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I was 2/O on the British Trident when the Salem "sank" in front of us near the west african coast. Later turned out to be possibly the biggest maritime fraud in history up to that date.
Wish I had thought to try to get some pictures but we were rather more involved in getting the crew and lifeboats aboard at the time. Not often you see a 200,000 tonne plus vessel sink.
Nobody was hurt and we dropped the crew in Dakar where I believe a number of them including the Master seemed to vanish.
 

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M.v.pendrecht (527383)

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

Sorry to hear of this tragedy.It seems that bad luck followed the PENDRECHT right to the end.Sold 1965 to Marcosta Cia Naviera,Monrovia renamed SPYROS LEMOS .This vessel then broke in two parts twice .First time was on 21.1.65 in the River Plate, after which she was rejoined ; and secondly on 1.11.68 , when she was bound from Bajo Grande for Killingholme with crude oil.She broke in two 43.17N/12.15W with the loss of 5 crew.The aft part sank in tow 42.24N/9.32W 8.11.68, forepart scuttled.
 

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Not quite a disaster ...

But very sad and could have had tragic consequences.

The skipper of a coaster I was serving on, The Craigallian (Gardners of Glasgow) suffered a heart attack and died on the bridge just as we were entering the Straits of Gibraltar back in 1982 -ish. It was only that the 1st officer had gone to the bridge with a drink for him that we realised.

Poor fella was offloaded at Gib' and we carried on a with a replacement skipper to Valencia
 

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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
I remember this incident,I was on HMS Blake enroute to Malta.The weather was absolutely terrible and the ship got quite damaged as it had to steam slowly whilst keeping a lookout for any sign of life from the SS Clan Keith.Trying to stop a large cruiser like the Blake was very difficult in that weather,but I remember that a few bodies were recovered and given ships burial services by the ships crew.
 

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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
VERY belatedly have just read this horror. I sailed on a number of LB Doxfords when a fuel valve stuck open and the resultant overpressure usually damaged the relief but nothing like this horrendous story! Surely the effect in the affected cylinder should have been the same?! Then I remembered on a 75LB6, as happened on the Pendrecht , the back camshaft broke but it must have been pure chance that it stopped in a position where no fuel valves were lifting. I can remember the fuel pressure shooting up, the engine slowing down and then the greasers complaining for the next 3 days as they had to operate the lubricators manually 'till we got to Singapore (n)
 
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