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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone recall the ships all carrying cement to lagos ( suposedly up to 20 million tons of the stuff.) Seem to recall it was just another case of corruption that nigeria was and is famous for.Was on British Security in 1975, paid of in lagos and the sight of hundreds of ships loaded with cement all at anchor still amazes me now .
 

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Weren't some of them there for so long that the cement went solid and had to be broken out with windy hammers?
I heard it was the misplacing of a full stop or comma, or the wrong measure of weight that caused the problem.

There were quite a few in '76 which was the last time I was at Lagos.
 

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The one thing that sticks in my mind was the incessant chatter on channel 16At least on a tanker you berthed relatively quickly (days rather than months)
The downside was you got berthed next to the abbatoir where the smell and noise was indescribable. I remember going ashore with my wife and people were fighting for the offal as it was thrown out of the gates of the abbatoir.
Bit like away supporters coming out of Millwall's football ground after a match!
 

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REmember it very well like u Brent that abatoir and the soap factory when they perched their rear ends over the rocks and let rip.But the ships at anchor full of cement that had gone off was incredible and yes they had to break it up with windy hammers.Crews out there that didnt know who owned the ships they were in. no wages.If my memory serves me well some were out there for 18 mths.foreign flag
 

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The Ch16 chatter I remember 'cos there was one foreign "gentleman" who insisted on playing his records/tapes to us. He must've taped the transmit switch down.

I was on a small tanker with 'er indoors along for the ride and we were advised not to go ashore at that time. I must admit that it didn't look particularly inviting.

We were only at anchor for 24 hours, luckily. All our lass remembers of the place is the severe rolling at anchor and the incredible smell when we got alongside. Luckily we did a few other African ports so she got to see some better places.
 

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Spent two trips down Lagos way, first the Dart joined her in Dakar then proceeded to Lagos then Port Harcourt, down to Bonnie to lighten into small coasters before going to Lagos to complete discharge. Second trip the Mokran joined in Lagos, by lifeboat left from Dejection Jetty, summed our mood up precisely, this trip we went from Cotonou where we received cargoes from the vessels coming down from Europe, then off to Lagos a trip of some 40 miles. Spent the whole of the trip doing that run, no mail, no fresh food very low on stores, used to run round the anchorage swopping cabbages for spuds or anything that we could, eventually we were relieved and proceeded to Europoort where I left, but she went straight back down.
Before these two River class I had spent a long time on VLCC's my conclusion was if this is the Rivers you can keep them. Next trip back on the VLCC's Ah well thats life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The story i heard at the time was that some nigerian minister took a bribe to order all the cement they needed to rebuild the docks (and it turned up all at once on every dogeared thing that could float). When we arrived in 1975 in looked like the D-Day invasion i have never seen s many ships in my life in one place
 

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Saudi Arabia, especially Jeddah in the 70,s was not much better for delays. On occasions they would use helicopters to discharge the bagged cement from ships at anchor. Colin
 

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Lagos cement..Similar events to these occurred in 1952..
I was in STARCREST chartered to Elder Dempster .Took on 61 Kroo boys at Takoradi 2nd March and discharged our general cargo at surf ports..Arriving off Lagos we anchored among 40 other ships, some already there for many days..We had 1000 tons general and 2000 tons cement for Lagos..The port was congested and railway system paralysed..10 days at anchor and we entered port to take on fresh water..2 days working cargo then out to anchor again ...Many days later the Kroo boys began discharging the cement into the sea - many other ships were also dumping cement...
We left the anchorage on 13th May..We had been there for 49 days..
Palm Line took STARCREST on charter. At Warri we waited 8 days,then loaded 400 tons palm kernels - then to Calabar, a 5 days wait and then loaded 600 tons ground nuts...Returned to Takoradi to pay off Kroo boys,they had been on the ship for 98 days....
Returned to Liverpool with 1000 tons of cargo only....
 

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Good description Brent

The one thing that sticks in my mind was the incessant chatter on channel 16At least on a tanker you berthed relatively quickly (days rather than months)
The downside was you got berthed next to the abbatoir where the smell and noise was indescribable. I remember going ashore with my wife and people were fighting for the offal as it was thrown out of the gates of the abbatoir.
Bit like away supporters coming out of Millwall's football ground after a match!
I've been to many ports on West Coast of Africa and spent more than a just couple of days. I've never been to Lagos but i have been to Millwall a few times Cold Blow Lane and the New Den following Cardiff City!! Therefore i liked that part of your post very much. No doubt you have been to Millwall too?

Mick S
 

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Lagos

Remember being in Lagos on the Cormorant berthed at that abbatoir the locols sold "pets" to the crew several Parrots Sand Monkeys and believe it or not a Babboon which we named Kong and they all came back to Tyneside with us I wnder what became of them?
Drynet
 

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There was a lot of pirate activity during those long anchorages and there were a quite a few murders.

One Russian ship allegedly called up on the VHF to say they'd just seen some bodies floating past the ship. They then heaved up their anchor and went home.

Some people don't realise how dangerous it is being a pirate!

John T.
 

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I heard that they planned to make Nigieria a National Car Park for Africa - Whatever the case and seriously my simpathies to the poor buggers (and ships) that endured that fiasco. If I recall correctly, I think 27 months was the longest time a ship was anchored waiting for disch. I remember very vividly the battle that the MNAOA fought with respect to the sea time to count, where officers spent their whole stint swinging around the pick.
Cheers
 

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I was on the Border Falcon doing the Lagos/Okrika run with fuel for the Lagos power station.
Every time we arrived at the Lagos anchorage we would be given "Turn 150" or some silly number by the port control. By evening when the lights of Metropolitan Lagos were starting to go out we would suddenly be given "Turn 1" and in we would go to discharge at the OMO jetty and the lights would start coming on again ! National Oil, ran on the "just in time principal" or something.
 

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I was working ashore in Apapa in 1977-78 as GM for Caleb Brett. There was still over a 100 ships there at anchor. We used to do amongst other surveys the annual Radio Survey. Many of the ships were done twice so you can see how long some of them were there. Quite often we took part-payment for the survey in legs of lamb, cases of tinned goods etc. as the range in the local "supermarkets" left a lot to be desired. A lot of the Greek ships quietly removed most of the crew(s) and shared a skeleton crew much to the chagrin of the Port Authority. When they occasionally went out to do a check that each ship was adequately manned, then the RT really got busy. No doubt another excuse for "dash" (baksheesh).

Grandstand view (with the telescope) of the execution area at Bar Beach.

Roger Harrison
Roger Harrison
 

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Counted over four hundred ships one time. Interestingly enough, registered births offshore just beat the registered deaths/murders (although am sure there were more unreported).
The day following the Govts cancellation of dumurrage payments six vessels either sank or were 'blown' ashore.
 

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I remember an incident when the Texaco Brussels was weaving her way through the 400+ ships at anchor during the cement blockade at Lagos to pick up a pilot when she suffered a steering gear failure and collided with a small ship at anchor fully loaded with cement. The cement ship was holed amidships and sank within an hour at her anchor. The 'Brussels' had a small indentation in the bulbous bow. I'm sure the Owners of the cement ship were not displeased that they had got their money for ship and cargo at long last. At the time the wait for cement ships to berth was in the region of 2 years!
 

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Does anyone recall the ships all carrying cement to lagos ( suposedly up to 20 million tons of the stuff.) Seem to recall it was just another case of corruption that nigeria was and is famous for.Was on British Security in 1975, paid of in lagos and the sight of hundreds of ships loaded with cement all at anchor still amazes me now .
i was on the ikeja palm when that farce was going on we had taken two giant machines that were part of the giant cement mixers required to start the ball rolling so to speak one part was over twenty tons the discharge went ok,and we were in the process of changing the rig steam guys etc when the train that had the load on moved and the lift had not been secured properly and the whole load promptly rolled off the train,and sustained a large fracture i believe another palm boat took the object back to u.k for repair months later rgds(Thumb)
 

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I was on the Lagos - Okrika run two or three times. The last time I paid off there, on 18.06.75. off the British Trent. Hundreds of ships there, as said. We believed that the cement was for the new motorway system. Public Executions of armed robbers were still going on on the beach around the same time, and the Biafran War was not that long over. The whole country was a mess, probably still is.
I wonder what happened to those ships?
 
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