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

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.

“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

EASTERN MERCURY No. 1 – 1977 – IMO 7705350

Fortune Navigator - IMO 7705350

Fortune Navigator - IMO 7705350-1

© Mr. Xuan Binh – January 03, 2004 – Discharging Gypsum at Hon Gay, Vietnam.

IDNo: 7705350 – Year: 1977 – Name: EASTERN MERCURY No.1 – Keel: 8.9.77 - Type: Cargo ship – Launch Date: 10.10.77 - Flag: Panama – Date of completion: 25.11.77 - GRT: 3778 – DWT: 6500 – Yard No: 201 – Length overall: 105.6 - LPP: 98.6 – Country of build: JPN – Beam: 16.4 – Builder: Higaki of Imabari.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 230 rpm  – Total Power: Mcr 2,795kW (3,800hp) – Service Speed: 12.50kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Mitsubishi, Engine Builder: Kobe Hatsudoki KK – Japan – 1 x 6UET45/75, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 450 x 750, Mcr: 2,795 kW (3,800 hp) at 230 rpm.

Subsequent History: [Newbuilding price $3,843,533 ] – 1.82 FORTUNE NAVIGATOR – 6.90 (Vietnam) – 6.08 HONG SON

Casualty reports from IHSF:

  • SUSTAINED MECHANICAL PROBLEMS IN THE ANDAMAN SEA 230 MILES SOUTH OF YANGON, MYANAMAR IN LAT. 13 25N., LONG. 95 46E., AT 0308 HOURS LT ON 12/02/11 IN GOOD WEATHER. SUBSEQUENTLY REPAIRED AND RETURNED TO SERVICE.MV ‘DAI DUONG SUNRISE’ PROCEEDED TO ASSIST AND EFFECTED TOW TO PHUKET, THAILAND ARRIVING 18/02/11 FOR INSPECTION AND REPAIRS.
  • SUSTAINED MECHANICAL PROBLEMS IN THE SOUTH CHINA SEA 85 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HON KHOAI ISLAND, VIETNAM IN LAT. 07 16N., LONG. 105 21E., AT 1130 HOURS LT ON 15/03/11. SUBSEQUENTLY REPAIRED AND RETURNED TO SERVICE.MV ‘PHU HUNG 08′ PROCEEDED TO ASSIST AND EFFECTED TOW TO VUNG TAU, VIETNAM ARRIVING ON 20/03/11 FOR INSPECTION AND REPAIRS.

Disposal Data: 11.2012 – Status changed to Broken Up - Broken Up by Unknown Shipbreakers of Haiphong in Vietnam.

BACH DANG 22 – 1988 – IMO 8838726

Thanh Cuong - IMO 8838726

© Mr. Xuan Binh – March 23, 2011 – As the THANH CUONG at Nha Be, Saigon, Vietnam.

IDNo: 8838726 – Year: 1988 – Name: BACH DANG 22 - Type: Cargo ship - Flag: VNM – Date of completion: 1988 - GRT: 958 – DWT: 1150 – Yard No: ? - Length overall: 71.6 - LPP: 66.99 - Country of build: VNM – Beam: 11.6 – Builder: Bach Dang of Haiphong.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 400 rpm  – Total Power: Mcr 736kW (1,001hp) – Service Speed: 11.00kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Hanshin, Engine Builder: The Hanshin Diesel Works Ltd – Japan – 1 x 6LU26, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 260 x 440, Mcr: 736 kW (1,001 hp) at 400 rpm.

Subsequent History: 03 DONG A-01 – 07 THANH CUONG – 5.14  In Service/Commission – TBUX

ECOLÓGICO PRIMERO – 2006 – IMO 9392717

Ecologico Primero - 18 abr 2014

Ecologico Primero - 18 abr 2014 - 2

© Roberto Smera – Santos 18.04.2014.

IDNo: 9392717 – Year: 2006 – Name: ECOLÓGICO PRIMERO / ECOLOGICO PRIMERO – Keel: 16.1.06 -
Type: Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger – Launch Date: 30.8.06 - Flag: ESP – Date of completion: 16.10.06 - GRT: 845 - DWT: 1672 – Yard No: 270 – Length overall: 55.0 - LPP: 52.9 – Country of build: ESP – Beam: 12.0 – Builder: Nodosa of Cangas.

Supplementary Features: Split-hull.

Machinery Overview: 2 oil engines reduction geared to screw shafts driving 2 FP propellers  – Total Power: Mcr 1,060kW (1,442hp) – Service Speed: 10.00kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Caterpillar, Engine Builder: Caterpillar Inc – USA – 2 x 3412C-TA, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, Vee – 12 Cy. 137 x 152, Mcr: 530 kW (721 hp) at 1,800 rpm.

Subsequent History: TBUX

ZHENG HUI – 2014 – IMO 9596105

Zheng Hui - 17 abr 2014

© Roberto Smera – Santos 17.04.2014.

IDNo: 9596105 – Year: 2014 – Name: ZHENG HUI – Keel:  15.12.12 - Type: Bulk Carrier – Launch Date: 24.5.13 - Flag: PAN – Date of completion: 2.1.14 - GRT: 43951 - DWT: 82500 – Yard No: W1017 – Length overall: 229.02 - LPP: 225.52 – Country of build: CHN – Beam: 32.26 – Builder: Wuhu Xinlian Shipbuilding Co Ltd. of Wuhu, Anhui.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 105 rpm  – Total Power: Mcr 11,900kW (16,179hp), Csr 10,115kW (13,752hp) – Max. Speed: 15.00kts, Service Speed: 14.20kts – Speed & Consumption: 14.00 knots on 36.00 tonnes per day.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: MAN-B&W, Engine Builder: Dalian Marine Diesel Co Ltd – China – 1 x 5S60ME-C8, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 5 Cy. 600 x 2400, Mcr: 11,900 kW (16,179 hp) at 105 rpm.

Subsequent History: TBUX

April 23rd, 2014  in Bulk & OBO Carriers - Z No Comments »

TOR SCANDINAVIA – 1976 – IMO 7361324

IMG_20140423_0011x1500tor

© Mike Griffiths Collection.

TOR SCANDINAVIA - IMO 7361324-chow

© Chris Howell Collection by arrangement – April 27, 1984 at Harwich, United Kingdom.

MOBY OTTA - IMO 7361324

© Gianpaolo of Milan – Seen at Genoa under repairs April 2008.

IDNo: 7361324 – Year: 1976 – Name: TOR SCANDINAVIA – Keel: 2.4.75 – Type: Ferry (pax/RORO) – Launch Date: 4.11.75 – Flag: SWE – Date of completion: 12.4.76 - GRT: 15673 – DWT: 3335 – Yard No: 608 – Length overall: 182.4 - LPP: 163.0 – Country of build: DEU – Beam: 23.6 – Builder: Flender of Lübeck-Siems.

Machinery Overview: 4 oil engines reduction geared to screw shafts driving 2 CP propellers at 202 rpm  – Total Power: Mcr 33,540kW (45,600hp) – Service Speed: 26.00kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Pielstick, Engine Builder: Lindholmen Motor AB – Sweden – 4 x 12PC3V-480, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, Vee – 12 Cy. 480 x 520, Mcr: 8,385 kW (11,400 hp) at 470 rpm.

Subsequent History: [Newbuilding price $29,886,551 ] – [1998 widened to 26.9m, 22528gt] – 82 WORLD WIDE EXPO – 83 TOR SCANDINAVIA – 10.88 (Denmark DIS) – 1.91 PRINCESS OF SCANDINAVIA – 11.06 MOBY OTTA (Italy) – In Service/Commission – TBUX