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Elder Dempster's OBUASI was built by Harland & Wolff in 1952. She was a handsome ship that showed off in her lines the stylish touch of Elder's naval architect, John Waddington. She was a practical ship capable of lifting 7,089 tons on a loaded draft of 23 feet. There were 6 deep tanks for vegetable oil, reefer space and even a magazine for explosives. Comfortable accommodation was provided for 12 passengers on the centrecastle deck, with a lounge and bar forward and (this was a notable feature of all Elder Dempster's ships) a large verandah area at the after deck.
In the Kylsant era (1909-1931) Elder Dempster had pioneered deep-sea going diesel engines for OBUASI, engineering director Alan Bennett had decided that a 5 cylinder B & W single acting two stroke should be installed. It produced 3,750bhp and gave a service speed of 13 knots.
OBUASI was not committed to a designated route in the pooled services of Elder Dempster-Palm Line-Guinea Gulf's fleets: She was programmed into sailings as cargoes needed to be moved. This meant that the cadets found themselves on OBUASI heading for the USA from West Africa and back to the 'Coast'.
OBUASI's older sister was ONITSHA which, with a 150 ton heavy lift derrick - primarily for lifting railway locomotives- was unique.
 

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I think it was in 1968, when I was on the Lagos Palm in Port Harcourt, on remembrance sunday. We were berthed stbd side alongside, and Obuasi was port side alongside astern of us.
At 1100 I went aft (apprentice) to lower the ensign at thre same time as the apprentice on the Obuasi.
He turned out to be Paul Taylor, a friend from the time we were both at Worcester, and consequently we enjoyed many beers that day - much to the dismay of our respective Chief officers!
 

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Wasn't the ill-fated Ondo a member of this class.

Her remains are at the mouth of the River Elbe if my memory serves me correctly, having been wrecked whilst trying to rescue the crew of a pilot launch in bad weather.

I'll have to do a bit of homework methinks!

Regards

Allan
 

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Allan
Yes your correct about the ONDO on the 6.12.61 she had stopped whilst approaching Brunsbuttel to pick up 3 men from the Cuxhaven pilot launch which had capsized. The ONDO was blown aground and lost. The pilots all drowned but there were no fatalities on the ONDO

NigelC
 

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Nigel,

Thanks, saves me having to start digging through the books.

Others may remember, but I think the funnel was had a regular repaint by the German authorities, as a sort of thank you for the gallant act. If my memory serves correctly, as you approached the pilot station the incongruous site of a pristine Elder Dempster buff funnel met you, atop a rather rusty wreck.

Any takers???

Allan
 

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Ondo

ONDO and OTI differed from the other four 'O' class vessels in that they were built without passenger accommodation, there were other slight differences but the hull, engines etc. were identical to the rest of the class.

The sad story of the loss of the ONDO (picture attached) can be found at
http://ondo.sea-rescue.de/

The master of ONDO, Capt. W. Farquhar was dismissed by Elder Dempster following the loss of his ship, but was feted by the Elbe pilot service for his attempts to save the three men in the water. These attempts, of course, were the cause of the vessel stranding.

Derek
 

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Derek,

Saw the site and rather wished I hadn't. Sad to see the remains of a beautiful ship rotting on a sandbank, however the site is indeed a memorial to a brave act by Capt Farquhar. I can remember my father (Laurie James) talking about the wreck and seeing her during my time at sea.

Many thanks for the information, it helped explain what happened and helped my memory a lot.

Regards.

Allan
 

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OBUASI - I worked on her as a rigger a few times during her visits to Tilbury during the late 1950'.I believe the deck crew were 10 cadets and two AB'..
The Bosun was George and I think he was also an instructor..
Of ONITSHA - what an abortion..Ian uses the word unique and she was ..
To bring the jumbo derrick into operation was a 10 hour job for riggers..
13 yes 13,stays had to be set up on the foremast..All these stays were stowed in No1 tweendeck and took quite some time to be brought up and set up,using huge bottlescrews...
No 1 hold could not be worked while jumbo was in operation..The steam guys were attached to the lower block of the purchase and led to four winches..
Unique yes - an abortion definitely !!!!
 

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Mention of Sapele in this thread reminds me that I was in the third deep sea ship to visit that " port".. DEIDO - McGREGOR LAIRD and then my ship DALLINGTON COURT on Elder Dempster charter - during February 1946..
We moored to trees accross the river from Sapele,I took photos of it...Canoes took us ashore..We loaded logs from the river which had taken weeks to get there drifting on the eternal ebb.. We had Kroo boys aboard from Freetown to work the cargo...long time ago!!!
 

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Photo wanted

Do any of you Elder Demster folk have a photo of the SS Calumet, you could let me have, I was deck boy on her in 1954,but have never managed to get a photo of her.
thank you. Terry Calpin
 

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James Smith
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Thanks Eldersuk for good photo of Calumet.
I sailed on her for three trips 1954 -1955
as Junior Engineer and 4th Engineer.
Masters were Capt.Weller and Capt.Davies.
Mr.Manley was Chief Engineer and George Fairbairn
was Second Engineer.
J.Smith
 

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Re: Ondo wreck. I always understood ED's carried there own insurance for all but total loss. Note that the Master was dismissed but the company would have been fully re-imbursed. Not really justice
 
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