M.V.BEACHY 1947-69

The M.V. BEACHY was constructed with two decks, a cruiser stern and twin screws. Built at Dundee and completed on the 10th of April  1947 by the Caledonian Shipbuilding Engineering Co. Ltd., for the Clyde Shipping Co. Ltd., of Glasgow. Sadly this yard closed its gates in 1981.

The the twin screw diesel engine, a Oil 2 C.S.A gave the ship a speed of thirteen and a half knots, this was also built by  the Caledonian Shipbuilding and Engineering Co. Ltd., The ship had three holds, with number one hold been insulated to carry refrigerated cargo from Belfast. The principle statistics of the ship were as follows: Length 241 feet 7 inches; breadth 38 feet 2 inches; a loaded draught of 16 feet; and a  free board amidships of ?. Gross tonnage 1,257 tons; Net tonnage 6,030 tons; with a deadweight of 1,300 tons.

The funnel was painted black with a broad red band with the company's house flag painted on either side. (white triangle with a vertical blue cross on a blue disc). The hull was a medium colour of grey, while the boot topping was green. All the superstructure  was painted white. The official number of the ship was 52641 and the call sign was GLGY. The flag was British and the ships  home port was Glasgow.

 Photo Flyte

The Beachy was one of 4 ships built by Caledonian Shipbuilder Engineering Co., all for the Glasgow / London trade. The others being GOODWIN, TOWARD, and COPELAND.

Point of interest. This was the fifth ship to be named BEACHY.  The fourth ship to carry this name was a convoy rescue ship that belonged to Clyde Shipping. While on duty during her  fifth convoy run from Halifax to Greenock on the 11th of January 1941 at the position of 53 29N.16.24W she was bombed and sunk by enemy aircraft. There was 5 fatalities out of a crew of 38.

At the end of hostilities it was estimated that over 46,000 Merchant seamen including members of the fishing fleet had lost their life due to enemy action.

In addition to this, over 5,000 Allied Merchant Seamen were captured by German forces. Over 90% of these captured were held at Westertimke Internment  Camp "Milag"  situated near Bremen, Germany.

This was the price paid by the Merchant Navy. One must remember that the Merchant Navy was not a fighting service, but a service manned by civilians.       

ACCIDENTS AND INCIDENTS

1947/1948 The only information so far received for this period (September 47 to March 48), is that "Andy" Andrew Sherrard, was the forth Engineer who stood the 8-12 am / pm watch. He would have been in complete charge of the main engine together with all the Auxiliaries during these hours.. The Chief Engineer during this period was J.Archibald.

 

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 1952. November the 20th. Belfast. When manoeuvring while changing berths today, a multiple collision occurred involving a total of four motor boats. During the general mayhem and confusion, and while avoiding  other craft, the "BEACHY" struck the quay side causing severe indentations to both the stern and bow plates.

Although there was fortunately no injuries there was quite a few soaking's, and this did invoke several blessings regarding parenthood. 

1958. November the 7th. Belfast. While manoeuvring alongside the quay this evening the vessel collided violently with the quay wall. This resulted in damage  to her bow plates, and   severe indentations to both port and starboard plates. After having received temporary repairs here, the ship  sailed on the following day to Southampton for more permanent repairs. These involved, the removing and renewing of  bow plates, port and starboard  plates, together with the removal, fairing, and replacing of several other  plates.

1959. Due to the lack of cargoes on the Belfast to London service, the "BEACHY" was withdrawn from this run and was sent out to East Africa. There for several months she operated on a charter service between Mauritius and Beira.

Ports of call were mainly as follows:-Durban, Beira, Mauritius, Durban.  March the 14th. Beira, Mozambique. An intermediate port of call. While bound from Mauritius towards Durban, and discharging part of her cargo  into lighters alongside

 

During the evening there was a heavy swell that caused the lighters to grate along both the starboard and port sides of the ship. This resulted in  severe plate indentations on both sides of the ship and the distortion of internal frames

The following day the surveyor inspected the damage and recommended that, repairs although considered very necessary,  but due to the time factor and the lack of repair facilities available at this port, could only be carried out at the next port of call.

Point of interest. While at  Beira, Mozambique on the 21st of May. A rather interesting point of law arose.

A truck loaded with sugar, that was due to be loaded aboard the, "BEACHY" was shunted under a water tower after a spark from the engine had ignited the tarpaulin, that was covering the truck. When the fire was extinguished it was found that 184 bags of the sugar was either damaged by the fire, or by the water.

The local surveyor recommended that the load be forwarded to Salisbury, Rhodesia for assessment. This did not please the local Portuguese Railways representative who rejected the claim by  saying that it was an, "Act of God". The final result of this argument is not known.

 

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Upon completion of the Mauritius/Durban charter the ship returned home, making a call at Freetown & Hamburg before finally returning to London on June the 15th and reverting to her normal run. However as later events proved this was to be for only a very brief period of  time

October the 15th. At 0035 during a period of very dense fog, The 10,700 ton, dead weight motor ship, CANNANORE, on passage from Middlesbrough and London, and then bound towards Calcutta, and Genoa, scraped alongside  the BEACHY  at  Erith Sands, in the River Thames.

The paint-work of the CANNANORE was scraped the length of her hull, while  the wing of the bridge of the, BEACHY received  some moderate damage. However after inspection it was decided that she would be able to proceed on her way.  The other vessel left for Calcutta the following day.

October the 16th. This was a very close call. The result could have been quite different. Later during the  year the vessel was sold  to new owners, Kvarnerska Plovidba, of Rijeka  in Yugoslavia.

 

November the 16th The ship was renamed, SNJEZNIK. She was soon on her way for service in the Mediterranean again.

 

1960.January the 5th. Left Haifa with a cargo of 950 tons of oranges and 170 tons of olive oil bound towards Copenhagen.

January the 9th. Suda Bay harbour. Crete. I have seen no record as of what problems had occurred, or why for any other reason, the vessel should have entered  Suda Bay Harbour?.      What is known, is that during the  evening the, SNJEZNIK capsized  and sank in 25 feet of water. She settled on the bottom with a 90 degree list.

January the 25th. Holes have being cut into the ships side, to facilitate the removal of the orange cargo. The bad oranges were then loaded onto the M.V TAXJARCHIS ready for dumping in the open sea.  This was partly completed by the 11th and the holes were resealed. The ships hatches are also in the process of being sealed.

March the 1st. After the funnel was cut away and pipes and other openings sealed,an abortive attempt was made to refloat the vessel.

March the 26th. After several more failed attempts, the ship was finally refloated.

Provision was now made to off load the reminder of the cargo. The damage to the ship consisted of numerous shell plates severly indented, there was a ten foot hole in the keel. Two masts were broken, and all vent and comings damaged. The reason of why the ship turned over was never ascertained.

April the 14th. The deep sea  tug BORAC arrived to tow the ship to a suitable repair yard in Ryjeka.

April the 19th.  The SNEJEZNIK, under tow left for Piran.

 

July the 25th. Piran. Arrived here for final repairs. It is a mystery to me, as to what has happened to the ship when she departed in tow from Suda Bay several weeks ago. I do believe that by the end of August all necessary repairs had been completed and the ship was once again back in service. Nothing more is heard of her until…

 

December the 6th Famagusta. A Japanese motor vessel, “NAGATO MARU” carrying a cargo of oranges was at anchor just off the harbour entrance, when due to exceptionally strong, North East winds, she dragged her anchor and grounded on rocks known as Black Rock.

During the evening the SNJEZNIK tried to assist the Japanese vessel, but on her second attempt to tow her off the rock also became stranded about 100 yards off the Japanese ship.  A local tug, the 500 h.p DESDEMONA endeavored to put a line on board the ship but due to gale force winds was unable to do so.

 

December the 7th.  03.30 hours.  The SNEJEZNIK was now in a worse position than the ship she had tried to assist. The ships master, Alexander Zoricik sent a S.O.S stating that his ship was breaking up, her rudder was inoperable, one of the propellers was damaged, she had cracks in three holds, developed a list to port, and was leaking badly and that the crew must be rescued, Five of the crew managed to disembark in the ship’s lifeboat. The grounded NAGATO MARU responded to the S.O.S and launched a lifeboat with the second officer and 10 crew, but was unable to assist, and they had to be rescued, and taken into the harbour. The tug was still standing by, but unable to assist.

Royal Air Force Helicopters lifted 10 crew members of the stricken ship, but the helicopter then crashed into the sea, after striking the ships mast. The 2 pilots were rescued. Meanwhile the list to the ship had increased to 20 deg. Later during the day three more crew members were rescued. There is are now only the ships master and three crew left on board. Helicopters and a patrol boat are standing by overnight.

December the 9th. The tugs SCHELDE and VERNICOS FRANGISKI arrive on the scene. The NAGATO MARU is pulled off the rock by the tug SCHELDE, and anchored nearby for examination.

December the 16th. Pireaus. The NAGATO MARU arrives here under tow, by tug SCHELDE, to unload then enter dry dock for repairs.

December the 18th.Efforts are made to install portable pumps on the SNEJEZNIK. Salvage work proceeds, together with off loading salvageable cargo into lighters until..

December the 20th. The first attempt at refloating fails.

December the 22nd. All cargo has now been removed. And many temporary repairs completed. (These included blasting rock from under the ship. Further attempts at refloating failed. More blasting of rocks continues, but is stopped when salvors run out of explosives on the 31st of December. 

1962. Rock blasting continues for the next few days.

January the 17th, Deep sea tug ELBE arrives to assist.

January the 26th. Bad weather continues to hamper salvage operations. There is now a definite possibility of the ship breaking up. It would appear that from a distance the stern is moving more than the forepart of the ship. The list has increased, and the water is level with 1 and 2 hatch combings.

February the 13th.Use of local grab and dredger obtained to deepen channel. Further efforts to refloat fail. More salvage equipment loaded on to the ship. There appears to be some delay in obtaining further insurance cover for various salvage operations.

March the 17th. No work carried out due to local holiday. The cost of insurance and hire is starting to prove prohibited.

April the 18th. Pumping and refloating operations recommenced after delay due to bad weather. Cement sealing of leaks in bottom and engine room continue.

April the 29th. At long last the ship is pulled clear of the rocks and dragged about 40 feet into the open channel where she dropped her anchor. For the next three months she remained at anchor. During this period only minor repairs were carried out, these were just to make her hull watertight. Negotiations are ongoing between the salvers and Italian Company regarding a possible sale of the vessel to recuperate losses.

August the 31st. The SNJEZNIK left Famagusta for Genoa, under tow of the Dutch tug ELBE after a seaworthy certificate had been granted, and a Marine surveyor appointed. The vessel was stated to have been bought, as lying, from the Famagusta   Salvors, Messrs. G.A Branco, for a sum of £17,500 by an Italian Company. 

Information after this date is still required. CAN YOU HELP?

There was the usual name change. The new Owners Fernando Galli changed the name to MAHA.

63-64. She sailed under the Panamanian Flag, the owners registered as, Reefer Nav Co., S.A.

1966. Again the vessel changed hands. This time sailing under the Flag of Kuwait, the new owners being A&M Abughazaleh 

1970. The ship had disappeared from, Lloyds Register of shipping. No further information available, (Yet)

 

Liverpool Maritime Museum. London Guildhall Library. World Ship Society. Shipbuilding & Shipping Record.  J.A.Potinger. Bridge Of Don. 

 I am indebted to all the above who have freely given help or information. Without them this Historical project could not have even started. As we all make our final voyage and our numbers decrease, it gets increasingly more difficult to obtain information. It seems a shame that these details of a bygone era can be lost for ever. What is wanted?. Voyage details, crew members, accidents, any incidents, humorous or otherwise,Plans, Construction Details,   in fact any information at all that you can supply, no matter how small, it will all help.

 Should you  find any of the above information, that you can confirm  is incorrect, please inform me so that it may be corrected. Also should anyone be offended by a name or, information of a personal nature please also inform me so that the same may be deleted. 

                      

                                                                                                  

                                                                                              

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