Victoria City (2)

Nemedri routes and others.

Seeing the photo of the ill-fated 'Victoria City' on our new frontispiece (Thanks again to Eric and Mike for changing it frequently) made me try and look further into her sinking. I notice that the wreck is reported to lie in 16 metres of water just to the south of the present-day official Traffic Separation Scheme "Off Terschelling" and to the north of Terschelling Island itself off the north coast of The Netherlands. It struck me that in 1955, she must have been travelling in the old "Nemedri" routes, ie not separation zones as we know them now but the only fully-cleared routes through the still then minefields off the north coast.

I remember going along that old route even in 1969 when I was halfway through my first trip 3/O, on the 'Houston' bound from Liverpool to Bremerhaven to load grain for Chittagong. I had no idea that the wreck of the 'Victoria' was so close along that route but I will always remember standing the 8 - 12 watch that evening in that specific area in a force 5/6 and there were ships of all sizes, ferries and fishing boats literally everywhere and going every which way too, head on and crossing ! Seacunny on the wheel all watch and great stuff for a young officer to build confidence in heavy traffic...thoroughly enjoyed it. Captain Mark Higgins was Master at the time and I will always be grateful to him for letting me get on with it....mind you he probably spent the whole watch looking earnestly out of his cabin windows, ready to intervene immediately if necessary (!), but he didn't and it really built my self-confidence. To me that was a really good way to train junior officers. I have never forgotten it and tried to practice similar trust throughout my working lifetime. Thank you indeed for that, Captain Mark.

Others must have memories of the old North Sea routes and all the traffic that was there before the TSS's came in?

Also, I have yet to find the official outcome of the official Inquiry into the Victoria's loss but as the other ship hit her squarely on the port side I presume the majority of blame was laid on the other ship ? (90% - 10% ??) Graham Mapplebeck. Posted on forum 30 December 2013.

As you can imagine, there are not too many photos around of the Victoria City (2), so we are fortunate enough in having access to three of them.

My memories of Nemedri Routes, apart from physically navigating through them, was that they were included as a separate section of Notice to Mariners, and it was thus another "correction" job for the Second Mate. As well as the North Sea Routes, there were all the Baltic Routes to amend as well.

The outcome of the Inquiry into the collision was that there was no blame attributed to the Victoria City. Somewhere, I have some details and I will try and dig them out and post them up. Mike Jones. Posted on forum 30 December 2013.

Thanks Mike, yes they and the Baltic routes were in a separate section at the back of the 'weeklies'. I well remember reading such Notices, probably when we were miles away in the Indian Ocean or somewhere and thinking to myself why on earth do we have to correct minor details of these routes even in 1969...some 24 years after the end of the war !! Mind you, we do live and learn as I have to say my whole attitude changed after going along one of the routes! The Hydrographic Office did a great job keeping us all informed.

Great photos of the Victoria (2) by the way, interesting how she didn't have a Jumbo derrick at No.2.

The reason I asked about the outcome of the inquiry is that somehow the Admiralty Judges always seemed to find some degree of fault with both ships in a collision even though one might be completely innocent...probably because of the COLREG that says (paraphrasing..) that at the very last minute, YOU have to keep clear of a ship that clearly hadn't given way to you!...and that therefore if there was a collision then your ship failed as well! Graham Mapplebeck. Posted on forum 30 December 2013.

Victoria City. Page [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Memories from RSL staff. Page No. [1] [2] [3]