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I was the agent in Kieta and Arawa during the late seventies and I recall a particularly well worded message from Sydney Radio at around 0630 one morning. The message was “ arrived Yandina ... contacted wharf, demolished same, await instructions”. Now I believe it was the
Marabank but I could be wrong. Does anyone remember this incident? I believe it was the Captains last trip.
 

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I was third mate on the Willowbank in 1977 and went to Yandina shortly after this happend, we had to anchor in the bay and load our copra from canoes. A slig of bags was lifted from the canoe with union purchase and the hatch covers folded back, the dockers would split the bag and empty the copra into the hold then return the bag to the canoe for refilling.

I also remember an aussie diver who had a small boat who would go out in the mornings with a few locals and return late afternoon with a load of recovered, what I think were anti aircraft shells dumped by the yanks after the war, the insides of the shells were dumped over the side of the boat and the brass sold for scrap. All looked a bit dodgy to me particulary emptying the shells


Can't recall if it was the Marabank but I do recall the message.
 

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Several of those small copra ports including Yandina were self pilotage so the master had to con the ship in and out unaided. Some interesting moments could result!
 

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Good question, I was on the Weirbank at about that time in Yandina and Keita among other lovely island places. I dont recall if it was us, and I paid off in Europe after loading up again for the copra run, it would be a candidate for this but not sure. I was on the Marabank not that long after and dont recall if she on the run as we were on West Coast South America line
 

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When 3rd mate I remember watching John Sturgess taking Weirbank into and out of Yandina in 1972. He wanted to prove the theory that you could steer astern and with a bit of juggling of engines and rudder positioning did just that, we came off the berth and with further manoeuvres gently moved around the headland into the channel and then set off for Honiara.
 

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Am told by one of the ex supers that the Captain was Dai Davies and Brian Miller believes it was the Laurelbank
 
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