THE MERC ENTERPRISE – LOST AT SEA 1974 – LEST WE FORGET

MERC ENTERPRISE-top

MERC-ENTERPRISE-IMO-6806731

MERC ENTERPRISE - IMO 6806731-2

© Charlie Hill of Swinefleet near Goole.

Completed 1968 from the Rolandwerft at Bremen, Germany, and delivered as the cargo vessel VESTLOLLIK O.X.C.N. (Nakskov). Owners: Partnership Vestlolland c/o K. A. A. Rasmussen of Nakskov, Denmark. IMO 6806731.

Yard no 951 – GRT 1400 / 781 – NRT 921 / 363 – TDW 2400 / 1500 – Measurements: 79.20 / 72.00 (lpp) x 12.20

Subsequent History: 1972 MERC ENTERPRISE O.X.C.N. (København) – Owners: Partnership Merc-Scandia V, a company under the umbrella of MERCANDIA Company of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Images from the Danish Maritime Museum’s Digital Archive show the vessel as the MERC ENTERPRISE in service, and further below you will find images from the dramatic rescue at her tragic loss in 1974. Mr. Lars Brunkman of Helsingborg, Sweden, has kindly supplied an image of the Soviet trawler LENINGRAD, which also played an essential role in the rescue.

16. January 1974 was indeed a day of sorrow in Danish seafaring history

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7SEASVESSELS.COM wishes with this article, especially to pay tribute to the exceedingly brave air force crews from Germany and Great Britain who came to the rescue of the stricken vessel – may their bravery and fortitude in this action never be forgotten – therefore, please read the citations below:

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Disposal Data: She capsized & sank 17 n.m. to the South of Eddystone LH on 16.01.1974 with the tragic loss of 7 lives. The vessel was on voyage from Le Treport to Cork, carrying barley in bulk.

The Captain is hoisted from the sea, assisted by one of the brave German rescuers. The name Schuler or Schüler is seen in his helmet. The rescuer’s facial expression clearly shows, describing way beyond what words can tell, the strenuous effort required on this rescue mission.

“Outstanding among the rescues of 1974 was that of the MERC ENTERPRISE which capsized in 50 ft waves and 80 kt winds. During a rescue lasting 2’2hr, the naval crews performed magnificently and were rewarded by two AFCs and three AFMs”.

Awards for helicopter crews:

The Shipwrecked Fishermen and Mariners’ Royal Benevolent Society is to present engraved tankards to the crew of three Royal Navy and two Federal German Navy Westland Sea Kings which rescued seven people and recovered five bodies from the sea off the Devon coast last January. The five helicopters, from RNAS Culdrose, Cornwall, were called out when the Danish coaster Merc Enterprise capsized. Winds exceeded 50 kt, with gusts to 80 kt, and waves were up to 60ft high.

The awards recognise “the very high degree of courage, fortitude and perseverance shown by all the men involved in the face of extremely unpleasant and dangerous conditions“.

Petty Officer Fowles was an air crewman in one of the helicopters called to the rescue of the Danish merchant vessel “MERC ENTERPRISE” which had capsized in exceptionally heavy seas south of Plymouth. Conditions were very severe with winds gusting to 70 knots and waves of 30 to 50 feet from crest to trough. On sighting an apparently unconscious person in the water the aircraft was brought to the hover to enable Petty Officer Fowles to be lowered into the sea to recover the body by means of a double lift. The attempt was frustrated when he received facial injuries from the winch wire which suddenly tautened in a deep wave trough. Undaunted by the adverse conditions and his personal injuries Petty Officer Fowles continued in his efforts to recover two bodies from the sea but without success. His perseverance, courage and fortitude were in the highest traditions of the Service.

Able Seaman A. J. Williams was an air crewman in one of the Sea King helicopters called out from the Royal Naval Air Station at Culdrose to assist in the rescue operation when the Danish merchant vessel ” MERC ENTERPRISE ” capsized in very adverse weather conditions, south of Plymouth. On arrival the pilot, despite winds gusting to 70 knots and waves up to 50 feet, fought to maintain a low hover height so that Able Seaman Williams might be lowered on the aircraft winch wire in order to recover a body from the sea. He was several times dragged through the crests of waves to be swung violently in the air and eventually he had to be raised ‘to prevent being struck by another wave. In spite of this Able Seaman Williams made a further attempt and succeeded in grasping the body as he was swept downward, and they were winched back into the aircraft. His persistence in the task, with little regard for his own personal safety, and his courage and fortitude were in the highest traditions of the Royal Navy.

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Five Culdrose Sea Kings, including two German a/c from the Foreign Training Unit (the others from 706 and 824 Squadrons) lifted seven crew from a 480 ton Danish coaster when hurricane force winds were blowing down the Channel, and a further four who had been picked up by a Soviet trawler. The ship had capsized off Plymouth. One of the German aircraft and the 824 aircraft suffered severe salt ingestion in the engines, and both made cautionary landings in fields on the way back to Culdrose. The turbine blades were found to have severe corrosion.

On 16 January 1974, near the coast of Plymouth, a British Sea King helicopter together with two German Sea Kings (89+51 and 89+55) saved eleven men in a severe storm from the Danish freighter ‘Merc Enterprise’.

Just four weeks later the same three helicopters rescued twenty-eight men from the freight ship ‘Lutria’. The ship’s crew had to abandon their ship and were already in lifeboats, on a sea with waves thirty to fifty feet high – despite these terrible weather conditions, the ship’s entire crew was saved.

Station honours: At Plymouth Lifeboat Station the following awards have been made:

Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum 13
Bronze Medal 5
Silver Medal 15
1974 A Bronze Medal was awarded to Coxswain John Dare for assisting the Merc Enterprise in difficulties in hurricane force winds and phenomenal seas.

LENINGRAD - IMO 6922042

© Lars Brunkman of Helsingborg, Sweden – The LENINGRAD Northbound passing Helsingborg 03 May 1980.

The Soviet factory trawler with side no. NB-0273, which managed to rescue 4 crew from the stricken vessel, was the LENINGRAD (IMO 6922042), built 1969 (# b26/34) at the Gdanska Lenina Yard at Gdansk, Poland. She was a co-called “Kosmos” type, a vessel of GRT 2947 – TDW 1316 measuring 83.10 / 78.00 (lpp) x 13.90. She was broken up at Alang on 20.12.1994.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 225 rpm – Total Power: Mcr 1,765kW (2,400hp) – Service Speed: 12.75kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Sulzer, Engine Builder: Zaklady Przemyslu Metalowego ‘H Cegielski’ SA – Poznan – 1 x 8TD48, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 8 Cy. 480 x 700, Mcr: 1,765 kW (2,400 hp) at 225 rpm.

This website salutes likewise our Russian colleagues for their outstanding seamanship in very dangerous, adverse weather conditions. Their endeavour bears witness to a display of seamanship of the highest order attainable. One can only imagine the tremendous and skilful effort required of the Captain and crew in order to succeed in saving 4 crew members from the Danish ship.

 

We who operated ships on the oceans and lived to tell the tale, have always held in the absolutely highest regard, the brave men and women who have come to our aid and rescue when needed. They come with little or no regard to their own safety, and regardless of weather conditions.

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This article is a tribute to their courage, fortitude and selflessness in executing this most honourable profession, which they have chosen for themselves. May they be remembered, honoured, and appreciated forever.

May 29th, 2011  in HOME PAGE Comments Off

KODAIJISAN – 2003 – IMO 9249049

Kodaijisan - 15 set 2014

Kodaijisan - 15 set 2014 - 2

Kodaisidan - 15 set 2014 - 3

© Roberto Smera – Santos 15.09.2014.

IDNo: 9249049 – Year: 2003 – Name: KODAIJISAN – Keel: 14.4.03 – Type: Tanker (LPG) – Launch Date: 27.6.03 – Flag: PAN – Date of completion: 14.10.03 – GT: 47046 – DWT: 58591 – Yard No: 1436 – Length overall: 225.3 – LPP: 215.0 – Country of build: KOR – Beam: 36.6 – Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd – Ulsan.

Supplementary Features: Atmospheric – Ref – Ammonia.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 105 rpm – Total Power: Mcr 13,548kW (18,420hp) – Max. Speed: 19.10 kts, Service Speed: 16.80 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: B&W, Engine Builder: Hyundai Heavy Industries Co Ltd – South Korea – 1 x 6S60MC-C, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 600 x 2400, Mcr: 13,548 kW (18,420 hp) at 105 rpm.

Subsequent History: 10.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

September 23rd, 2014  in LPG & LNG Carriers - K No Comments »

STOLT VINLAND – 1992 – IMO 8911657

STOLT VINLAND - IMO 8911657-pilot-1

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – February 18, 2010.

STOLT VINLAND - IMO 8911657-pilot-2

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – Mar 15, 2013 at Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Stolt Vinland - 21 set 2014

Stolt Vinland - 21 set 2014 - detalhe

Stolt Vinland - 21 set 2014 - 2

© Roberto Smera – Santos 21.09.2014.

IDNo: 8911657 – Year: 1992 – Name: STOLT VINLAND - Keel: 7.3.91 – Type: Tanker – Launch Date: 9.3.92 – Flag: LBR – Date of completion: 25.3.92 – GRT: 19034 – DWT: 29999 – Yard No: 124 – Length overall: 174.7 – LPP: 167.2 – Country of build: NOR – Beam: 29.5 – Builders:

1992-03 Kvaerner Kleven Floro AS – Floro (Aft section) Yard/hull No.: 124

1992-03 Kvaerner Kleven Floro AS – Forde (Fwd section) Yard/hull No.: 124

Supplementary Features: 2 ta on dk.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 CP propeller at 111 rpm
Total Power: Mcr 9,173kW (12,472hp) – Service Speed: 15.50 kts – Speed & Consumption: 15.50 knots on 30.70 tonnes per day.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: B&W, Engine Builder: AO Bryanskiy Mashinostroitelnyy Zavod (BMZ) – Bryansk – 1 x 6L60MC, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 600 x 1944, Mcr: 9,173 kW (12,472 hp) at 111 rpm.

Subsequent History: [Newbuilding price $60,166,467] – 12.03 (Cayman Islands) – 12.12 (Liberia) – 10.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

September 23rd, 2014  in Tankers Over 4000 TDW - S No Comments »

ARGENTINA – 1958 – IMO 5023162

ARGENTINA-5

ARGENTINA-2

ARGENTINA-4

ARGENTINA-1

© DANISH MARITIME MUSEUM – SS ARGENTINA

IDNo: 5023162 – Year: 1958 – Name: ARGENTINA – Keel: 18.10.56 – Type: Passenger/cargo (rf) – Launch Date: 12.3.58 – Flag: USA – Date of completion: 9.12.58 – GRT: 14984 – DWT: 8552 – Yard No: 468 – Length overall: 188.2 – Ship Design: P2-S2-9a – LPP: 173.7 – Country of build: USA – Beam: 26.9 – Builder: Ingalls SB. Corp. – Pascagoula, Ms.

Machinery Overview: 2 turbo electric steam turb. double reduction geared to screw shafts driving 2 FP propellers – Total Power: Mcr 18,756kW (25,500hp) – Service Speed: 21.00 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: General Electric, Engine Builder: General Electric Co. – Lynn, Ma – 2 x Unknown, Mcr: 9,378 kW (12,750 hp) at 0 rpm.

Note on Tonnage: 14,984 GRT (US-Gross Registered Tons) as built. Then: 15,257-tons in 1963 / 23,395 UK-tons in 1973 / 15,631-tons in 1976 / 15.334-tons in 1978 & finally 23,879-UK-tons in 1982.

Subsequent History: [1972 cv to passenger ship, 23372g] – 72 VEENDAM – 74 BRASIL – 75 VEENDAM – 76 MONARCH STAR – 78 VEENDAM – 84 BERMUDA STAR – 90 ENCHANTED ISLE – 03 NEW ORLEANS

A-Udklip

Source: Miramar Ship Index by arrangement.

Time Line:

1958: (12th March) Launch.

1958: (12th December) Maiden voyage New York – Buenos Aires.

1963: Conversion carried out by Bethlehem Steel, Baltimore, USA.

1972: Sold to Holland Amerika Lijn, Willemstad, Netherlands Antilles and renamed VEENDAM.

1972: (8th September) Arrival at shipyard Lloyd Werft, Bremerhaven, German for refurbishment.

1973: (March) Arrival at Rotterdam.

1972: (17th July) Cruises betwen Rotterdam and New York.

1974: (14th May) Laid up in Hampton Roads.

1974: (15th December) Chartered to Agence Maritime International and renamed BRASIL. In service with cruises from Rio de Janeiro.

1975: (April) Charter is terminated. Renamed VEENDAM.

1976: Chartered to Monarch Cruise Lines and renamed MONARCH STAR.

1978: Sold to Holland Amerika Lijn, Panama, and renamed VEENDAM.

1981: Registered in the Netherlands Antilles. Home port is Willemstad.

1984 (May) Sold to Island Navigation Corp. (Bermuda Cruise Line), Panama, and renamed BERMUDA STAR.

1990: (September) Sold to Commodore Cruise Lines, Panama, and renamed ENCHANTED ISLE.

1993: (28th May) First of six cruises between Kiel, Germany and the Norwegian fjords.

1994: Laid up as hotel ship in St. Petersburg, Russia and renamed Commodore Hotel.

1994: (August) Reverted to ENCHANTED ISLE.

1995: Change of ownership name: New Commodore Cruise Line, Panama.

2000 (December) After owners’ bankruptcy she is laid up in Violet, Louisiana, USA (near New Orleans).

2003: (July) Sold to Global Marketing Co, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and renamed NEW ORLEANS.

2003: (2th October) Departure from Violet, Lousiana, USA to India.

2003: (4th December) Arrival at the breakers in Alang, India

Time line expanded:

In September 1955 the United States Federal Maritime Board made a decision that the Federal Government should contribute US$20 Million toward the cost of building two new steamships for Moore-McCormack Lines. The company had already sought bids from several yards and the best had come from Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula, Mississippi, who would build two new 15,000-ton combination passenger/cargo ships at $24,444,181 per ship.

SS ARGENTINA departed on her maiden voyage on December 12. Like her twin sister, BRASIL, she was built and designed to operate month-long round voyages from New York to Trinidad, Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires, with an occasional visit to Port Everglades.

The two sisters were considered to be quite unique, as both had a dummy funnel with two stacks located aft of their superstructure. The dummy funnel originally housed a glass-roofed solarium. Overall these ships were attractive looking ships, and had pleasant public rooms, with unusually large staterooms as well as two swimming pools (considering that both had a rather small passenger capacity for their size).

Passengers: 1958 to 1963: 394 / From 1963: 557 first class passengers. At the end of her career as the Universe Explorer – 731 one class) – Passenger decks: 9 – Crew: 401 One Class (At the end of her career as Universe Explorer – 365).

SS ARGENTINA entered a rebuilding program in 1963, the same as her sister underwent the year before. Both had two new decks added, respectively named the Sun and the Navigation deck. These contained new accommodations for 163 passengers. In addition new public facilities were added, and several of the other public areas were enlarged to handle the new cruise venture. Upon completion her sister departed on her very first cruise complete with her new upper decks in June 1963, looking like a brand new ship.

With the superstructure changed so dramatically their new profiles caused people to say, that they looked somewhat awkward and top heavy. Yet, it did not take long before ship lovers came to realise that these were still superb and excellent ships, regardless of the alterations that had been made. Improvements outweighed by far their outward appearance. SS ARGENTINA continued cruising until 1972, when both ships were sold to Holland America Line. Her new owners had her chartered out as the BRASIL for a short spell in 1974/75.

After having been operated by Holland America Line from 1977 as the SS VEENDAM and briefly as the MONARCH STAR, then back to VEENDAM, she was sold in 1984 to the Island Navigation Corp, operating as Bermuda Cruise Line who renamed her SS BERMUDA STAR and she continued cruising until September 1990.

She was then sold on to Commodore Cruise Lines who renamed her ENCHANTED ISLE. Early in 1994 she was laid up in St. Petersburg where she was used as a hotel for a short time, and for that purpose she was named but not registered as Commodore Hotel. Then in August of that year she again became the ENCHANTED ISLE, but little is known about her duties thereafter.

In 1995 she came under the ownership of the New Commodore Cruise Line, and retained the name ENCHANTED ISLE, as well as recommencing her cruise duties. However New Commodore Cruise Lines went into bankruptcy in December of 2000, and the ship was laid up at Violet, Louisiana, USA, close to New Orleans.

In July 2003 she was sold to the Global Marketing Company who renamed her NEW ORLEANS, but then on 2. October she departed Violet, Louisiana, and ship lovers discovered that she was bound for the breakers in India. She arriving at the breakers’ yards on December 9, 2003, and the end of the newer of these two fine American ships had come to an end.

Disposal Data: 4.12.03 – Status changed to Broken Up – Broken Up at Alang by Priya Blue Industries Pvt Ltd, India, for $135 per LDT (15,414 LDT) $2,080,000 total.

JOACHIM HENDRIK FISSER – 1952 – IMO 5017591

Anglia-c1964

© Gustav Schneider Collection.

ANGLIA FLENSBURG

© Alice Archer Collection.

IDNo: 5017591 – Year: 1952 – Name: JOACHIM HENDRIK FISSER – Type: Cargo ship – Launch Date: 4.52 – Flag: DEU – Date of completion: 6.52 – GRT: 615 – DWT: 951 – Yard No: 354 – Length overall: 65.5 – LPP: 59.5 – Country of build: DEU – Beam: 9.9 – Builder: Schiffbau Gesellschaft Unterweser AG – Bremerhaven.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller – Total Power: Mcr 736kW (1,001hp) – Service Speed: 12.00 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: MaK, Engine Builder: Maschinenbau Kiel AG (MaK) – Kiel – 1 x Unknown, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 8 Cy. 385 x 580, Mcr: 736 kW (1,001 hp).

Subsequent History: 59 ANGLIA - 64 KANAVELIC – 69 LURE – 70 FRANCES M. – 71 LURE – 74 AGIA IRENE – 77 AGIA IRINI I – 80 AIKATERINI STR. – 80 IOANNA I

A-Udklip

Source: Miramar Ship Index by arrangement.

Disposal Data: BU Marsa 15.9.86 – Broken Up by Sartard Shipbreakers Ltd. in Malta.

PILSUDSKI – 1935 – IMO 0000000

PILSUDSKI-1

© DANISH MARITIME MUSEUM

Year: 1935 – Name: PILSUDSKI – Type: Passenger ship – Launch Date: 19.12.34 – Flag: POL – Date of completion: 8.35 – GRT: 14294 – Yard No: 1126 – Length overall: 162.0 – LPP: 152.0 – Country of build: ITA – Beam: 21.6 – Builder: Riuniti Adriatico of Monfalcone – Number of screws/Mchy/Speed(kn): 2D-18.

Subsequent History:

PILSUDSKI (later renamed ORP Piłsudski) was a medium-size ocean liner of the Polish Merchant Marine, named for Marshal Józef Piłsudski, a national hero of Poland. She was built in Italy (by the CRDA yard at Monfalcone, yard No. 1126) for the enterprise called PTTO, later Gdynia-Ameryka Linie Zeglugowe (Gdynia-America Line), with part of the payment being shipments of coal from Poland. Launched in December 1934, her tonnage was 14,294 tons gross, with a length of 162 metres (531 ft) and a beam of 71 ft. She was propelled by two diesel engines driving two screws, giving a speed of 18 knots.

She entered the regular service as a liner on the trans-Atlantic route in September 1935, setting sail for a maiden voyage from Gdynia to New York. As a liner, she was very badly damaged by her first ocean storm. In 1939, she was taken over for war service and scheduled to be converted into an armed merchant cruiser. The plans of that conversion were dropped, the ship being instead converted into a troop transport ship. During her first wartime voyage on 26 November 1939 sailing out of Newcastle, she struck a mine (most likely) or was torpedoed (lack of confirmation in German sources). Abandoned too soon by her crew, quite capable of being saved, she sunk off the Humber.

She was the older sister ship to Poland’s most famous ocean liner, the MS Batory. The Pilsudski’s first and only skipper was Master Mariner Mamert Stankiewicz.

Sitting at 53°45.75′N 0°45.67′E in 34 metres (112 ft), she is the biggest shipwreck in Yorkshire.

Official Report on the sinking of MV PILSUDSKI: ms-pilsudski

Disposal Data: mined 53.15N/00.30E 26.11.39 (10*) [Tyne-Australia, ballast].