I remember it well. I was a cadet at the time on a ship nearby. My fiance at the time thought it was our ship had gone down when she heard the news. I was on watch when we found out and our Somali lookout had swapped ships with a friend so he wasn't on the Derbyshire. He was naturally devastated and relieved at the same time. Very very sad. Was it eventually put down to a construction fault.. Steve
Thats what they said,due to water entering the holds through the open 12 inch vents,every time a wave came over the bow most of it went down the vent. They did change the design feature due to that problem.
Was she called the "........... Bridge" before and had already suffered a crack between hull and accomodation block. The way I remember it she suddenly broke her back. Help me with the name. Memory isnt what it used to be. Cheers Steve.
The latest version of the loss was down to a defective design of the focsle hatch.Apparently it was customary to secure the hatch with extra lashings as it was known to spring open in any weather. Unfortunately the lost crew were not aware of this defect and this started a chain reaction of events once water started entering the focsle.The discontinuation of the longitudinals was considered not a cause of the loss I believe. I think all the sister ships cracked here and one was lost through it.
Sir Alexander Glen was one of this design & I remember a friend telling me that everytime they were in port welders were on board working around the hatch comings. Welders were even flown out of Cape Town as some of the cracks were appearing after being in foul weather.
The ore/bulk/oil motor vessel Kowloon Bridge, was built in 1973 as a sister ship to the ill-fated Derbyshire which disappeared off the coast of Japan in September, 1980. Kowloon Bridge also became a total loss in November 1986 when she was wrecked off Baltimore on the southern coast of Ireland.
".......... Then on 18th November 1986 the Kowloon Bridge, one of the Derbyshire's sister ships, developed severe deck cracking at Frame 65 whilst crossing the North Atlantic in severe weather. In view of the connection with the Derbyshire the Department of Transport's inspectors boarded the Kowloon Bridge on 20th November in Bantry Bay, Eire where she lay at anchor.
But on 22nd November she broke away from her anchor and, to be safer, put to sea again. She then lost her rudder and on 24th November went aground on Stag Rock off the south coast of Ireland. On 25th November, after grounding, she broke her back; the break occurred near Frame 65. It was learnt that cracks in the Frame 65 area of the Kowloon Bridge had been repaired in April 1982 and that massive girders had been welded over the deck there to prevent further cracking. ........."
Thanks for the addition information Ray, I remembered that the ship that went aground in Southern Ireland had a name that had something to do with Hong Kong. I can remember seeing the newsreels about the incedent. My brother was sailing on the "Kowloon Bay" around that time.
I was on the Furness Bridge at the time, one of six ships built by Swan Hunter(Haverton Hill) From what I remember the longitudal beams were incomplete. Our main deck cracked for'd of the accom. block. We had a team of Japanese welders on board at sea for weeks. We had to set tables up in the alleyways to feed everyone. Chief Engs. dreaded serving on her, things kept dropping off the engines.