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Two related tales.......

In 1974/1976 British Steel were involved in what was described as a 'partnership' project with steel for construction purposes as we had our own 'super' on the ground there....one of the HQ staff, was sent there as a replacement on a one way ticket and the first day they tokk him down to Tin Can Island as showed him some people being shot........'for bribery'!
My guess is that they hadn't paid enough!.....Steak was £28 a pound at the time...His wife used to ring up and ask when he was coming home....he did eventually.

I moved up to Immingham and one of my first agencies was loading cement for Lagos..one of many such vessels...this particular cargo had been loaded warm into 1 ton IBC's and had weakend the bottoms so when they did eventually try and discharge them the bottoms fell out.......so she was sent somewhere else after 2 months for grab discharge...

geoff
 

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I was on a Common Bros managed mini bulker called Vastiram loaded with sugar from Antwerp. Anchored 7 miles of Lagos for 6 months in 1978. We had an inflatable boat with outboard and visited many ships at the anchorage and using 'note on owners' purchased supplies especially from the british tankers who had only a short visits. Beer was vital especially as we had a british crew. Visited many ships especially Shell and Mobil tankers and E Ds. A shopping list was left beside the VHF to call up any arriving ships !. No stores were purchased from ashore. Even begged unleaded fuel for outboard !. I paid off after 4 months and in the rubber boat went to a Trinder Anderson ship on Apapa (previous arranged on VHF) for dryout and change before going to immigration. Dreadful nighmare of a city and transport out.
 

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I sent a technician via Lagos to carry out some repairs on a rig off Warri. As he exited the arrivals lounge at the airport, he was met by a guy holding up a sign with the technician's name on it. The guy explained that he had come to escort him to the agent's office.

As they walked through the airport the guy suggested that my man should exchange money there because the hotels always offered a rip-off exchange rate. So that was done and as the cash was pushed through the hole in the glass, the guy snatched and ran off, leaving my man standing gob-smacked.

He had only been in the country minutes and had already lost all his money. While he was standing there, the real guy who had been sent by the agents to greet him turned up, having been delayed in traffic.

Nobody at the agents admitted to knowing anything about the original guy.
 

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My Last trip to Nigeria i was left waiting outside of airport for 7 hours before my back to back turned up going home. After all the hassle i got there i joined my relief and we both flew home. I remember his words You cannot Do that but i did. There was riots going on at the time near the airport so decided time to do a runner
 

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talking of riots in Lagos;
Was once driving through Agege, a suberb of Lagos, during a period of unrest. Suddenly came across a riot with police battling with protestors and tear-gas filling the air. Wasn't too sure what to do.
A passer-by saw my predicament and said "Wait here". Asked him to explain and he replied that it was nearly one O'clock and rioting would then stop.
He was exactly right.
At one they all stopped for 'chop' (lunch), I drove through and at two they started rioting again
Nothing quite like Lagos.
 

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I was on Palm/ed ships running to the west coast 64/65 a good run then noproblems ashore.Within a few years later I heard of the problems with the cement ships the story I recall was the Powers that be had ordered the cement for the next 10 years building projects for the whole of Nigeria.They had begun a Africanisation project getting shut of the old Empire builders in positions of authority replacing them with inept unqualified Africans.For instance i remember a greaser on a Nigerian national ship being promoted to 2nd engineer in no time at all and we all remember them ships falling apart in no time.The cement was all delivered in 6 months without any consideration of shelf life or storage facilities. reguards Kypros
 

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I was on a Common Bros managed mini bulker called Vastiram loaded with sugar from Antwerp. Anchored 7 miles of Lagos for 6 months in 1978. We had an inflatable boat with outboard and visited many ships at the anchorage and using 'note on owners' purchased supplies especially from the british tankers who had only a short visits. Beer was vital especially as we had a british crew. Visited many ships especially Shell and Mobil tankers and E Ds. A shopping list was left beside the VHF to call up any arriving ships !. No stores were purchased from ashore. Even begged unleaded fuel for outboard !. I paid off after 4 months and in the rubber boat went to a Trinder Anderson ship on Apapa (previous arranged on VHF) for dryout and change before going to immigration. Dreadful nighmare of a city and transport out.
You had some beer & stores off us on the Border Falcon and we sent a movie over too I think.
 

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Engaged by underwriters we salvaged a Greek vessel that appeared to have inadvertently missed a bend in the Bonny river, when outbound from Port Harcourt and was neatly berthed in about six feet of water when she really could have done with tweve or fourteen. The cement cargo had been in the hold for some considerable time and the last several feet had gone solid so was left in the holds forming a perfect cement box. Several days later we refloated the vessel to the obvious displeasure of the owners representative. We had absolutely no bother from the locals, although with a full crew of Hull Tuggies we were probably best left alone!
I do remember big Dennis Pierce calling the Harbour Master Man Friday, whilst telling him where to go, which resulted in another visit to the bond before diplomatic relations were restored. We finished the trip in Abidjan a haven of peace and tranquility in comparison to Nigeria, but perhaps no longer, I will not bother going to find out.
 

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I was there on the Tay in 1973 if I remember correctly, joined in Grain, 1st trip cadet with Geoff Ingram, did a spell NW Europe then headed down to Nigeria for about 6 weeks of Lagos Okrika. I seem to remember we were discharging direct into rail tankers so start stop all the time, cargo was gas oil. The deal was we spent 24 hours at Apapa then back to Okrika to load again regardless of how much we'd delivered. The locals nearly cut us adrift one night when they nicked some of our ropes, we posted a better deck watch after that!!
I remember the pets mentioned in an earlier post, Mike Gee had an African Grey which used to walk around the backs of the chairs in the smoke room and could often keep up a better conversation than some of the other occupants!!
Gerry Delaney was the C Stwd, he had a parrot as well, not sure what it was but just used to sit in the cage looking miserable.
Gerry Proctor was the Chief, John Worthington was the 2nd, I think John Walwork was the mate, Ken Norton J/E I think, it was a long time ago!!
Regards
Graham
 

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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 am sure I was also on the border Falcon at some time.
#

Gra.
 

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I could write a book about that bloody place. The Cement fiasco was basically described by Kypros and purely down to the good old Nigerian practic of dash. Some owners, mainly Greeks , made a bomb out of the business as there were a few decent charterers who honoured their charter party and either kept paying the demurrage or the time-charter daily rate. Afew names that come to mind were Oleagine and Utex, both Swiss and behaved well. One Greek superintendent down there told me over a beer hat he had a suitacase stuffed with US Dollars to ensure a smooth stay.I always wonder if he left Lagos alive. Another Greek told me that the freight rate from Europe , the usual source of the bagged Cement (Poland in particular) was imaterial , it was the Demurrage rate that mattered which made a lot of sense. Remembering entering the Lagoon at Abidjan and seeing scores of ships at anchor outside and asked the pilot what was the problem in Abidjan . It transpired they were all waiitng to get into Lagos or another Nigerian port such as Harcourt and had come upto Abidjan for water or spares , stores, whatever. The best story was of the 'Panamax' that required Wimpey and their pneumatics to discharge her after she'd been there over a year . Nobody apparently realsied the weight of the cement bags would crush the bottom tiers. The Greek shipowner who bought mobile cranes from several UK., demolition and building companies and with Lloyd's approval sited them aboardhis ore carriers takes my prize for inventiveness . he made a fortune as those ships were absolutely perfect for bagged Cement. It was like loading in your bath. My hat off to Captain Pothitos of Evpo Shipping for thinking that one through.
 

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I started working for Lloyd's Register in the mid-1970s, and reports of 100s of ships lying at anchor with their cargoes solidifying in their holds exercised the minds of many a surveyor.
In 71 back then ship survey records were stored in thousands of green A4-sized folders in about five sections covering the alphabet of ship name. Each section had a hull surveyor and a machinery surveyor who, I was told on joining "Should be treated like Gods"! Their job was to verify the incoming green (hull) reports and red (machinery) reports that had come in from the outports and issue instructions to dispatch certificates etc.
As one of the admin team it was my job to ensure all the 'i's were dotted and 't's crossed on the reports, and woe betide you if you found something that didn't add up. Some surveyors had a fearsome or curmudgeonly reputation, and some would often growl "How many years have you been a ship surveyor?" before looking at the report, spotting the error, scribbling something hurriedly, then handing back the folder saying "Take it away!"
Anyway, I digress. The Nigerian 'Cement Amada' does make an interesting story and the attached article taken from the New York Times in 1976 explains more about what happened.
New York Times - Nigerians Fear New Revelations in Cement Scandal
An interesting spin off resulting in port congestion in both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia, especially around Jeddah, was the greater use of large ro/ro ships to speed discharge times. Sea Containers' naval architect Hart Fenton developed some innovative designs that pushed the envelope of ro/ro design. One, the CONTENDER BEZANT, was later converted to the aviation training ship RFA ARGUS.
 
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