Amastra (2)

About

Completed 1958 as Amastra for STUK. The Amastra mined and sunk in the harbour of Nhatrang Vietnam in 1967. Later repaired. 30-4-1985 arrived Chittagong for scrap.

Information
IMO number
5013600
Call sign
MYCK
Construction number
1252
Tonnage
19.117 ton
Beam
21m
Length overall
170m
Year of construction
1958
Year of renaming/broken up
1985
Service for Shell
1958 to 1985
Cargo
Class
Flag state
Home port
Manager
Shipyard
Status
Photo(s)

Comments

Sailors

Name Job Period Details
Paul Ayers able seaman
Dave Chissel 3rd engineer 1958 to 1959
Harry Birtles apprentice engineer/5th engineer 1959 to 1961
Neil Carmichael apprentice engineer 1959
Barry Tilley assistant steward 1959
David Brook apprentice 1960
Derek Henry Bowdery engineer cadet 1960
David Lester apprentice engineer 1960 to 1961
Alan Jones Alan... catering boy/2nd cook 1961 to 1962
Warren Liddle pantryboy 1961 to 1962 pantry boy
Robin Keer-keer 2nd mate 1961
Michael Kemp senior deck apprentice 1962
Kenneth Hopps 5th engineer 1962
Brian Owenson catering boy 1963 to 1964
Michael Mancey deck apprentice 1963 to 1964
Bill Bayliss deck boy 1963
Bruce Hermeston 5th engineer 1964
Ken Bolton efficient deckhand 1964
Peter Graham 2nd officer 1964
William Ross Fa... senior ordinary seaman 1964
Ken Cooper catering 1964
Michael Kemp 3rd deck officer 1964
George Copus 5th engineer 1964
Michael Beddie efficient deckhand 1965 to 1966
Mike Carter radio officer 1965 to 1966
David Bunn 2nd cook and baker 1965 to 1966
Joseph Clark Murphy deck apprentice 1965
Anonymous pantryboy 1965
Michael Kemp extra 3rd officer 1965 homeward bound as supernumary
Robert Ian Fletcher apprentice engineer 1965
Fred Wood catering boy 1966 to 1967
Vic Conoly fireman 1966 to 1967
James W. Crosby po mechanic 1966
Barney Boylan 2 assistant steward 1966 to 1967
Fred Wood cabin boy 1966
John Bernard cabin boy 1966
James Stewart Fenton 5th engineer 1967
Mike Nicholls radio officer 1967 to 1968
Michael Beddie efficient deckhand 1967
John Melville junior engineer, 4th engineer 1967 to 1968
David Spence 2 2nd officer 1967
Thomas P. Hughes 3rd officer 1967 to 1968
Terry Smart extra 3rd engineer 1967
Alan Blair acting 4th engineer 1968 5th eng/acting 4th eng
Iain Moffatt chief engineer 1968
John Melville 5th engineer, 4th engineer 1968 5th engineer promoted 4th
Lenny Fisher cabin boy 1968 to 1970
Kerrion Marsh engineer 1969 to 1971
William Muirhead 3rd mate 1969
Alan Blair 4th engineer 1969 to 1970
Michael Johnston assistant steward 1969
Steven Foot 3rd mate 1970 to 1971
Kevin Blackburn 5th engineer 1970
William Nicol 1 2nd cook and baker 1970 to 1971
Nigel Draffin 1 apprentice engineer 1970 to 1971
Charles Stobbart catering offficer 1970 to 1971
Peter D Miller 5th engineer 1970
Robin Trusler 2nd officer 1970 to 1971
Malcolm Newell 2nd engineer 1971 to 1972
Colin S. Bland 5th engineer, 4th engineer 1971 make water
William Hoey senior ordinary seaman 1971 to 1972
Douglas M.C. Renton master 1971 to 1972
David Homes catering boy/galley boy 1971 to 1972
Martin Goodrum radio officer 1972
Chris Smith navigation cadet 1972
Anonymous assistant steward 1972
John Melville 3rd engineer 1972 to 1973
Nick Emerson 3rd mate 1972
Kevin Robson catering boy 1972
Stephen Catchpole catering boy 1972 to 1973
Douglas Richmond 5th engineer 1972
Robert T. Dunbar 3rd officer 1972
David C. Richmond extra chief engineer 1972 motor time
John Pickering chef kok 1973 to 1974
Les Straughan 5th engineer 1973 to 1977
Stephen Adams deck cadet 1973 to 1974
Robert T. Dunbar 3rd officer 1973 to 1974
Dave Murphy engineer cadet 1973
Bob Marshall 3rd mate, 2nd mate 1974 to 1976
Bob Billett radio officer 1974 to 1975
Roger Beecroft 5th engineer 1975 to 1976
Geoff Akehurst 3rd officer 1975
John Tarling deck cadet 1975
Nigel Sharrock 5th engineer 1975
Joe Collins 3rd mate 1976 to 1977 Last trip with the company
Richard Paul Helliar deck cadet 1976
Herbie Battye chief officer 1976 to 1977
Dave Freeman deck cadet 1976
Roy Robertson 2nd mate 1976
James D. Jim Auton extra 2nd engineer 1977 motor time
Phil Gunner radio officer 1977
Mark Shaun Buckley deck cadet 1977 to 1978 onboard twice 77'
Mike Riley chief engineer 1977
Stephen Bunce 3rd engineer 1977
Alistair Randoll deck cadet 1978 to 1979
Stephan Steve Thomas radio/electronics officer 1979 to 1981
Brian Blythe 2nd mate 1979
Roy Ezzard captain (commanding officer) 1979 to 1980
James D. Jim Auton chief engineer 1979 to 1980
Colin Williamson 3rd engineer 1979 motor time
Stephen Sharp engineer cadet 1980
Ashley Barnard 3rd engineer 1980 to 1981
Derek Cumming 3rd mate 1980 to 1983
Don Joughin chief engineer 1980
Bernard Reynolds captain (commanding officer) 1980
Robin Campbell-... extra 2nd engineer 1980 motor time
Roger Beecroft 3rd engineer 1980
Doug Macintyre 3rd officer 1981
Mark Adams 3rd officer 1981
Carl Ainsley engineer cadet 1981
Nicholas Charle... chief officer 1981
Tony Hocking 5th engineer 1981 to 1982
Eileen Brown 3rd officer 1981 to 1982 deck cadet, 3rd officer
John P M Cusson unknown 1981 to 1982
Andrew Thomas engineer cadet 1982
Graham Lister 4th engineer 1982
Peter Burt engineer cadet 1982 to 1983
John Miller mate 1982 to 1983
Gordon Wright deck cadet 1982
David Reid engineer cadet 1982
David John Reid engineer cadet (engineer cadet and slave) 1982
Eric Halcrow 3rd engineer 1982 motor time
Ian Howard cadet 1982 to 1983
Andrew Perry engineer cadet 1983
Terry Crook 3rd engineer 1983 to 1984 motor time
Joseph Zerafa 3rd mate 1983 to 1984
Ken Edwards 5th engineer 1983
John Kirkland 5th engineer 1983
Mark Hill deck cadet 1983 to 1984
Geoff Donnelly 2nd mate 1984
Roy Robertson 2nd mate 1984 to 1985
Steve Seal 4th engineer 1985 took her to scrap with Bill Shelley
Roy Ezzard captain (commanding officer) 1989 to 1990

Anecdotes

Date Visitor Anecdote
02/07/2017 - 23:35 Brian Owenson

First Joined the Amastra at the Keil Canalin 1963.My 1st ship,15 years old,first time away from home,full of trepidation and excitement,but what a ship,what a crew,enjoyed it from 1st minute till I left 6 or 8 months later.Only down side was my Boss,the Chief Steward didn\'t like me,looked for faults in everything I did,until one day I told to Fcuk off and go and pick on someone else,cause I\'m reporting you to the Captain.No more bother after that,never spoke to me again.Captain Kerr was the boss man,remember him,but on the whole ,it was a brilliant ship and many many great memories.

03/29/2016 - 13:00 William Hoey

I was on the Amastra from 1971 to 1972 as Senior Ordinary Seaman. I sailed with a great Master called D McRenton, a great Captain. I enjoyed my time on her.

07/18/2012 - 17:15 Dave Chissel

I joined her as 3rd engr 1n 1959 and en route via the suez canal the junior transferred too much oil into ready use diesel tank and overflowed on to deck and as senior on watch I was summonsed to the old man's cabin and given a right bollocking. Fortunately the deck crew contained the spill and it didn't get into the canal

06/12/2012 - 18:32 Bill Bayliss

I joined the Amastra March 1963 Sunderland dry dock 8 months later paid off in Kiel. I was 1st trip deck boy. 1st stop was Puerta Miranda (Venezuela) then La Spezia (Italy) then back to Venezuela, then Buenes Aires, then Venezuela, then La Spezia, then Malta, Cyprus. Thru the Suez to Bandar Mashur (Iran) then Dar es Salaam (Tanganyika)then Mombasa(Kenya) back to Iran then Bombay, Madras & Budge Budge, back to Iran (Abadan). Bombay Madras & Budge Budge again then back to Iran. Got orders for Turku (Finland) via Kiel canal; returned to KIEL and paid off. Prior to this trip, the furthest I had been was Southend on mud! Wont mention the delights of tank cleaning, maybe another time.

06/11/2012 - 15:15 Roger Beecroft

1980 saw my third trip on the Amastra and I have to say this ship brings back some of my favourite memories. Don Joughin was the Chief Eng and (Fleetwood) Jack Atkinson the old man plus a whole rake of other memorable characters. We were drifting off Curacao waiting to go alongside as ita??s too deep to anchor. I was topping off my pay off bronzie before going on watch at midday. I happened to glimpse over the coaming of the aft accommodation to notice we had drifted close to the Avila Beach Hotel where tourists where gathering to look at us. I then took a peep through the engine room skylight to see the engine was still at rest; however the Chief wasna??t, as he was making full speed down the Engine room ladders without touching the steps. I considered it appropriate to slip into a boiler suit and head for the engine room.
On arrival I was confronted with the telegraph set at full astern, the engine stopped and no engineers to be seen with the exception of very red faced chief bellowing unrepeatable instructions from the boiler room door. The gist was - start the engine. This I did & we gracefully retreated from the gathering crowds.
It seems the engineer on watch, who was well read in all technical matters, would not start the engine because the boiler fire was out and the fuel temperature was outside the parameters stated in the Doxford instruction book.

06/08/2012 - 16:19 Roger Beecroft

I joined in Cardiff where she was carrying out a largly DIY refit with the excess of engineers the company had at the time. The Fourth Engineer Shaun Heffernan was most surprised to hear that I came from a small village in Yorkshire called Long Preston as one of the other 5th Engineers who joined with me Robert Stevenson was a neighbour of mine. Shaun came from Clithroe just a few miles down the road. The Yorkshire Dales was not renowned for its seafaring background.

09/15/2011 - 17:02 Thomas P. Hughes

Joined Singapore while vessel was refitting alongside at Kepple Singapore following ER flooding in Vietnam. Lots of dockside trials and trips around Western Anchorage, with tug loosely hooked up at the bow for safety. Returned to Vietnam for a few trips, before heading for discharge in Japan. Lifted bunkers in Japan, including barrels of diesel oil on deck and in forehold, enough to see us Great Circle across the Pacific to Acajutla, Cutoco, Panama Canal and Curacao. Amastra had an Brown gyroscope that pumped up and down. Mercury rings on the piston had to be topped up regularly. Offsigned at Curacao, five days in Avilla Beach Hotel, and flew to Azores for refuelling then to Gatwick on a four prop constellation.

03/07/2011 - 17:18 Don Joughin

My first contact with the Amastra was in the building of it. I was seconded to Smiths Dock to complete my Shell Apprenticeship, and worked on the building and saw her launched
My first spell sailing was as Third Engineer 2 months in 1962 when I transfered to the Amoria.
I returned as Second Engineer March to December 1963.
Back again as Chief Engineer March to July 1980
Yet again November 1980 to March 1981.
And again June to September 1981
Finally October 1983 to February 1984 All the later as Chief Engineer

04/28/2010 - 02:54 Neil Atkins

Sailed on her 1st trip fiver in 1979, the chief was Don Joughin. Sailed on her again a few years later. Remember female deck cadets Tyson & McCune, Rab Birdi, Chief Atkinson, Steve Thomas, Dave Conway and many more. Good times!

05/26/2009 - 22:01 John Bernard

I joined the amastra at swansea on 20th 8 1966.The amastra was in dry dock getting a refit it left dry dock went out two the carabean and the U.S.A PORTLAND.THE amastra was my first tanker there isent mutch two say as it was a short trip. the amastra headed back two the UK and i sighed of on 21 september 1966. the amastra went out two the far east vietnam whare it was sunk. I know one person Barney A/STEWARD

04/11/2009 - 20:08 Gordon Wright

Amastra: what a ship!
I spent 4 months or so on Amastra as a deck cadet. As many will remember, she was powered by a Doxford motor - a sight to behold...when it was running. I lost count of the times we wallowed aound 'not under command' while the long-suffering engineers fixed the fuel pipes (or some other, less frequent point of failure) again. After dark, sparks would drift out of the funnel, which was quite interesting when we were fully loaded with aviation fuel!
The master at the time was the great Jimmy Millar. He had an incredible capacity for Ballantyne's whisky: I often saw him down a Heineken beer glass full (presumably 330ml in modern money) before dinner and go back for more straight after eating! Despite this, he hardly ever appeared to be under the weather (though on the rare occasions he was, he could be very entertaining).
We had a trip into the Baltic when it was iced over. We had to tie up a good 15 feet off the loading platform because of the solid blacks of ice between us and it. The next trip took us to Curacao (or was it Aruba?) where the ship was heeled over somehwere between 10 and 15 degrees so that the anti-fouling paint could be reapplied, first on one side and then, after a quick turn around, on the other. We spend four days, in total, living on a permanent fairly steep slope!
I was always a sucker for the older ships and I loved Amastra to bits (as I did Opalia and, to a lesser extent, Drupa and Serenia). What a pity such vessels have gone forever.

03/27/2009 - 18:41 Barney Boylan 3

On the 11th April 1967 I found myself sailing along the coast of Vietnam bound for the port of Nha Trang. I was a crew member on board the Shell tanker MV Amastra. We were carrying a cargo of Jp4 fuel for the American air force. We had loaded this cargo in Singapore, while there the Bum Baot girls had come on board,along with an Indian Sikh, he was telling fortunes. He told me I would be going home soon, I had already been on board the Amastra for seven months.On this morning I went on deck at seven o'clock to watch the early morning mist clear from the mountains, a first glimpse of this country so much in the news for so many years of war.
Mid day came and we finally reached our destination in the large bay at Nha Trang. We were to anchor and connect up to a submarine pipeline, where we could remain as a floating storage depot for the American air force. The idea being the fuel would be safer in a ship in the bay than in the storage tanks ashore where the Viet Cong could attack and destroy it.
There would be no shore leave as we were in a war zone. That evening we had a film show on board, one of the three films we were allowed per month,so things were not so bad, a few cans of beer and a nearly new film, what more could we want.The film ended about ten thirty pm, I returned to my cabin to play with the dials of my brand new Phillips World receive radio,just bought in Singapore.It had been a long and soon I was in my bunk with lights out,but not for long.

I was rudely awakened by a dull thud and vibration in my cabin,quickly followed by the ships alarm bells being sounded.I was out of my bunk as quick as a cat chased up a tree by a bull dog,on with shoes and trousers, and one other very important thing my Lifejacket, for I could not swim an inch.I was met in the alleyway by my ship mate John Young from Longford and the third engineer shouting,get out quick she's going down.We dashed along the alleyway and up the companionway to the deck where we found the crew messman cowering down behind the ships steel bulwark.I asked him what had happened ,he replied we might have been fired on from ashore,he didn't know for sure. Within an few more moments the lights went out and the ships horn sounded the abandon ship signal.
My lifebaot station was midships on the port side, which meant I now had to make my way along the catwalk above the tanks of jet fuel oil to reach my boat station, where my job was to tie the painter from the lifeboat to a bollard on the fore deck. I have often heard of the experession of a person's knees knocking together,now I was experiencing it for myself first hand as I made my way along the deck after securing the painter.My lifeboat had now been swung out over the ships side by the other crew members, when along came the marines to rescue us. Small patrol boats and amphicars were sent from shore when the lights went out , and our distress call was picked up.By now we could see and feel the ship sinking by the stern.The Viet Cong had sent out an under water swimmer to plant a limpet which blew a large hole in the engineroom. As no one knew how many had been planted , we were told to stop lowering our own lifeboats and get in the rescue boats as quick as possible,because if there was another explosion we were all dead men.

The marines in the amphicars brought us to a beach to await a lift to Camp McArthur, it was the start of a new day for all the crew now safely ashore in war torn Vietnam

12/16/2008 - 18:37 Aad H.c.j. Born

From US Navy archives the following story was extracted:
At 0010h, on April 12, 1967, the privately chartered 9,000 ton British flagged Shell Oil tanker M/V AMASTRA had been holed by an external explosive device while moored in the POL transfer anchorage in Nha Trang Harbor, Vietnam.
The AMASTRA was preparing to off load aviation fuel for military aircraft when the explosion ripped open a four by six foot jagged hole at the waterline near the fire wall between the engine room and the boiler room.
The engine room, fire room and the after pump room flooded in twenty minutes causing the AMASTRA?s stern to settle to the harbor bottom leaving the rear decks awash.
Another Shell Oil tanker, the Dutch flagged M/V KARA from ?s-Gravenhage, Netherlands arrived and moored port side to the AMASTRA. The KARA provided auxiliary power and steam so AMASTRA could transfer 640,000 gallons of fuel to the KARA. The AMASTRA's damaged area was thirty feet below the water line and required a twelve by twelve-foot patch.
In the early morning hours of April 13, USS ?Current? ARS-22 arrived at Nha Trang. Shortly after arriving, the work boat was placed in the water and a salvage team departed for the tanker to survey the damage and plan a course of action. Commander Service Group Three salvage officer Commander J. B. Orem was designated Officer in Charge of the AMASTRA salvage operation. USS ?Greenlet? ASR-10 as well as Harbor Clearance Unit One's HCT-3 staff members were also sent from Vung Tau to assist during the re-floating operation.
Floodlights were secured on USS ?Current? ARS-22?s rails and directed into the waters around the ship at sunset. Armed sentries were posted during darkness to defend against any attempt to attach an explosives charge to USS ?Current? ARS-22's hull. Early each morning, USS ?Current? ARS-22 weighed anchor and moored starboard side to AMASTRA. At the end of each day, USS ?Current? ARS-22 departed AMASTRA and re-anchored in the center of Nha Trang Harbor for security.
Prior to transferring fuel oil to the KARA, USS ?Current? ARS-22 diver LTJG Vince Weis along with a HCU-1 diver wearing shallow water diving gear went into the AMASTRA's engine room, filled with dangerous gas fumes, to close a set of valves that allowed AMASTRA's oil cargo to be transferred to the KARA. USS ?Current? ARS-22?s crew rigged salvage pumps and compressors then transferred them to the decks of AMASTRA. After the ship?s divers maneuvered a fabricated patch into place to stop the inflow of sea water into the engine room, the salvage pumps were started and the AMASTRA began to show freeboard. The spaces on the AMASTRA that had been flooded were cleared with the help of thirty to forty Vietnamese and Filipino stevedores.
With the loss of power for refrigeration, combined with the hot climate of Vietnam, an estimated six thousand pounds of spoiled meat and vegetables were removed from AMASTRA to a barge then dumped at sea. While ashore hiring the stevedores, USS ?Current? ARS-22?s Operations Officer LTJG Mark Lusink in a conversation with local villagers was informed that the AMASTRA was mined by the South Vietnamese to prevent it from sailing to Haiphong, North Vietnam. Shell Oil tankers did not travel to North Vietnam.
The initial investigation indicated that a Limpet mine of approximately 80 to 90 pounds of explosives was used. In view of the close proximity of 150 yards to the beach hamlet of Truong Tay, a known haven for local pilferers, black marketers and other questionable individuals, the investigation determined that the explosive charge was most likely delivered from the hamlet area by a swimmer sapper. The Vietnam war was certainly a strange and crazy war. The majority of the 43 man crew was removed by local Army landing craft about half an hour after the explosion. They spent the night at the American Army Officers' quarters at Camp John McDermott in Nha Trang.
On April 22, 1967, USS ?Current? ARS-22?s salvage crew successfully raised and dewatered the AMASTRA. The fabricated patch was removed and a more permanent steel patch was constructed. SFM2 "Ace" Acfalle, one of USS ?Current? ARS-22's ship fitters, spent the better part of two days, without any rest, welding the metal patch to the AMASTRA to make it seaworthy.
The AMASTRA was towed by commercial tug to Singapore for dry-docking and repairs.