Yes I think I remember about the 3 deaths on Garmula. Weren't they in the duct keel at the time.I didn't know that 3 people were killed in the void space on the Busiris. You could be thinking of the Garmula in Santos. I left her in the Gulf as she was loading for there. The 3 killed were the Captain, Mate and relief Mate. I am afraid that my memory isn't what it was and I cannot remember their names. I should remember the Captain's name as he was the mate when I joined the Ottawa in drydock in Hebburn for my first trip in 1968. His wife was on board at the time he was killed and I visited her afterwards when I was on study leave in South Shields. It was strange that it should happen to him as he was one of the most safety minded Old Men I sailed with. I know that Chris Hatcher flew out to the Garmula in Santos afterwards as I was stand by Lecky in Moss for the Garbeta and he was the stand by mate.
The only one incident at that time that I recall was on the Garmula, as described. I was a first trip cadet on the Ardshiel at the time, and company sent a circular to all ships about the incident. Everyone on board was shocked.The deaths in Brazil is really stretching my grey cells. There may well have been a tragedy on Garmula but I am almost certain there were two, or perhaps three, people killed on Gambada in 1974. I left Gambada as R/O in Ras Tanura during February 1974 and she was loading for Brazil. I can well remember my wife coming to me in great distress a couple of weeks later showing me an article in the Telegraph which said that the C/O and 2/O on Gambada had been killed in Brazil. This was particularly upsetting as the C/O was a great guy but infuriatingly I cannot remember his name. He came from Skipton and his wife was expecting their second child at the time and I am fairly sure he had relieved Chris Hatcher in Japan about a month previously. I cannot recall the 2/O either. It seems rather unlikely that P&O gas carriers would have two separate fatalities on the Brazilian coast and I wonder if the names have got mixed up.
The incident on Garmula happened, as far as I can work out, about a month after I paid off her in Kuwait I think, but it could have been Ras Tanura, I really must dig out my old discharge books.
I joined her in the Gulf as extra Lecky, she was my first gas tanker, in the April of 1974 and we went to Houston. We then came back to the Gulf and swung around the anchor for about 6/7 weeks, before getting orders for Brazil. As I already had done four months on board, and my son had been born while I was on leave before joining her, the Chief, Hilton Foreman, who had relieved Brian Lonsdale if my memory is correct, arranged for me to be relieved as the return trip to Santos was reckoned to be another 6/8 weeks. I am almost certain that I left her towards the end of August so the accident would have occurred around the end of September or beginning of October.
The three killed were the Captain, was his surname Watson?, the mate and relief mate, who was due to take over as mate on returning to the Gulf. I think you are right about the mate coming from somewhere around Skipton, I cannot remember his name, but I do remember that he was a really nice guy. There was a fourth person with them who raised the alarm.
I heard afterwards that they were inspecting the void spaces either side of the duct keel. After removing the inspection covers it is thought that, although they carried out a gas test, for some reason they did not do an oxygen test and died from asphyxiation. As I said in my earlier post, I used to use Chris P but didn't post for a long time and couldn't remember what name I had used before, so restarted as Superlecky, of all the Old Men I sailed with he was one of the most safety conscious and why he didn't do an oxygen test is a mystery.