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Discussion Starter #1
Kia Ora Shipmates...Anyone on this site got any experiences of being on the
spot when a ship founders?
I was on the Durham Trader,.1961 when the Clan Keith broke in half,off Cap
Bon,Tunisia,during the night we picked up the master,mate,purser and
Quartermaster out of the jolly boat,the next morning we picked up the 2nd
eng,he was surfing the monstrous swells on a ladder!!our bosun a german guy
had to go over the side to put a rope around him,the 2nd eng was a Scot in
his 60`s.A Finnish tanker,the Nunhallati rescued the 3rd eng and one lascar,
the lascar unfortunately died,we also picked up 5 dead lascars and commited
them to Davy Jone,s locker the next day,it was a sad occasion as she was
carrying a lot of cadets,none survived.
The Clan Line site states she exploded,the 2nd eng told us she was to close
inshore,and hit rocks,and broke just aft of the bridge.
I believe the master lost his ticket
 

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Discussion Starter #2
hi wakaman reading your story brings memory,s back i was 4th eng on durham trader 1964 where there is a plaque on her in recognition of the crew in answering her call your story was duplicated to me by the then 1st mate who was there same time as you my minds boggling trying to mind his name.if you remember 1st give us amessage or if ido same cheers and all the best (bobby)glasgow
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hiya Bobby,...I,m sitting here racking my brain over the mates name,
I can picture him clearly,as he was then,not overly tall,stocky,mid to
late 30,s,one feature you couldnt miss ,was a growth on the back of his neck.
Did you get the pics I sent the other day,the email went all funny,and I,m
not sure whether it went or not. Bingo!!!!! I,m sure his first name was Alan
 

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An experience you will never forget .
Glad your crew was able to save some lives . Sounds like your Bosun should have been given a medal .
The weather must have been calm on the first day of the rescue if you were able to use the Jolly boat ?
I am interested as to whether there was an explosion or a grounding ??
Im sure our SN experts will give us the whole story .
Derek
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Clan Keith

No...the sea was definitely not calm,we took several sea,s down the
engine room skylights,before they could be closed,we were down to the line
loaded with bagged sugar,the main eng lube oil filters had to be constantly
cleaned,a large nut from a spare piston fell from the top of the eng room to
the bottom,missing the 2nd eng by inches,the port side crew alleyway was
flooded,and some of the foredeck ventilators went walkabout,a tad rough
but definitely not calm!!!!
The jolly boat belonged to the Clan Keith,apparently the fore part of the
doomed vessel stayed afloat long enough for the boat to be launched.
If there was a misunderstanding,I claim responsibility
 

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Hi I was going to start a thread on this subject as I too was there on the Naess Endeavour, just a first trip deck boy. We were told that she blew up ie boiler. and only 4 survived one being the skipper. I don't know! it was one of the most heaverly mined areas from the 2WW and as the weather was so bad I always felt that she ran into a mine that had been released from the mud on the bottom of the med. Our skipper had us sailing up and down the oil slicks I suppose following the drift of the wind and tide. All hands turned out to act as lookouts, but the seas were very heavy. We were fully laden with oil and were taking waves on board all the time. The grey funnel chaps turned up about midday and said we could all go home. The Naess Endeavour's log book shows that all life boats were accounted for, but it doesn't tell the full story.
 

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L.S.

Brief description of the explosion of the DOXFORD Engine by DUTCH SHIPPING INSPECTION (D.S.I.)on the 18 th April 1960

Mv Pendrecht (1953-1965)

Build 1953
Yard Wilton Fijenoord, Schiedam
Type Tanker
Yard Nr 735
IMO nummer
Tonnage 19995 Dwt.
Speed 14.5 mijl/uur
Main Engine 6 cil. Doxford “Opposed Piston Engine”, 7350 PK



The ship was on a ballast voyage from Bremen to Napels.
The explosion occurred in the Strait of Gibraltar.
On the 18th April at 00.10 hrs there were some heavy bangs from the engine room and the engine was stopped.
The 3rd engineer phoned to the bridge and said I have to stop the engine for the same reason as on the 5th April namely for a working cylinderinder safety valve, which was than replaced.
The had never any serious trouble with the engine before

At 00.35 hrs a heavy explosion took place and the whole ship was trembling heavily and almost on the same time there was a “black-out”.
The 2nd and the 3rd mate had seen heavy black smoke from the funnel.
According the 2n engineer which was awaked by the explosion and saw that the engine room was on fire.
He closed all the quick closing fuel valves , gave one of the fifth engineers the order to start the emergency fire pump
He himself started the emergency generator.

The crew extinguished the fire
A third and fifth engineer came out of the engine room and were covered with burns.

Un expert from the D.S.I. concluded that;
1) The pistons from cylinder 6 where in the outer dead centre
2) The pistons from cylinder. 6 where dry, no traces of lubricating oil.
3) The starboard camshaft was broken after the cams from cylinder. 6 in the ahead position.
4) From the port camshaft the end bearing was broken.
5) Most of the crankcase doors were blown off.
6) The end cover from the exhaustgas receiver was blown off.
7) The upper cover from the chain box was blown off.
8) The cover from the Collar block was puffed up.
9) The covers from the scavenging air receiver were normal.
10) The bottom covers from the scavenging air pumps were blown off.
11) The discharge pipes from these pumps were damaged.
12) One of the fuel oil manometer pointed 430 kg/cm2
13) The manometer frame and handles were damaged.
14) Fuel oil was found on top of piston cylinder 1
15) All fuel valve houses and there needles were in good condition.
16) All the bearings were in good condition, so a hot bearing was out of the question.

According the expert the accident occurred because the starboard camshaft was broken on the moment that crank 6 was 8 degrees before the inner dead centre and injected fuel oil
In the ahead position the fire sequence is 1-4-2-6-3-5.
The port fuel valve from cylinder 6 ended the fuel injection on the moment that crank 6 was 22 degrees after the inner dead centre.

In the supposition that the camshaft was broken, the starboard fuel valve injected constant fuel also during the combustion, expansion and exhaust of cylinder 6

The high pressure was able to continue in the exhaust receiver and scavenging air pipe and damaging these parts and also further through the forward scavenging air pump to the crankcase.

The high pressure combined with the high temperature and the presence of air in the scavenging air receiver gave one or more explosions in the crankcase.

Probably also the low burning point (flame point) of the fuel caused the spontaneous explosion .

Died during this accident;
Chief Engineer
3rd engineer
4th engineer (in the hospital at Gibraltar)
and two 5the engineers

Heavily wounded:
3rd Engineer and 2 greasers.


So far thisterrible accident

A.Verheijden
Retired Chief Engineer "Phs Van Ommeren" Rotterdam
 

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Kia Ora Shipmates...Anyone on this site got any experiences of being on the
spot when a ship founders?
I was on the Durham Trader,.1961 when the Clan Keith broke in half,off Cap
Bon,Tunisia,during the night we picked up the master,mate,purser and
Quartermaster out of the jolly boat,the next morning we picked up the 2nd
eng,he was surfing the monstrous swells on a ladder!!our bosun a german guy
had to go over the side to put a rope around him,the 2nd eng was a Scot in
his 60`s.A Finnish tanker,the Nunhallati rescued the 3rd eng and one lascar,
the lascar unfortunately died,we also picked up 5 dead lascars and commited
them to Davy Jone,s locker the next day,it was a sad occasion as she was
carrying a lot of cadets,none survived.
The Clan Line site states she exploded,the 2nd eng told us she was to close
inshore,and hit rocks,and broke just aft of the bridge.
I believe the master lost his ticket
Hi, I was R/O aboard the Ellerman Wilson "Vasco" and picked up the distress signal from the Clan Keith but we were not close enough to be of any assistance.As I remember the weather was pretty foul at the time.Coincidentally, I was aboard the Clan Keith in Chittagong about 12 months previously and enjoyed a few cans and laughs.
 

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I was on the 'OIL Endeavour', en route to Messina in Feb of '81 and we received a mayday on 2182khz and VHF Ch. 16. A Greek bulker had collided with 'something' off the Portugese coast. We were on scene in less than half an hour, taking On Scene Commander status. Boat swung out, catering staff ready with blankets, food and first aid kit. All deck crowd put on lookout.

I was also part of the RIB crew with Neil Beattie, the Leading Hand aboard, and we spent ages looking over the (flat calm) sea for any signs of life. Nothing. Just diesel, shattered doors, a life belt, dunnage - and then a raft popped up upside down. We went to it but it was empty. Spent all day searching the area while the Greek stood by, her bow crumpled and stove in, until she was escorted in by a tug.

We never found anyone. Apparently it was a small coaster - Dutch, I think - that had been run down. One survivor picked up by another ship on scene - an engineer taking a smoke-O aft when the collision happened.

We did later get a letter from Lloyd's thanking us for our assistance.

Pretty chilling when we wre told the Greek bulker had literally 'rolled over' the small coaster and she'd gone down in seconds........

Jonty
 

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An experience you will never forget .
Glad your crew was able to save some lives . Sounds like your Bosun should have been given a medal .
The weather must have been calm on the first day of the rescue if you were able to use the Jolly boat ?
I am interested as to whether there was an explosion or a grounding ??
Im sure our SN experts will give us the whole story .
Derek
I recall my Mum telling me that when my Late Dad heard about the Clan Keith
( He was on the Ayrshire At the time), It hit him quite bad as he knew most of the Engine Room Crew, He never spoke about it when telling me about his days with Clan Line.
 

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An interesting story ddraigmor.

What is a RIB crew, please?

Cheers Frank
Ahoy Frank an RIB is a Rigid Inflatable Boat. one with a solid metal? hull and inflatable tubes around the upper hull. No doubt there are proper terms for the tubes and hull, I don't know them. Used as rescue boats on offshore oil rigs and Anchor Handling Supply Tugs, and other Off shore vessels. May even have them as tenders on any vessels.
 

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RIB = Rigid Inflatable Boat. Glass fibre hull, rubber skirt - the sponsons (or hull). On the OIL Endeavour, it was a 22' turbo diesel main engine waterjet. Usually three crew, but on that occasion, two of us. She could touch around 27-30 knots flat out but was a bit of a handful going astern (as most waterjets are)

She was nicknamed 'Tetley' as she was full of odd holes where she'd been abused over the years but was a very fast, very stable boat that did all the 'maid of all work' jobs required of a diving support vessel.

Jonty
 

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Hi guys sorry to bring this thread up again but I would like if poss a photo of the Clan Keith as it was part of my sea time and I am putting all my memories together for the family.

Regards Ron
 

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I was on the 'OIL Endeavour', en route to Messina in Feb of '81 and we received a mayday on 2182khz and VHF Ch. 16. A Greek bulker had collided with 'something' off the Portugese coast. We were on scene in less than half an hour, taking On Scene Commander status. Boat swung out, catering staff ready with blankets, food and first aid kit. All deck crowd put on lookout.

I was also part of the RIB crew with Neil Beattie, the Leading Hand aboard, and we spent ages looking over the (flat calm) sea for any signs of life. Nothing. Just diesel, shattered doors, a life belt, dunnage - and then a raft popped up upside down. We went to it but it was empty. Spent all day searching the area while the Greek stood by, her bow crumpled and stove in, until she was escorted in by a tug.

We never found anyone. Apparently it was a small coaster - Dutch, I think - that had been run down. One survivor picked up by another ship on scene - an engineer taking a smoke-O aft when the collision happened.

We did later get a letter from Lloyd's thanking us for our assistance.

Pretty chilling when we wre told the Greek bulker had literally 'rolled over' the small coaster and she'd gone down in seconds........

Jonty
Jonty
You mentioned the name Neil Beattie.
I was on the dive support rig 'Uncle John' in the Gulf of Mexico. We had a Scottish bosun of that name who served with the RNLI for some time. His father worked for them full time, I believe he was involved in commissioning and delivering new lifeboats. I think they came from Arbroath. Could it be the same guy?
Ray Jordan
 

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Early 50's, "Bloemfontein Castle" was close to Dutch "Klipfontein" when she had her bottom ripped out at full speed when she struck an uncharted rock in the Madagascar Channel.
I wasn't on the 'Bloem' at the time, but joined her a couple of trips later and had first hand accounts from some of the deck crowd that were involved in the rescue in perfect weather.
A long time ago now, but I remember the guys telling me that they wanted to take all the Klipfontein's lifeboats, round them up, and take them into East London for salvage, but the Bloem's old man wouldn't let them. So they left them bobbing around in the water and sailed away.
Next day, they told me, in came the local fishermen with them in tow.
No lives were lost in that one, but the Klipfontein did sink.
I did read somewhere that HMS "Dalrymple" an R.N ocean survey ship charted the rock which up to then was uncharted. All those thousands of ships that used those waters and it took all that time for Klipfontein to find it.(Unless it came up by an undersea earthquake, which I suspect was the reason for loss of "Waratah" in those waters. Quite possible don't you think lads?)
I was shown a Durban newspaper with a photo taken from the 'Bloem' of a lifeboat being launched and there was one of the AB's caught combing his hair "because of the fair maidens he would be rescuing."
 

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Oldbosun

I love the bit about the crew member doing his hair never miss an opportunity he must have been a boy scout as they say "Be Prepared" LoL

Ron
 

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I just looked up 'Klipfontein' on WIKIPEDIA and it says in there that Klipfontein
struck a sunken U Boat before she sank.
I find that hard to believe. That water would have to be very shallow for that to happen wouldn't it? Madagascar Channel is not that shallow is it?
I think I'll stick with what I know about an uncharted rock.

BTW. There's two great photos of Klipfontein on that WIKIPEDIA page. One of her in full glory and the other a close up of her actually sinking. Photo probably taken from a lifeboat .
 
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