We heard a massive booming and the vessel shuddered.
This vessel sailed on her maiden voyage in the early summer of 1966 from the yard of Charles Connell on the Clyde. She was owned by Ropner’s and was of a significant size at 45,000 tons. I was an apprentice engineer on her and found myself at her first dry docking at Swan Hunter’s in January 1967.
I was on board the night we had just searched the dock bottom for a stolen wallet belonging to the 4th Engineer when we heard a massive booming type noise and the vessel shuddered. Thinking that the dock gates had failed we rushed out on deck to discover that she had toppled over to port and was lying propped at an angle of some 15 degrees. The yard authorities were alerted by yours truly and they managed to rustle up a crew of yard lads from the local pubs, it was, I believe, a Friday night at around 10.00pm, to shore her up where she lay before re flooding the dock.
If my memory serves me right the fault lay with some faulty ballast valves. The Ropner Super at the time was Eddy Cherry and the vessel’s Chief Engineer was Jack Dagg. I wonder if anyone else remembers this incident.