL Jones?
Darned if I can find that thread now!

I have been doing some digging and think I have confirmation it was March 1975, awaiting a reply that might give me the name of the third victim.

Graham
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Old 4th June 2014, 08:27
Monkey Hanger Monkey Hanger is offline  
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I remember going down to London for our first year cadetship induction over the Easter holidays from college.Normally Gabby King gave the opening address but he flew out to join the Renown to give moral support on board.Easter Sunday fell on 30th March that year but I can't remember if we went down before or after Easter.
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Old 4th June 2014, 09:51
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Andy Parsons was an Induction Cadet back in 1970 and Phase 1 Cadet with me at Plymouth Nautical College.
Us BP lads stuck together back then in Plymouth as we were heavily outnumbered by other company Cadets.

A close friend of Andy's back in those days was another BP cadet by the name of John Murray - maybe someone knows his whereabouts as he would have more details I am sure.
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Old 4th June 2014, 17:21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Wallace View Post
Kev,

Somehow my memory tells me you mentioned a relative helping trying to resucitate personnel, On the Renown? WL Jones?
Darned if I can find that thread now!

I have been doing some digging and think I have confirmation it was March 1975, awaiting a reply that might give me the name of the third victim.

Graham
My Uncle Tony Leslie was cat off. He also attended the inquest. He only spoke once about the Renown incident. I know it affected him deeply that all three died. He prided himself on his first aid knowledge and skills and he worked to the point of exhaustion on the three men. At the inquest as a matter of record he was asked the question, 'in your opinion Mr Leslie, did you work long enough on each of the victims'. It was enough to make him doubt. However afterwards the coroner took him to one side and said he had to ask the question for the record. There was no doubt all three were well beyond help by the time they got them out.
I'm raking through the memory bank and you might be right Graham with the AB theory.
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Old 4th June 2014, 21:58
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Wasn't the Y-piece on the trolley CABA set blamed for this incident - the part which allowed 2 x BA sets to run off one supply hose/bottle?

I seem to remember all Y-pieces having to be removed from all CABA sets after this incident.

I could well be mistaken though as it was a long time ago.
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Old 4th June 2014, 22:31
mikeharrison mikeharrison is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derekhore View Post
Wasn't the Y-piece on the trolley CABA set blamed for this incident - the part which allowed 2 x BA sets to run off one supply hose/bottle?

I seem to remember all Y-pieces having to be removed from all CABA sets after this incident.

I could well be mistaken though as it was a long time ago.
Hi Derek,
I am sure that you are right about the Y-Piece on the trolley CABA. I can remember the report and also taking very careful note of what had gone wrong.

I believe also that there were other factors, such as the huge size of the tanks and the sheer physical effort (and air needed) to negotiate them in BA gear, plus sealing round the face mask, which have also been mentioned in another thread.
Regards, Mike
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Old 4th June 2014, 22:40
DAVELECKIE DAVELECKIE is offline
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My memory of the incident is that it was two cadets working down in the tank on the caba line system and one of them was quite a large individual and also had a beard. They were both overcome and the mate entered the tank, took off his ba and put it on one of the cadets and then attempted to get from the tank bottom to the top. He unfortunately was overcome and fell from the ladder near the top of the tank.
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Old 5th June 2014, 07:01
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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British Renown March1975.

At present I do not know anyone who sailed on the Renown at the time of the gassing incident, all the following is pure speculation based essentially on two consecutive Fleet News Personnel movements, March 12th 1975 and April 15th 1975.

I personally have a feeling it happened 30th March, I have seen a note elsewhere to that effect.

According to FN 12th March the Renown was sailing from Kharg Island 5th February for IOG. FN April 15th slightly confuses the issue saying sailing was actually from Bandar Mahshar, BUT shows 'sailed' from IOG 23 March 1975.

The crew listed in FN 15th March are not necessarily the crew who sailed from IOG on 23rd March and listed 12thApril. However Engineroom staff CE (Commodore CE!), 2E, 3E and JE are the same ,4E and one JE possible left on arrival IOG. Engineroom staff had no direct involvement, so really has no relevance.

There were no Deck Cadets aboard February and none shown March 12th, but that does not mean none joined and left with the ship sailing from IOG 23 March.

‘KevJacko’ mentioned his Uncle being aboard during the incident (and listed FN April 15th), he must have therefore joined at IOG, say 21st March.

Deck Offices, CO Blackburn, 2M Dickson and 3M Parsons were aboard arriving IOG. The CO and 3M were undoubted victims and sailed on her 23rd March. It is not known whether 2M Dickson sailed with her March 23rd or he was replaced with 2M indicated in FN 15th April. The point here is when/where did the replacement officers board after the incident.

FN 15th April is 21 days after leaving IOG, bound for Bandar Mahshar. (FN 19th May has her Mina LEFO ,leaving Mina on May 3rd. So did she traverse through the Suez Canal?).

FN April 15th (still indicated as on passage to Bandar Mahshar from IOG) has ALL Deck Officers except Master as new personnel,
including 2 Deck Apprentices. This is where it gets confusing, CO and 3 M undoubtedly perished and were replaced, however 2M and two Deck Cadets could have been aboard at leaving IOG and even the chance a third one joined them. But with an incident of such severity surely she came to a Port asap (many on the way to Suez, if she had passed Gib.), two Deck Officers replacements were needed to maintain watches, but Deck Cadets!

She was a very large tanker how long would it be before tank cleaning would allow #4 tank entry to be attempted with breathing apparatus? If in the Mediterranean ports would be plentiful prior to Suez?

This is a never ending circle of speculation, however it is possible a Deck Cadet (or even three) joined her at IOG, but he would not be listed in FN April as he became a victim before that issue. Or the two deck cadets mentioned FN May 15th joined her at same time as replacements for CO and 3M. This alternative beggars belief that new Deck Cadets would be placed aboard a ship that had suffered such a catastrophe.

But then I do personally know two Engineering Apprentices were ‘transferred’ to the Vision almost immediately after (8 days) the death of Colin Waterhouse a 1956 EA in a pumproom accident July 22 1959.

One may ask why am I going into this detail...Because it happened! I spend a huge amount of time researching BP seagoing personnel, collecting data and information. It is part of the Company’s history and unfortunately should be documented.

.??.......Vision, Crown , Renown, Trent.........??.

Graham
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Old 5th June 2014, 17:10
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Hi Graham. Thread your looking for Is on page 2 of BP forums near the bottom.
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Old 6th June 2014, 15:02
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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Originally Posted by kevjacko View Post
Hi Graham. Thread your looking for Is on page 2 of BP forums near the bottom.
Thanks Kev, I must be getting senile ! My only excuse is two years ago I did not have Fleet News /personnel Movements for 1975, now I do so it was easier to follow the Renown's personnel, jan 1975 onwards.

Graham
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Old 7th June 2014, 12:49
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Hi Graham
I was sailing with Shell at the time, it was a safety subject posted onboard. I think the 3rd person was the pumpman.

Regards Mike Ellard ex British Tankers, ex Shell Mex BP ex Shell ex MSC.
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Old 7th June 2014, 18:12
gadgee gadgee is offline   SN Supporter
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Does anyone know whether the C/O mentioned as R Blackburn was from Tyneside? I sailed with that Bob Blackburn on the Kiwi in 1967 and again in 1969. He was 2/O then. I suspect it is the same person. I knew nothing about this incident having left BP in 1971. Great shame because he was a good bloke.
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Last edited by gadgee; 7th June 2014 at 18:16..
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Old 7th June 2014, 20:02
holystone holystone is offline  
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I think it is the same Bob Blackburn. I sailed with him as Nav App on the Patrol in 61. I remember him as a great shipmate and always cheerful with a big smile.

I have a picture here..

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/galler...l-pool/cat/504
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Old 7th June 2014, 20:37
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Just read a piece about the "British Renown". It was from Adrian Howard a first trip junior engineer in 1975. He states the incident happened not long before he joined the vessel. He says there were two fatalities when two crew members entered a tank. One of them was a deck cadet.
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Old 7th June 2014, 23:33
gadgee gadgee is offline   SN Supporter
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Quote:
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Does anyone know whether the C/O mentioned as R Blackburn was from Tyneside? I sailed with that Bob Blackburn on the Kiwi in 1967 and again in 1969. He was 2/O then. I suspect it is the same person. I knew nothing about this incident having left BP in 1971. Great shame because he was a good bloke.
To be more precise I am fairly sure he was from South Shields.
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Old 8th June 2014, 02:27
Graham Wallace Graham Wallace is offline  
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Does anyone know whether the C/O mentioned as R Blackburn was from Tyneside? I sailed with that Bob Blackburn on the Kiwi in 1967 and again in 1969. He was 2/O then. I suspect it is the same person. I knew nothing about this incident having left BP in 1971. Great shame because he was a good bloke.
John Perry told me his name , he is from that area so I am presuming it is the same person. I know of no other R Blackburns, he was Trent 3M 10/65, CO on Trader in 1971, I think a 1960/61 NA.

Graham
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Old 8th June 2014, 20:30
gadgee gadgee is offline   SN Supporter
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John Perry - that's a name I haven't come across for a long while - he relieved Bob Blackburn on the Kiwi about April 1969 when I was U3/O there.
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Old 26th June 2014, 03:31
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Hi Graham,
Re the Renown, Maurice Boyd was the O/M and Bob Blackburn was the C/O.
Maurice was the C/O on the Splendour when I was first trip App in 1960. I joined the Trader at RAK 21.11.71 and Bob was the mate then. I had been ashore for 12 months and joined with a Masters ticket. Bob was a great help to me to get back up to speed and a hell of a nice guy. I was very saddened at the time hear of his loss and for the sadness that Maurice must have felt. Another great bloke.
I always understood that it was D/C the 3/0 down the tank and Bob went down down with the pump room escape set and put it on the cadet. He was overcome near the top of the tank when he tried to get out. One of the two had beard and was taking more air. Afterwards all the Y pieces were disposed of. I think our went over the side.
Tony White
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Old 26th June 2014, 21:16
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One of the two had beard and was taking more air. Afterwards all the Y pieces were disposed of. I think our went over the side.
Tony White

Andy Parsons had a beard the last time I saw him at Plymouth College.
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