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

*

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:

*

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.

**********

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.

*

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 1 Comment »

FEISTY GAS – 2001 – IMO 9236901

Feisty Gas - IMO 9236901-2003

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – FEISTY GAS at Moerdijk (NLD) on 07.07.2003.

Gas Zael - IMO 9236901-2

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland –  GAS ZAEL at Dordtse Kil on 24.08.2007.

Gas Zael - IMO 9236901-1

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – GAS ZAEL at ‘s Gravendeel on 24.08.2007.

IDNo: 9236901 – Year: 2001 – Name: FEISTY GAS – Keel: 24.1.01 – Type: Tanker (LPG) – Launch Date: 6.2.01 – Flag: Panama – Date of completion: 5.6.01 – GT: 3678 – DWT: 3409 – Yard No: 522 – Length overall: 99.6 – LPP: 93.7 – Country of build: JPN – Beam: 17.5 – Builder: Higaki Zosen K.K. – Imabari.

Supplementary Features: Pressurised

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 210 rpm – Total Power: Mcr 3,090kW (4,201hp) – Service Speed: 14.50 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Mitsubishi, Engine Builder: Kobe Hatsudoki KK – Japan – 1 x 6UEC37LA, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 370 x 880, Mcr: 3,090 kW (4,201 hp) at 210 rpm.

Subsequent History: 4.06 GAS ZAEL – 3.11 MIYAKE (Singapore) – 5.14 EPIC CAMPBELL – 11.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

Casualty report from IHS-M:

IN COLLISION WITH MV “KADRI” (IMO 9114725) AT KILOMETRE MARKER 65 ON THE KIEL CANAL NEAR RENDSBURG, GERMANY, IN LAT. 54 22 N., LONG. 10 10 E., AT 0900 HOURS LT ON 16/11/07 IN DENSE FOG.

SUBSEQUENTLY INSPECTED AND RETURNED TO SERVICE.

PROCEEDED TO BRUNSBÜTTEL, GERMANY, FOR INSPECTION. TRAFFIC ON THE CANAL WAS HALTED IN BOTH DIRECTIONS DUE TO THE INCIDENT. NO INJURIES OR POLLUTION REPORTED.

Detail Status: ON VOYAGE – Voyage To Esbjerg – Cargo Status: Loaded – Cargo: LPG

Please see KADRI: http://7seasvessels.com/?p=160218

Other vessel involved in the same accident:

Please see ÅNGERMANLAND: http://7seasvessels.com/?p=85175

October 20th, 2014  in LPG & LNG Carriers - F No Comments »

FLINTERDAM – 1995 – IMO 9114725

Flinterdam - IMO 9114725-2002

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – FLINTERDAM at Europoort 05.02.2002.

Kadri - IMO 9114725-2010

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – As the KADRI at Schiedam on 06.05.2008.

Kadri - IMO 9114725-pilot

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – As the KADRI on May 03, 2009, at Pernis, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

IDNo: 9114725 Year: 1995 – Name: FLINTERDAM – Keel: 1.95 – Type: Cargo ship – Launch Date: 15.4.95 – Flag: NLD – Date of completion: 18.5.95 – GT: 3177 – DWT: 4506 – Yard No: 304 – Length overall: 99.9 – LPP: 93.0 – Country of build: NLD – Beam: 13.6 – Builder: Scheepswerf Ferus Smit BV – Westerbroek.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine with clutches, flexible couplings & single reduction geared to screw shaft driving 1 CP propeller at 222 rpm – Total Power: Mcr 2,400kW (3,263hp) – Service Speed: 13.20 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Stork-Werkspoor, Engine Builder: Stork-Wartsila Diesel BV – Netherlands – 1 x 8SW280, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 8 Cy. 280 x 300, Mcr: 2,400 kW (3,263 hp) at 900 rpm.

Subsequent History: [L as FLINTERZIJL] – 7.02 (Netherlands Antilles) – 6.05 (Netherlands) – 10.06 KADRI (Malta) – 11.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

Udklip

Source: Miramar Ship Index by arrangement.

Casualty reports from IHS-M:

IN COLLISION WITH MV ‘BALTIC CARRIER’ (IMO 9138197) IN THE KIEL CANAL, AT KM 53, NEAR RUESTERBERGEN, ON 16/3/98. SUSTAINED DAMAGE TO PORT SIDE. PROCEEDED TO RENDSBURG, WHERE ARRIVED SAME DAY. TEMPORARY REPAIRS CARRIED OUT. SAILED 18/3/98.

HEAVY DAMAGE TO PORT SIDE FORESHIP UPPER PART AND SLIGHT WATER INGRESS FORWARD. FUEL OIL SPILLED OUT OF THE DAMAGED TANKS OF VESSEL.

Detail Status: ON VOYAGE – Voyage From Fowey / Voyage To Inkoo – Cargo Status Loaded.

Please see BALTIC CARRIER: http://7seasvessels.com/?p=90268

IN COLLISION WITH MV ‘ANGERMANLAND’ (IMO 8818752) AND MV ‘GAS ZAEL’ (IMO 9236901) AT KILOMETRE MARKER 65 ON THE KIEL CANAL, NEAR RENDSBURG, GERMANY, IN LAT. 54 22N., LONG. 10 10E., AT 0900 HOURS LT ON 16/11/07 IN DENSE FOG.

SUBSEQUENTLY RETURNED TO SERVICE.

SUSTAINED DAMAGE TO BOW. PROCEEDED TO BERTH AT KIEL, GERMANY, FOR INSPECTION; THENCE TO HAMBURG, GERMANY, WHERE REPAIRS WERE EFFECTED. NO INJURIES OR POLLUTION REPORTED. TRAFFIC ON THE CANAL WAS HALTED IN BOTH DIRECTIONS DUE TO THE INCIDENT.

Detail Status: ON VOYAGE – Voyage From Kiel Canal / Voyage To St Petersburg – Cargo Status Unknown.

Please see ÅNGERMANLAND: http://7seasvessels.com/?p=85175

Please see the GAS ZAEL: http://7seasvessels.com/?p=85175

 

MARITIME PEARL – 1990 – IMO 8906846

Sea Miror - IMO 8906846-1

Sea Miror - IMO 8906846-2

© River/Sea Pilot Frans Sanderse of Holland – As the SEA MIRROR on March 26, 2011, at Hoek van Holland, Hook of Holland, Netherlands.

Rubella - 17 set 2014

Rubella - 17 set 2014 - 2

© Roberto Smera – As the RUBELLA in Santos 17.09.2014.

IDNo: 8906846 – Year: 1990 – Name: MARITIME PEARL – Keel: 17.1.90 – Type: Bulk carrier – Launch Date: 28.3.90 – Flag: PAN – Date of completion: 15.6.90 – GT: 23274 – DWT: 42025 – Yard No: 10124 – Length overall: 180.0 – LPP: 172.0 – Country of build: JPN – Beam: 30.5 – Builder: Oshima Shipbuilding Co Ltd – Saikai NS.

Machinery Overview: 1 oil engine driving 1 FP propeller at 99 rpm – Total Power: Mcr 6,230kW (8,470hp), Csr 5,296kW (7,200hp) – Max. Speed: 16.15 kts, Service Speed: 14.00 kts. – Speed & Consumption: 13.00 knots on 23.00 tonnes per day.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Sulzer, Engine Builder: Diesel United Ltd. – Aioi –
1 x 6RTA52, 2 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 6 Cy. 520 x 1800, Mcr: 6,230 kW (8,470 hp) at 99 rpm.

Subsequent History: 9.90 (Singapore) – 11.98 SEA MIROR (St Vincent & The Grenadines) – 9.03 (Malta) – 8.13 RUBELLA (Belize) – 11.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

October 19th, 2014  in Bulk & OBO Carriers - M No Comments »

SANTOS SUPPLIER – 2009 – IMO 9497139

Santos Supplier - 02 out 2014

Santos Supplier - 2

Santos Supplier - detalhe

Santos Supplier - 3

Santos Supplier - 4

Santos Supplier - 5

© Roberto Smera – Santos 02.10.2014.

IDNo: 9497139 – Year: 2009 – Name: SANTOS SUPPLIER - Keel: 4.3.08 – Type: Platform Supply Ship – Launch Date: 9.3.09 – Flag: BRA – Date of completion: 29.5.09 – GT: 2999 – DWT: 4820 – Yard No: 110 – Length overall: 84.37 – LPP: 81.68 – Country of build: BRA – Beam: 18.29 – Builder: Estaleiro Navship Ltda – Navegantes.

Supplementary Features: Fire-fighting – DP2

Machinery Overview: 2 oil engines geared to screw shafts driving 2 Propellers – Total Power: Mcr 5,420kW (7,370hp), Csr 4,606kW (6,262hp) – Speed ?

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Caterpillar, Engine Builder: Caterpillar Inc – USA – 2 x C280-8, 4 Stroke, Single Acting, In-Line (Vertical) – 8 Cy. 280 x 300, Mcr: 2,710 kW (3,685 hp) at 1,000 rpm.

Subsequent History: 11.14 In Service/Commission – TBUX

 

JANE MÆRSK – 1966 – IMO 6610572

JANE-MAERS-mfs-JOSEPHINE-2

jane-maersk

© DANISH MARITIME MUSEUM – JANE MÆRSK

JANE-MAERS-mfs-JOSEPHINE

© DANISH MARITIME MUSEUM – JOSEPHINE

IDNo: 6610572 – Year: 1966 – Name: JANE MÆRSK / JANE MAERSK – Type: Tanker – Launch Date: 5.4.66 – Flag: DNK – Date of completion: 7.66 – GT: 41950 – DWT: 89205 – Yard No: 12 – Length overall: 261.8 – LPP: 251.5 – Country of build: DNK – Beam: 37.1 – Builder: Odense Staalskibsvaerft A/S – Munkebo (Lindø Shipyard).

Machinery Overview: 1 turbo electric steam turb. double reduction geared to screw shaft driving 1 FP propeller – Total Power: Mcr 17,652kW (24,000hp) – Service Speed: 16.75 kts.

Prime Mover Detail: Design: Stal-Laval, Engine Builder: Kockums Mekaniska Verkstads AB – Sweden – 1 x Unknown, Mcr: 17,652 kW (24,000 hp) at 0 rpm.

Subsequent History: 72 JOSEPHINE – 76 MOZDOK – 79 CONCORD

Udklip
Source: Miramar Ship Index by arrangement.

Disposal Data: BU 10.5.84 – Broken Up by Sie Yung Steel Wire Co. Ltd. of Kaohsiung in Chinese Taipei for $135 per LDT.

October 19th, 2014  in Tankers Over 4000 TDW - J No Comments »