Orient City (3)

Comments from the forum - 3

My first ship was the Orient City 1970. The memorable part was crossing the Atlntic when one of the top pistons came adrift and we spent a few days with no power while the engineers rigged her to run on 5. The captain was hGeorge Harvey. Adrian Jutsum. Posted on forum 25 January 2011.

Regarding the breakdown when I was onboard during her final voyage with RSL I saw two photos of the top piston at right angles to the cylinder. If I remember rightly one of the bolts fastening the side rod to the transverse beam failed and the piston kept coming. I assume the top hamper landed in the vicinity of Jupiter. When the ship was sold in Rotterdam and I was free to roam I went into the C/E's cabin to look for the photos. They had taken a walk so I could only think that Arthur Thompson the Eng. Supt. had stuck them in his pocket and taken them back to Cardiff.
Anyone have any ideas. Colin Gateshill. Posted on forum 23 May 2012.

I was second Mate on that trip on the old "Orient City" and remember you well Adrian. I had my wife and young (aged 4) daughter on board on their first trip to sea. George Harvey was the Master and also had his wife Peggy on board.
The ship was on its way from Leith to Sorel in Quebec to load grain for Chittagong, then in East Pakistan. If I remember rightly it was during the night that a horrendous bang was heard from the engine room and the engines ground to a halt almost immediately. Scared the life out of my wife and daughter.
I believe that one of the forward side rods which connected to the crankshaft had fractured and in looking down through the engine room door porthole, you could see the piston at an angle of about forty five degrees had come partially out of the cylinder and was lying atop the engine together with the bent side rod.
Must admit, I immediately thought "You ain't gonna fix this, Chief"!!! Can't remember exactly who the Chief was, but it was either a guy called Alchy Al!! or Dave Dyer. Think it must have been Dave Dyer because Alchy Al was perpetually drunk and I would imagine totally incapable of ever doing any real engineering!!
George Harvey told me to work out a rough distance to the nearest land (obviously thinking of a tow), and we were pretty well equidistant from the coast of Newfoundland and the west coast of Ireland - in fact plum in the middle of the North Atlantic!!
As you say, we were rolling around in the swell for about three days whilst the engineers disconnected all the bits from the broken piston etc., and, when all was done, they very gingerly started her up with a hiss of air. We then proceeded at slow speed on five pistons to Sorel, loaded our cargo and continued in this way on down to Durban where new bits were waiting and installed.
Quite an adventure - my only real engine disaster in my 21 years with RSL. Al Nicholl. Posted on forum 7 July 2012.

Disclaimer: The statements on this page are the views of the person who posted them on the forum. The events took place many years ago and in most cases rely on those people's memories, and so we cannot guarantee the accuracy although every effort is made to check it.

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Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]