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Hi I am looking for information about the collision of the grain carrier Yellowstone and the Battouta in the Strait of Gibraltar in the late 70's. Does anyone have any recollections, pictures or links to any site which may have??

Many thanks & regards from the Rock

Daniel
 

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Marine Perch 1945 built by Kaiser Corp., Richmond, California | Standard ship type C4-S-A3, 1946 chartered from United States Maritime Commission, 1946 transferred to American Export Lines,1948 returned to owner, 1948 laid up, 1965 converted into a bulk carrier renamed Yellowstone, 1978 sank after collision off Gibraltar. 12,410

also mentioned at http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/1978-6/1978-06-12-ABC-3.html
 

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YELLOWSTONE
At 1107 on June 12, 1978, the U.S. bulk carrier SS YELLOWSTONE and the Algerian freighter M/V IBN BATOUTA collided during a dense fog in the Mediterranean Sea about 14 miles southeast of Gibraltar. Five crewmen on the YELLOWSTONE died and two were injured. On the following morning the ships were separated, and after the remaining crew of the YELLOWSTONE were deployed to rescue ships at the scene, the ship was put under tow. Shortly thereafter, the ship sank stern first. Although the IBN BATOUTA sustained major bow damage, none of the crew was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the master of the YELLOWSTONE to properly use the ship's radar, which led to his crossing the bow of the IBN BATOUTA in an effort to prevent a collision in a close-quarters situation. Contributing to this accident were the excessive speed of both vessels in a dense fog; their failure to avoid a close-quarters situation; and the failure of the IBN BATOUTA to sound fog signals, to have the engine ready for immediate maneuver, and to use the bridge-to-bridge radiotelephone to establish a safe passing maneuver.
 

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I sailed the 6,000 HP Yellowstone in 1976. I knew the Captain and several others having sailed with them on other Oriental Exporters/Ogden Marine ships. 1960s the company name was Oriental Exporters owned by Ogden Corporation. The company name was changed to Ogden Marine but the O on the stack did not need to be changed.

The same Captain sunk her. I believe he was around 30. He was a California school ship grad and rather on the arrogant assertive manner. C4's were fast and he liked to go fast they routinely had 16 knot voyage contracts and could go much faster.

The only time I ever opened one up I was 2 A/E on the Ogden Marine 6,000 HP Albany, we were going up the Saigon River, when we were attacked with Chinese anti-tank rockets by Charlie. I was on watch and the captain called down and asked if we were going as fast as we could. I told him per orders we were 60 RPM. He asked if we could faster and I said yes. He said he wanted to go as fast as we could.

I went back to my F/WT Ernie Lacunza and told him to pull out those big tips we never used we were going to open her up. As Ernie excitedly got burners changed I slowly opened nozzles on the block. At one point we had a fuel pressure problem so I dashed down and started the other electric fuel oil pump.

When we got her opened up we still had fuel pressure problems so I dashed down and started the steam recip fuel oil pump. When the pump reached the end of its stroke we would emit a large cloud of black smoke. Later the boys on the bridge told me they thought I was purposely laying those smoke clouds.

We had been in an eight knot convoy, the old man swung out on the port side and zoomed past them all. Vung Tau to Newport could take 6 - 8 hours, we did it in one hour forty minutes flat.

When we going through Saigon the bos'n had his guys get some empty five gallon pails and pick up all these rocket duds that littered our deck. Five buckets were filled and the captain put the buckets in the kneehole of his desk. Luckily our cargo was pallets of bagged cement since we took twenty rockets through the port side of our hull. When we were discharging the cargo they would find a few broken bags where rockets had exploded in our hold.

The Army sent some welders down and they welded shut the entry holes.

Anyway after the officials got done with their conversation with our Master, he slid back from his desk and pulled out a bucket and asked "what do you want us to do with these?"

EVACUATE THE MIDSHIP HOUSE RIGHT NOW!!!!!

Explosive demolition folks were called and they packaged them in thick cloth packages and carried them all away. At payoff we each got a $300 attack bonus -- only one was allowed per voyage regardless the number of attacks. The Fed taxed them at the highest tax rate so we each got $106 cash.

Attached two tiny pictures of Ogden Marine ships in 'Nam. These were taken by troops of the Army Transportation Corp that operated Newport and they are on their website. The name of the troop who took Albany-20101125-BC5.jpg was on the site and I emailed with him. He was there during my time on Albany September 3, 1969 - August 10, 1970 and the picture likely is Albany. Pictured she is in the LST slip and that is where we unloaded our cement cargo.

Which because the Army over-estimated how much cement they needed the whole 16,000 tons was bull dozed into the river behind us.

Greg Hayden
 

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re: Going that fast on the Mekong must have left a lot of sampans up on the river banks.

Could be but I have no idea I was down in the basement.

Greg
 

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The attached thumbnail ( upper left ) of an Ogden Marine ship at Newport, Saigon is for sure of Mohawk.

Similar were, Albany, Missouri, James and Yellowstone.

Regards.
 
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