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Discussion Starter #1
Something a bit different. Photographed recently of Sheerness.

The Liberty ship RICHARD MONTGOMERY was built in 1943 by the St Johns River Shipbuilding Company. On Aug 20th 1944, in strong winds, the RICHARD MONTGOMERY ran aground off Sheerness in the Thames estuary and over a period of days became stuck fast in the sand bank. During the coming weeks Stevedores from Rochester, Kent were able to remove a large quantity of the explosives from the holds of the ship. The ship was finally abandoned on 25th September 1944 along with its remaining cargo that amounted to some 3200 tons of explosives.

I find it quite funny that the authorities say it is safe after all these years but no one is prepared to touch it! :bur:
 

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I've seen her many times over the years. There was much more of her that was visible years ago. I forget which year, but a Swedish ship did run into her one foggy night.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, there is more to see at low tide, it was nearly high tide when the photo was taken.
 

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This wreck is surveyed regularly on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency using all the latest technology. Whilst I was in charge at Thames CG I used to see the details of the survey, not that it meant much to me, but I was always assured that it was relatively safe. There were various options put forward for dealing with it but the safest alternative was to leave the thing alone

Ian
 

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Just heard a crazy story that an Essex business man wants to build a permanent concrete wall around the vessel, drain the water from inside, removing the munitions and then encourage tourists to visit the site.

Whatever next......a weeks submerged cruise round the Titanic?
 

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Welcome aboard Tankie........Oh honoured celebrity,

Could I have an autographed copy of your greatest hit's please.....for my kid's of course. Times must be hard now your working the Cruise Liners......still any port in a storm. I'll have a word with Genesis and see if they need a drummer........Phil..mate.. (*))
 

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I'd forgotten about Richard Montgomery until visiting Southend a few months ago and taking a walk down the pier with my ex RN cousin. He regaled us with the tale, of course, and we immediately (after fish, chips and a pint) got the hell out of there on the bullet train (which conked out).

John T.

PS The pier is worth a visit, there are benches which have been dedicated to various folk - nice stories - and the train driver is a bit of a laugh.
 

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I too have heard some rather strange tales surrounding this wreck. It has been estimated that should she decide or is assisted to blow up, then the devastation would be tremendous if not a downright disaster.

I am afraid though that this is a problem that is not going to go away.

As a scouser, I was rather tickled by a Scouser story similar to that mentioned by Tankie doing the rounds. It involved a scouser scrap merchant, who was going to build a wall around the wreck, pump it out and then quietly make it known around Liverpool that the ship was carrying gold.

It was apparantly expected that the wreck would be declared safe within three nights, and that the resultant ' slightly damaged ' sale of Fireworks on the black market in Liverpool would be a resounding success. (LOL)

Chris.
 

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It was always a relief to clear the "Richard Montgomery" when bound to or from the Isle Of Grain back in the days when it was a tanker port. Should a master making his first trip into Grain enquire about the wreck I believe the pilots were wont to reply, "Just one I did a little earlier Captain".
 

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went up t sheernes one time with a TID tug. Spotted a wreck, the "old man" said we take a closer look. so he aimed the tug between the funnel and the mast then resumed course. he told me to check it out on the chart, I did...and since that day till the day he died I could never trust him 100% again. Fathers!
 

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Montomery

When I was a kid in the 50s/60s you could take a trip "round the wreck" , at high water they often sailed between the masts. I saw the results of one EOD reports at Chattenden in the late 70s. Everything was still "viable" mostly being grease packed and in transit containers which were waterproof. The majority of the bombs were "high capacity" meaning they were designed for blast effect with thin skins rather than a thick walled bomb giving lots of splinters.
 

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ss richard montgomery

KenLin39 said:
Hello All, go to this site --> www.ronangel.demon.co.uk for info and quite a few articles about the ship. Ken @ Tilbury.
my site above closed a long time ago but the good new is that I have replaced it with
http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com which has the latest info and links about the wreck.
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The Liberty ship ss richard montgomery is a time-bomb waiting for a terrorist to give Britain its first real tsunami and, maybe, worse. This film shows what can happen when a government conceals something very dangerous from its own people.
Fact: The US explosives carrier Richard Montgomery sank in the Thames Estuary in August 1944. It was loaded with 1500 tons of explosive munitions. The Admiralty decided to leave the wreck and its dangerous cargo undisturbed. The wreck lies just a few hundred yards offshore between an oil refinery and the several towns. Southend on Sea is just a couple of miles away on the other side of the Thames estuary. Rumours about the ship and its cargo have circulated in these towns ever since. Denials have been issued by ministers in the House of Commons in response to MPs questions about the presence on board of biological, chemical and gas warheads. Nevertheless, rumours persist that the real reason the wreck was not made safe was because of the existence of ‘dirty weapons’ on board.
http://www.ssrichardmontgomery.com
(copy and paste into your browser)
 

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Sailed from Shellhaven to Rotterdam regularly on one tanker.
We were told to just hold your breath as you go past and for God's sake don't blow the whistle. Luckily I was normally in my bunk 'cos the leaving and arriving happenend to coincide with sparkie not having to do any work at all.
The local pub (wasn't it owned by one of the famous boxers of the day? - '73) was the best place while in Shellhaven. Lots of "Forgetting juice". Can't remember the pub's name or the name of the local village so it must've worked. (*))
 

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JUST been reading this thread with most interest, putting a concrete wall around it ,what next ,by the time it was dried out ,it would be rusting away.
now can any one say what could happen if theses forecast high tides are the size they say ,with a nice low pressure thrown in ,could it throw the toys out of the pram ,as they say.
do the people who survey it really know what REALLY dangerous in there ,and know what is just knacked ammo ?(Smoke)
 

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Regarding the Richard Montgomery,part of the cargo was off-loaded on to the Empire Nutfield,a vessel regarded as disposable by the powers that were.The Nutfield survived to transport supplies to Europe during the invasion at which time I was in her,Post war she was loaded with nasty stuff and scuttled in the North Sea. So much for faithful service.There is a drawing of her in the gallery.I could tell some good tales abo ut her.Pierhead Jumper.
 

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Village at Terminal

Sailed from Shellhaven to Rotterdam regularly on one tanker.
We were told to just hold your breath as you go past and for God's sake don't blow the whistle. Luckily I was normally in my bunk 'cos the leaving and arriving happenend to coincide with sparkie not having to do any work at all.
The local pub (wasn't it owned by one of the famous boxers of the day? - '73) was the best place while in Shellhaven. Lots of "Forgetting juice". Can't remember the pub's name or the name of the local village so it must've worked. (*))
Hello all,
The Village at Shellhaven, wasnt it Stanford le Hope ? after you had got through the teminal the pub was a bit up the road, with lots of "Shell" flags flying--I was there 54 years ago !
Cheers

Peter (Pint)
 
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