San marcos

Comments from the forum - 1

I sailed on the San Marcos Sept 94 to Jan 95, during which we had a big distress event with a passenger ship in the Indian Ocean, it being on its way to Mombassa, and they wanted to use our cargo helicopter to assist in the rescue, which we were taking from Europe to Hong Kong at the time. That's when SatCom was starting to take over from the Morse Key, and most of the distress traffic was over the SatCom and outside of our ability at that time. Reg Smith. Posted on the forum 31 July 2010.

The passenger ship involved was the Achille Lauro and no ships would have gone to their assistance had it not been for radio operators and the good old 500 kHz auto alarm. This distress was used as an example on the standard GMDSS courses held during the 1990s to support the case for GMDSS, so had to highlight the fact to the lecturers that the old system actually saved the day. Mike Cox. Posted on the forum 23 September 2011.

Good to hear from you, and your comments ref that long day of distress traffic. Yes agree the morse back up was essential as the passenger ship was struggling to get his messages out with a smoke filled radio room. Still a big puzzle how SRC thought we could use the cargo helicopter on the main deck. Reg Smith. Posted on the forum 24 September 2011.

Achille Lauro   View of helicopter in hold

On the left Achille Lauro, 25/11/94. Taken in the Bitter Lakes, Suez Canal, five days before she sank.
On the right one helicopter carried as cargo within the car decks of San Marcos. For some reason the control centre at Stavanger believed that this was operational and could be used to rescue passengers from the stricken vessel.


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.

San Marcos. Page [1] [2]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1]