WESTBANK feature

at sea 1957
A treat for the ‘old timers’ looking in, maybe. The WESTBANK was one of three vessels built after WW2 at the start of the big fleet replenishment that took place. She came into service in 1948 with her sisters, SOUTHBANK and EASTBANK and was a highly successful and hardworking ship spending a lot of time on the ‘Copra’ run bringing back coconut and coconut oil from the Pacific Islands. Popular with staff due to the high probability of a ‘short’ trip of 6 months or less. After 4 years of service she had a narrow escape, grounding on an island in the Indian Ocean and only being freed after a struggle and with some damage. She survived to serve a total of 19 years before being sold on. ( See the story elsewhere on this site).


4 thoughts on “Westbank feature..

  1. When I joined the Southbank as first trip Apprentice our 3rd Mate was McLintock from Glasgow. He joined just after getting his 2nd Mates Cert ,his last ship being the Southbank. He was delighted when he came aboard to see that the Southbank had a radar ,the Westbank his last ship had none and had grounded on his last trip. He was most irate when our Capt Smith barred everyone from using it except himself and only used it when in fog . The radars operating mechanism was fitted outside his cabin in a cupboard and when operating made an awful whine which got on his nerves. it was the only ship that I have been aboard where the radar screen had to be viewed by looking aft. We have come a long way since those days .

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    1. I remember McLintock on the Westbank. Sailed home with him from Durban after the Westbank had been patched up. We went to Immingham arriving on a below zero morning in the dark with a cargo of Manganese ore. The grounding stories were interesting. Bruce Carnie was the mate, and some years later he was Master on the Southbank with yours truly as Mate.

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  2. My second ship as apprentice late 1953. We lost senior apprentice overboard in the Pacific, but we were able to retrieve him some short time later. He was working outboard of the lifeboat when he lost his footing and went overboard.

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    1. Mike , I remember your name, I was App on the Southbank at that time. The other App was L Illingworth from Hull. I met him again when he joined my ship as Chief Officer on the Texaco Great Britain.
      Our first trip was not the best as we had a bully of a Chief Mate and an pathetic Master who treated all Apprentices as vermin often referring to us as Army Dodgers.
      He was detested by us all but we nevertheless learned our trade. I had been aboard for six months before he gave me my correspondence course which was after i had a severe talking to after Capt Gale in Calcutta discovered that we had not been doing our Course.
      The other Masters and Mates were a whole lot better thank goodness.

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