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Thanks Mike, now I am fairly positive that it was the Rangitiki that I saw. It must be the saddest sight possible seeing a proud ship ending her days.
 

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Hi Guys,
Both ships were based mainly on the San Diego cruise trade until being laid up in late 74 in I think Hong Kong. They were both despatched to Kaohsiung Taiwan for scrapping within a month or so of one another.
FYI the Ruahine which was really a smaller variant of the others was employed on the same trade as the Oriental Rio but ended up in the same place for scrapping in late 73.
Hope that helps...Doug
Kenny MacRitchie said:
Hi all The Rangitoto was sold in 1969 to Orient Overseas Line and renamed Oriental Carnival for round the world service she was scrapped in Hong Kong in 1976 Kenny
 

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My family emigrated to NZ on the "Rangitane" in '52, when I was a year old. Apparently I nearly choked to death on a square of chocolate that voyage and was only saved by the quick thinking of a steward, who knew how to make it pop out. Used to have a "Rangitane" sailor doll, and one from the "Rangitoto" as well. Don't know what happened to them but they might turn up on the BBC's 'Antiques Roadshow' oneday.
 

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G'Day, Fairfield. With respect, the image must be of Rangitane II because the RMS Rangitane was also Clyde-built by John Brown & Co launched 27th May 1929. She had twin-screw Sulzer diesel engines. She was sunk NE of Aukland on 26th Nov 1940 by the German Raiders HSF Komet & HSF Orion.
For a great read go to www.rangitane.co.uk and read Trevor Bell's account of this sinking & subsequent sinking of the 5 merchantmen off Nauru Island.
 

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We sailed to UK on the Rangitane left Wellington on the 24th March 1962 and arrived in Southampton 30th April 1962 from memory.
My husband worked for the Union Steamship Co on the Monowai, Matua etc 1950 to 1959 ish
Anyone remember him? Reg MERRILL would like to hear Especially a Harry Flaherty who Reg spoke about with kindness.
 

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Repaits at Wilton-Fijenoord 1963

I spent some two years on Rangitane between 1961 and 1963 sailing as Jnr 3rd, 3rd and snr 3rd Mate. Five voyages in all and all great times.
By the time I was there apart from the usual scavenge fire between Tahiti and NZ (always seemed to happen there!) she seemed to be running well at that stage until the previously reported saga of the port crankshaft. As far as we were concerned up top we had a 6 cyl and 5 cyl engine and although her service speed was down a little you would never have known there was anything wrong.
Mind you it was a bit interesting at around 85/95 rpm as she got a bit of a critical at that speed. It was also very interesting arriving Wellington with the GG on board. There was a bit of a southerly blowing (as it does in Wellington!) and we needed to make a brisk approach to the berth and the full astern both engines had to be timed to perfection. It was and the port engine fired up OK but the Master Comm. Bob Rees muttered a few expletives and thanked whatever God was on our side that morning! The wharf was packed with a full Guard of Honour in funny hats and full drill. Would have been front page news if the old girl had sailed into the end of the dock....
The repairs were carried out in the Wiltons Yard in Rotterdam in January/February 1963 in the middle of Winter. I always remember berthing alongside at 0800 and by 0900 they had the gangs down below and were into it.
They built a railway between the engines, stripped the aft 3 cyl of the port engine and then cut holes in the deck-heads and decks of A, B, C & D deck F&A alleyways. A floating crane was brought alongside, long strops were lowered through the holes and the whole of the aft entablature was lifted clear of the bed-plate and hung off. The aft section of crankshaft was hauled out sideways, trundled down between the engines and extracted through the funnel. As soon as it was out the new section was lowered in through the funnel, and the procedure was reversed. Amazing as it was the middle of Winter and freezing cold. They kept all the services on and heating to the accom at the same time.
She was dry-docked and back on the berth in the Albert Docks in 6 weeks! John Browns the builders had quoted 4 months......
I left her in the dry-dock almost fixed and never saw her again except once in Sydney in 1964(?)sadly. Lord knows what she was doing there at Circular Quay. She was a lovely ship and I had some very happy times on there. I sat for Mates and joined Northumberland in Montreal in the July and did 4 round voyages on the MANZ run between Australia and the USA eventually bringing her home to Hull in May 1965.
Rangitane and Rangitoto were sisters with the prettiest of them all the Ruahine was a little smaller. Same engines and she was always a little faster. That was the last time I saw NZ.......must go back soon before it is too late.
Ah sweet memories.......
The idea for this repairs in 1963 came from my father, Bertus van Eijk, who was a service-engineer and acted as an engine fitter 1945-1956. He did also the draftsmans work in preparation of the repair offer to the Owners.
In the Wilton-Fijenoord Nieuws, 1963, March, pages 44-47, in total 6 photo's can be found about the progress on board, as well as in his biography "Carriere van een service-engineer", by A.D. van Eijk
 

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Muscles

It was RA as I was on another ship in the dock at the time, very sad.
Mike




Hi,
My Uncle, Robert (pop ) Johnson,was In The Rangitane,until 1967,
When He Fell Between The Ship & The Quay,and Was Killed.IN EITHER KG5 OR RA DOCKS.
I Believe He Was Quartermaster But Not Certain.
Was Any Members On Board At That Time Or Remember Pop,
As He Was With Nzsc For A While.
Cheers,
Paul.
 

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RMS Rangitane- Collission in Panama canal

Ken Berry's story re Rangitane brings back many memories, I signed on in Auckland about June 1957 as Junior engineer for my first trip to sea. I did the round trip to the UK and back signing off in Wellington to join the Union Steamship Co. I really enjoyed my time on board but the then pay of thirty-seven pounds ten shillings a month left me lean on resources especially after being on a passenger ship where we seemed to have a very social time.
The first USSCo berth was on the little collier "Kaitangata" and accomodation, food and overall comforts at sea were a far cry from the relative luxury of a passenger ship but at about sixty pounds a month plus overtime and leave ac***ulation for Sundays at sea enabled me to start ac***ulating some assets.

A couple of memories while on the 'Tane' were;

The loss of the sailing ship 'Pamir', she sent out a distress call just when we left Southhampton enroute to Panama and I have written an account of this in the 'Tall Ships' forum.
and

The collision with another ship in the Miriflores Lakes after leaving the eastern Panama canal locks.
I was watchkeeping in the fridge engineroom as we were carrying a chilled fruit cargo of grapes to NZ and as I went below after lunch to start my afternoon watch the weather was hot,humid and very overcast with a huge black cloud front approaching from the west. After about thirty minutes below we felt a shudder ripple through the ship that lasted about a full minute or more then stopped. First thought was that we had run aground so I sent the fridge greaser up to check and he came back smartly to report that we had collided with another ship and that it was sinking!
It turned out that our ship was steaming at very low speed with the port anchor hanging out of the hawsepipe to just above the waterline as a precaution should it be needed when the rain storm struck with huge fury blotting out all vision. Our engines were stopped but with some way on when out of the gloom came the 'Hawaian Trader ' an ex wartime Liberty or Victory class tramp. The ships bows met with a glancing blow and as the Trader passed to our port side the suspended anchor hooked into its bow plates and the joint momentum of both ships saw the anchor act as a giant can opener to neatly rip the ship's side open allowing much of the cargo of pineapples destined for the American East Coast to spew out into the water. The trader then sheared off to its starboard and sank in the shallows finishing up with its superstructure safely above water.
No one was injured but the Rangitane had torn bow plates above the waterline which neccesitated spending a few days tied up at Balboa while temporary patching plates were welded on and the bow damage section filled with concrete. I understand that on arrival back in London a new bow section was fitted.
The holdup meant that there were about 450 bored passengers to entertain so the Company organised a fleet of Panama taxis to take people on short tours aroun the region. I recall that a group of off watch engineers, including me, dressed in civvies and sneaked into a cab or two to take advantage of the free tours.
I seem to recall that the 'Tane' had radar but it would of been basic by today's standards and nodoubt it was not fitted to the Hawaian Trader

The ship was then commanded by Captain Rees and the Chief Engineer was Mr Kent but most of my shipmates are only recalled by their first names.

Bob Jenkins
My dad told me the collision story, he was an engineer on that trip. George Innes.
 
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