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As a recent newcomer to this site, I wonder if there is anyone around who was on board the Maplebank when she ran aground off Wakaya Lighthouse on the morning of 27th November 1975. I was the surveyor for Hull & Machinery Insurers and was on board from that day until the re-floating on 4th December and delivery alongside Suva wharf the following day. I still have a copy of my report and few photos taken during the salvage operations when the heavy lift tackle was lowered to the main deck and used as purchase with an anchor in the form of a scuttled Korean longline fishing vessel.
I also conducted an underwater survey of the bottom damage which allowed her to load her full cargo of bulk sugar and complete her voyage. we had quite a party on board on her next visit to Suva.

Scan.jpg


Richard
 

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The Summer1976 Bank Line house magazine has an article about this written by the wife of the CO. Other than that there seems to be very little information.
 

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I was a Cadet on the Hollybank loading sugar in Lautoka and we were on standby to go and try to tow the Maplebank off. However as it turned out it wasn’t necessary, much to everyone’s relief.
 

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As a recent newcomer to this site, I wonder if there is anyone around who was on board the Maplebank when she ran aground off Wakaya Lighthouse on the morning of 27th November 1975. I was the surveyor for Hull & Machinery Insurers and was on board from that day until the re-floating on 4th December and delivery alongside Suva wharf the following day. I still have a copy of my report and few photos taken during the salvage operations when the heavy lift tackle was lowered to the main deck and used as purchase with an anchor in the form of a scuttled Korean longline fishing vessel.
I also conducted an underwater survey of the bottom damage which allowed her to load her full cargo of bulk sugar and complete her voyage. we had quite a party on board on her next visit to Suva.

View attachment 681373

Richard
 

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As a recent newcomer to this site, I wonder if there is anyone around who was on board the Maplebank when she ran aground off Wakaya Lighthouse on the morning of 27th November 1975. I was the surveyor for Hull & Machinery Insurers and was on board from that day until the re-floating on 4th December and delivery alongside Suva wharf the following day. I still have a copy of my report and few photos taken during the salvage operations when the heavy lift tackle was lowered to the main deck and used as purchase with an anchor in the form of a scuttled Korean longline fishing vessel.
I also conducted an underwater survey of the bottom damage which allowed her to load her full cargo of bulk sugar and complete her voyage. we had quite a party on board on her next visit to Suva.

View attachment 681373

Richard
Hello Richard,

You mention your report and that you have some photos. Any chance that you could provide a link to the report and photos? Assuming you want to put them online of course!

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello Richard,

You mention your report and that you have some photos. Any chance that you could provide a link to the report and photos? Assuming you want to put them online of course!

Mike
Hi Mike,
The report is 28 pages of foolscap + attachments and is a photocopy on the old zerox paper so not too good to try to scan. I attach a copy of the chart extract showing the area of the grounding and the vessel's course.

Cheers
681747
Richard





Scan 2.jpg
 

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Hi Richard,

Thanks for the post - great topic. I have collected some info on this incident which can be seen on my site https://banklineonline.com and there is a first hand account there from one of the wives onboard at the time. Pictures too! Please have a look. Regards/Alan R
Thanks Alan,
The account is well written and an interesting view of the accident and the re-floating. Ian Lockley, the Salvage Master did use explosives to sink the hulk of the Korean fishing vessel, a good spectacle with the required result.
The re-floating took place on the last of the spring tides and in darkness. There were a few 'hairy' moments when the line to the heavy lift tackle on deck parted. The tugs efforts were then moved from the bow to a straight pull from the stern and with a skewing action, she came free. The fishing boat hulk then slid down the underwater cliff but still had lines attached, very quickly let go or cut!
The other interesting point for me was at the start as initially assistance had been accepted by the ships agents from Marine Pacific on an LOF but the master was later advised not to sign the LOF without confirmation from Bank Line HO. The master declined to allow the Marine Pacific rep to board and for the first days, there was a bit of a ' 'mexican stand-off' whilst the Bank Line super from Sydney (who had arrived on board) tried to re-float her under her own power, without success.
Cheers
Richard
 

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Hi Mike,
The report is 28 pages of foolscap + attachments and is a photocopy on the old zerox paper so not too good to try to scan. I attach a copy of the chart extract showing the area of the grounding and the vessel's course.

Cheers
View attachment 681747 Richard





View attachment 681747
Thanks for the chart extract Richard - helps the old grey matter make sense of things!

Mike
 

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I was the chief officer of maplebank at the time. Please note that the grounding occured in the early hours 0n the 12 to 4 not the 4 to 8. I worked close to John Figgis any one know if he is still about?
John Matthews
 

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I was the chief officer of maplebank at the time. Please note that the grounding occured in the early hours 0n the 12 to 4 not the 4 to 8. I worked close to John Figgis any one know if he is still about?
John Matthews
Hi John,
According to my report, the grounding occurred at 0200h on 27th November 1975, as you say during the 1200 to 0400 watch. "it was alleged" that the vessel failed to alter course as directed in the Pilot's and Master's night orders.
John Figgis was still in Fiji and practicing as a private pilot in 1983, when I departed Fiji to move to Melbourne.
Cheers
 
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