SS British Crown

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Malim Sahib
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:21 pm
Location: Aberdeen

SS British Crown

Post by Malim Sahib » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:15 pm

Tomorrow marks another sad anniversary, it being 45 years since the tragic loss of SS British Crown at Umm Said, Qatar.
She suffered a catastrophic explosion aft of the midships accommodation due to a oil vapour build up, 19 crew were lost. Incredibly her Master survived after his cabin was ripped apart by the explosion and he was propelled from it by the force of the blast - he landed in the sea nearby. The C/O was on deck at the time and similarly was blown clear.

2/O Graham Edwin May, 22 years old
3/O Paul Adrian Griffith, 24 years old
C/E Alec Webster, 37 years old
2/E Frederick Gerald Wilson, 30 years old
4/E Peter Masters, 22 years old
J/E Rodney Bruce Joseph Slacke, 28 years old
J/E Peter Edward Austin, 22 years old
Electrican, Joseph Godfrey Uglow, 43 years old
Chief Steward Frederick George Fifield, 44 years old
R/O Frank Thomas Smith, 22 years old
Deck Cadet Keith Sydney Smith, 18 years old
Deck Cadet George M. Dower, 19 years old
Serang Esack Ebrahmin, 45 years old
AB Deoram Sonoo, 44 years old
AB Abdul Rahmin Yusuf, 25 years old
AB Bhagwan U. Tandal, 24 years old
Pumpman S'K Ebrahim S'K Esmail, 45 years old
Asst Pumpman S'K Ebramin S'K Mohd, 37 years old
Captain Harris, Berthing Master

Her loss was one of a number of serious tanker losses in the 60s which had a 'positive' impact in that it led to the industry developing the Inert Gas system and the adoption of intrinsically safe electrical equipment.

S.T. British Crown
ON 184648
18570 grt, 11252 nrt, 28598 dwt
619.5 x 81.3 x 44.7ft
Two steam turbines manufactured by the shipbuilder, double reduction geared to a single screw shaft, 13750 shp
14.06.1952 Launched by Cammell, Laird & Company Ltd., Birkenhead. Yard No: 1208
07.1952 Completed and handed over to the British Tanker Company Ltd.
01.06.1956 Owners restyled as the BP Tanker Company Ltd.
20.08.1966 At 0530 whilst loading at Umm Said number 5, 6 and 7 tanks exploded causing the ship to eventually become a total loss. The centre castle was totally destroyed, only the Captain and Chief Officer survived. The remainder of the crew abandoned ship from the stern, clinging to the mooring buoys until rescued. In all 13 officers and 6 crew lost their lives.
03.11.1966 Declared a CTL., the forepart having sunk.
British Crown1.jpg
In happier times.
British Crown 3E & Lecky.jpg
BP Engineers from another tanker aboard after she was beached.
British Crown4.jpg
Most of those killed lived in the amidships accommodation, which was almost totally destroyed by the explosion.


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Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:20 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: SS British Crown

Post by Deepol » Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:30 pm

Very interesting and so sad as well. It just shows just how dangerous these ships can be although you'll not need me to tell you that! Was reading recently some more about the Battle of the Atlantic and the tanker men who were usually the U-boats prime target.
Paul Strathdee

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