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Slidre Timur on Parker Reef, Australia

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    Slidre Timur on Parker Reef, Australia

    In 1969-70 I served as Chief Officer on a small vessel called Slidre Timur, operated by Karlander New Guinea Line, trading between east coast of Australia and Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, New Hebrides, New Caledonia and a number of the smaller islands in the Coral Sea and South Pacific.

    We also did some trips to Gulf of Carpentaria so serve the mining towns there, but always with some 10% or so of the cargo to Port Moresby to avoid problems with cabotage rules in Australia. On those trips we would sail inside the Great Barrier Reef all the way to Thursday Island, always without a Torres Strait Pilot and without a working radar.

    Here is a pic of Slidre Timur in her earlier life as Fred Olsen's "Berwick", built in Moss, Norway in 1952:

    This pic may be from here maiden voyage.

    I left here in Port Moresby in Aug. 1970 and went home to Singapore for a spot of leave and change of trade. (She was my last ship under Norwegian flag)

    In Febr. 1971 she was on her way north in the fairly open waters off Whitsunday Islands in Queensland when she struck Parker Reef in the early morning of 24. Febr. All 24 persons on board, of which 5 were Norwegians, were saved by another Norwegian ship, the "Thorscape", with only minor injuries.

    Here is a picture I received from a member on shipnostalgia, showing Slidre Timur on Parker Reef and the crew in a life boat sheltering on the lee side of the wreck:


    She later broke in two and sunk off the reef. I'm not sure if the wreck is accessible to normal scuba divers, or if she is in too deep water for that.

    What is left of her is the original Bow Art, shown first as it stands at the Fred Olsen "homestead" near Olso:

    and then as it appeared when still mounted on the bow of "Berwick":


    I have done some research into the faith of the ships in which I served during my time at sea and most has either sunk, burnt or been broken up. Maybe that is a sign of my age?
    Well that is for later postings.

    #2
    The picture of the rescue is rather scary. They may have been in the lee, but the sea still looks to be boiling in anger! A lucky escape i think. Any idea what caused the grounding? Human error or mechanical failure?

    And it's fantastic to see the piece of art from the bow still exists. Not many vessels carry such things these days.
    Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Steve.B View Post
      The picture of the rescue is rather scary. They may have been in the lee, but the sea still looks to be boiling in anger! A lucky escape i think. Any idea what caused the grounding? Human error or mechanical failure?

      And it's fantastic to see the piece of art from the bow still exists. Not many vessels carry such things these days.
      Go to shipnostalgia: http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showth...440#post327440
      I have posted some info there. There are some details of the rescue as well.
      Should now some more when Trev Jackson report back with his findings.

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the link. Definitely a case of human error then. Will be interesting to hear if the diver finds anything. Just had a look at the area around Parker Reef on Google Earth, certainly a bit of a minefield when it comes to reefs around that area. I guess the biggest hope for finding anything of her is if she slipped off the reef and into deeper water after she broke in two.

        In the case of the Captain being punished, I must say that that reminds me of the unfortunate incident that HMS Nottingham suffered back in 2002. In that incident the poor commander had literally just stepped foot onto the deck after being ashore. If i remember correctly his bridge crew had just changed course in order to make it easier for the commanders helicopter to land on the ship. No sooner had his feet touched the deck, his ship hit the rocks!
        Last edited by Steve.B; June 5th, 2009, 16:25.
        Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Slidre Timur on Parker Reef, Australia

          I forgot to post here that the wreck of the Slidre Timur was found near Parker Reef last year, but there isn't much left of here.
          This from Terv Jackson:
          OM........the wreck is on the east southeast side of Parker Reef in about 6 to 8 metres of water. Its pretty much smashed to bits and has been obviously salvaged to a greater extent than we would have expected, perhaps back in the mid 70s. The prop is gone, shafts still visible, a lot of railway track type metal about the place. There are lots of plates of hull all lying about in the coral but no real structure to it left due to the fact that the site gets pounded by southeasters pretty much all the time. There is a small bulldozer on the site, or maybe its a forklift. Metal all over the place
          And from Reefrat:
          Nice to see you were successful, and its true about the S.E. weather on Parker Reef
          Both quotes from Shipnostalgia.

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