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I kept in touch with Tony for quite some time after I left McD's he married an English lady who lived in Belgium, brought a very large house and became very involved with the Seamans Mission in Antwerp, sadly McD's did not do him any favours and he died quite a broken man, as for Bill and Gill, have never had any feed back with regard those guys, as for Lillo-Fort, Ahmans bar and the Patent Place still have fond memories.
I ran into Lil Charlie long ago in the Gulf of Mexico. I saw Spiro some years back on the World News. He had a stroke and was brain dead but being kept alive with machines.
 

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Sad news with regards Spiro, I shared a room with him for a while, he was a very funny guy, Tom Landry I caught up with in New Orleans when working in the GOM on JB3 but the rest of the Engineering crew have heard nothing from in many years probaly won't now as its retirement for me June 2014, after 9 years on ships and 40 years Offshore enough is enough.
 

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I know what you mean. Once I left the offshore business I havent seen one person from the old days. I'm glad that I have some photos and my memory is still pretty good. I moved to Missouri 23 years ago so no chance at all that I'll be running into anyone now.
Yeah, Tom Landry was another great guy. Lester Benoit, Russell Hill, Mike Tate, the diver Supt. named Pete. So many characters!
 

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True nostalgia my friend, lester Benoit as far as I know married a really young Belgium girl and took her to the States, as per the last news of him he is still married and running a used car lot, would you ever buy a used car from that man????, sadly as we get older all we are left with is the memories from days gone by and hearing that the guys we once worked with have passed on.
 

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WOW, that is a surprise about Lester. He was married to a cajun woman when I met him and his family was running a catering business in SW La. I'd sure like to talk to him again. Did you know Raymond Twilbeck? He was on JB4 for a while. I just googled Lester's name and came up with a Lester Benoit living in Thibodaux that is a real estate agent. Wonder if that's him.
 

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From what I remember of Lester he was areal wheeler dealer, he could be doing anything, the catering scene does ring a bell I must admit, have just found another site with one of the Engineers from the 4 looking for info, Graham Wallace, dont know if you remember him or not, Billy Smathers I believe is still with McD's in dubai with Ron Gowens one of the old ITS hands
 

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Yeah, I remember Graham. I also remember Mike. Cant recall his last name but he was, I think, just under Gill. Also Derek. Kinda cocky. You are right about lester. He has a lot of patience and is pretty sharp. Last night I emailed a Lester Benoit that works for a real estate co. There was a photo that sure looked a lot like him, so I hope he responds.
 

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I managed to get hold of Graham Wallace and have been corresponding with him, he got out of the offshore game in 85 and opened up a business with his wife importing, making and selling Terracotta pots, by all accounts he has been at it all these years and has done very well for himself, Doc Diesel is still in Antwerp living with his woman, knowing the Doc he probably got lost leaving Lillo and decided to stay in Belgium. I think the guy mike that you are refering to got tied up with several women in Antwerp on the rebound after his wife kicked him out, I did hear tha a long lost Daughter turned up from out of the blue and that was the thick end of the wedge, all of his women went ape and he replaced them all or something like that, do you remember Midgly Electrician on the 27, he did not go home for a couple of trips as he was shacked up some woman in Antwerp and his wife came on board the 27 looking for him, couldnt find him and ended up getting laid by all of the Mechs and Elects on board, Midgly turned up on the Monday morning ready for work and found his wife well and truly shagged as they say, there was hell on over that little episode. I will see what other info I can get hold of and get back to you
 

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Oh, of course I remember Doc Diesel! Since doing the payroll as well as many other things, as I jog my memory I remember the names. Tell him hi for me. For the life of me I cant remember Mik;s last name. I just remember that he was I believe a 1st engineer. Usually quiet. If that was him in all that trouble, boy, those chickens sure came home to roost!
No, I didnt know the 27's electrician. I briefly knew some on the 23, but then spent the rest of the time on the JB3. I replaced Ricky Perez and I think he went on one of the Lay Barges. Since I've to Missouri I have less than no chance of running into anyone. I emai8led a Lester Benoit the other night hoping to get a reply, but so far, nothing. I may google others names and see if I can do any good.
Thanks for all your correspondence. Brings back great memories.

Jim Tullier
 

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Hi

I worked on LB27 from 74 to 78 and had 5 months on DB15 I've quite a few pictures that I took over that period in the loft at home, if you want some I'll dig them out and scan them to you.
Regards
 

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antwerp base

hi evrybody,

in antwerp i was the waterclerck (ship's agent) for mc dermott inc,i have been on board nearly all barges and tugs/suply vessels of that tim 70/75 i do have good memory's of you all, pensioned now. after mc dermott i went back to sea and sailed for ferry's in the med sea.
always happy to meet somebody from the mc dermott era
regards
capt frank verhoeven
 

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hi evrybody,

in antwerp i was the waterclerck (ship's agent) for mc dermott inc,i have been on board nearly all barges and tugs/suply vessels of that tim 70/75 i do have good memory's of you all, pensioned now. after mc dermott i went back to sea and sailed for ferry's in the med sea.
always happy to meet somebody from the mc dermott era
regards
capt frank verhoeven
 

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I worked on the heather a platform installation,cant remember the McDermott's barge(22 perhaps) Spanish welder was killed welding in the bearcage when a wire holding the 48 inch pipe snapped. The barge got caught in a big swell which damaged the crane. We were towed to Rotterdam fortunately we had a dustbin full on homebrew to help us along. I worked for hydrospace at the time as a diver.
Unto Kinsale head in ireland ,again for McDermott the barge was caught in a bad storm,one tug broke down and the anchors were dragging. Ordered to don survival suits as the barge was getting close to the beach. Some lads were in sat,what they must have thought! Anyway the winds dropped and all was well.
Talking of barge supers I remember Toby Thorpe on the lb 26,in the galley eating prawn gumbo with his hands whilst he wouldn't tolerate sleeveless t shirts in the galley. One time a Lebanese diver stepped of the helicopter dressed only in yellow silk shorts,toby was watching,smoking his huge cigar,spitting everywhere,he said " I am not prejudiced but get that -+&_£# off my barge.
I worked on the lb 26,some good lads,denis berry,tim astley,jim Montgomery's et all. The deck foreman,dressed head to toe in denim,was called Danny. it was a good pipelaying barge. Also worked on the 15,17,27. Really enjoyed the etpm 501,at meal times we had apperitifes,wine with the meal etc.very civilised. Did some time on the castoro 5 in the gulf when we ran out of fresh water and food,no aircon in the cabins,it was rough. Anyway enough for now
 

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Yes Norman! "Stop her and drop her!" in a southern droll is forever ingrained in my mind.

I also recall a catamaran tug, the Jaramac66? which towed some barges on longer journeys, supposedly very efficient but costly to run because under American Bureau classification it had to have two crews of engineers because there were two engine rooms. I came across her later in Brunei in 1980 where she was only ever used for towing as she could not handle anchors. The crew lazed about the deck in the sunshine all day waiting for something to do.
I remember hearing about the catamaran tug when I worked for McDermott in the late 70s, Gulf of Mexico on an old single screw direct drive tug (which I think was named the J Ray McDermott) - when the engine was running the screw was turning.

Does anybody remember a direct drive tug owned by JRM? Used for anchor handling in the gulf. I only stayed one hitch as deckhand and went to work for Robin.
 

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Does anyone know Kevin Banks, a good friend i worked with for B+R in the North Sea and Asia, he was on that Mcdermott (Brand X) barge that sank off Hong Kong back in the 90's and terrible that the divers in sat. had no chance.
Kevin was picked up by chopper and lived in Thailand then but i lost touch so any info would be just lovely. - Alan Bodell.
 

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There was a Mike Brown, who ended up as Chief Eng on the JB4. I think he replaced Alex, a wee Scotsman, can't remember his surname.
I managed to get hold of Graham Wallace and have been corresponding with him, he got out of the offshore game in 85 and opened up a business with his wife importing, making and selling Terracotta pots, by all accounts he has been at it all these years and has done very well for himself, Doc Diesel is still in Antwerp living with his woman, knowing the Doc he probably got lost leaving Lillo and decided to stay in Belgium. I think the guy mike that you are refering to got tied up with several women in Antwerp on the rebound after his wife kicked him out, I did hear tha a long lost Daughter turned up from out of the blue and that was the thick end of the wedge, all of his women went ape and he replaced them all or something like that, do you remember Midgly Electrician on the 27, he did not go home for a couple of trips as he was shacked up some woman in Antwerp and his wife came on board the 27 looking for him, couldnt find him and ended up getting laid by all of the Mechs and Elects on board, Midgly turned up on the Monday morning ready for work and found his wife well and truly shagged as they say, there was hell on over that little episode. I will see what other info I can get hold of and get back to you
 

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Jb4

Worked as barge clerk 75 - 76 Capt. Tex and Lee Oliver also Papa Joe.
Played a lot of poker, anyone remember Sammy the raido op.?
 

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I joined McD 1973 0n JB3 jetting the first North Sea line from Ekofisk to Middlesborough, worked on her until she transfered to the States and work in the GOM, joined DB 100 in Korea during construction phase, then back to North Sea on JB4, did a couple of stints on the LB 23 & 27. Antwerp was a dream of a place to be with many very interesting nights in Lillo-Fort with head-aches next morning, what a wild bunch of real offshore guys in the early days" No sea too rought-No M**f too tough". Tex Cargil, Charlie Mathews, Joe Huskins, Lee Oliver, Vinney Esponge, all deck crew guys, The late Tony Tucker and his Engineering crew, just to name a few, have boxes of photos at home, but for now am off-shore Mexico, will post photos at a later date.

Worked as barge clerk on JB4 75-76. Good time. Charlie Carr was chief eng.
 
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