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    I've heard various stories about what happened and why... better for me not to speculate on these until we hear something official.

    There are some reports this morning that the ship has now sunk (MCA Update: It hasn't sunk). Certainly it has disappeared off the AIS- but this isn't necessarily a confirmation of anything other than the fact that they aren't transmitting any longer.

    Here are more photos

    I'm not surprised that little has appeared in the national news, it is rather normal for around here- and probably good. It would probably also have been impossible for any reporters to reach the site because all the boats would have been in use transporting emergency personnel.
    Last edited by Gaelsail; July 4th, 2010, 13:39.


      BBC update

      and the new update at the BBC


        Strange indeed.
        The ship is described as a "Self-discharging" Bulk Carrier of 96,772 DWT, built in Japan in 1991 as Western Bridge and sold to present Owners in 2002. This is presumably when she received the Conveyor as well.
        I understand she is specially converted for the trade with Aggregate for the company that run the Quarry and that their only product is Aggregate, which can hardly be called flammable.

        I am a bit baffled here. Normally the conveyor on a self-discharging ship is used for discharging ONLY, not for loading, which is normally done by shore Conveyors and Fall pipe, but there doesn't appear to be any on the pictures seen. As the burning Conveyor appears to be in "stowed position", longitudinally on the ship, I don't see how it could be in use for loading operation however. I have never heard or seen any case where a conveyor on board ship is used for loading, but, as this is a special ship for a special trade, it may be the case?

        The only thing that can burn appears to be rubber, but even if burning rubber were dripping onto the deck, hatch boards, or into the cargo hold, what is there which can catch fire.
        Gas cylinders were mentiond, but not normally stored out on open deck, so the explosion must have occurred after the fire spread to the Superstructure.

        Besides, what gas would be carried on a Bulk Carrier? Acytelene and Oxygen are supposed to be stored too far apart to cause an explosion (Min. 3 m./10 ft.)

        Looking forward to more reports from CVF's reporter on the scene.


          It will be interesting to hear the results of the investigation. I assume it will be several smaller issues that happened at the right place and time to allow the accident/fire.

          It makes me think of the King's Cross subway fire in London. Much effort was put into the safety of the trains but a simple cigarette butt or match dropped on an escalator with years of grease & dirt and 31 people died. A fire in a location that was not considered a serious hazard so little attention was paid until...


            Originally posted by ombugge View Post
            Looking forward to more reports from CVF's reporter on the scene.
            I'll post information as I find it out. Meantime, Scottish Television have updated their report which suggests that they are still dampening down the fire and there is no fuel leakage.

            The weather today won't have helped, it is very windy and raining heavily. Several of the local ferries are cancelled or disrupted due to the weather although some of this is due to the series of 'technical' problems they've had recently.

            The quarry and the ship are both owned by the same people. Their website states 'Yeoman Glensanda operates three self unloading vessels'

            They also operate 'Halsvik Aggregates – Kvalsund and Gulen, Norway'
            Last edited by Gaelsail; July 4th, 2010, 15:59.


              I have done a bit of searching and scratching my head as to what actually happened in this incident.

              Here is a picture of a ship loading at the Glensanda Quarry, taken from their website: (Could be the Yeoman Bontrup)

              As can be seen the ship's conveyor is swung out over the side and loading is done by a conveyor from shore.

              The next two pictures were copied from Shipnostalgia Gallery.
              The first show the Yeoman Bonstrup under way, with the conveyor in stowed position:

              The second shows the position of the Conveyor housing and A-frame smack bang up against the Accommodation Block:

              On most self-discharging Bulkers, the Conveyor Housing is mounted Fwrd., like shown here:

              This is another Yeoman vessel, seen loading at Glensanda.

              That a shore conveyor is used for the loading operation is clear from this next picture:

              The wharf facilities at Glensanda Quarry appears basic, but adequate for the purpose of loading aggregate in bulk, using conveyors only:

              The curved "walkway" is probably for the wheels of the loading Conveyor to run, as it will have to be able to reach every hatch on a very long ship.

              Now for a bit of speculations:
              From the pictures shown on STV News it appears that the ship had completed loading at the time of fire, since the hatches are closed and the loading conveyor has been retracted/swung away at time of fire.

              From the pictures seen on STV News, it appears that the crew were probably in the process of turning, retracting and stowing the Conveyor at the time the fire started. This can be deducted from the position of the conveyor at the time the first picture were taken. (At full length and slightly raised and almost in line longitudinally)

              The dramatic picture showing the Conveyor in flames, with black smoke rising into the sky, probably show the rubber Conveyor Belt going up in flames. There is nothing else that is flammable on a conveyor like this.
              It is not likely to have been the cause of the fire spreading on the vessel, since there isn't any combustible material on the deck of a Bulk Carrier like this.

              It is likely that the fire would have started in the Conveyor Machinery Housing, ignited the rubber Conveyor Belt for dramatic effect, then spread to the Superstructure, which is in close proximity to the Conveyor Housing.
              How it spread is obviously impossible to say, but it could be through an open porthole, through the ventilation system, or because of an explosion happening in the Conveyor Housing, although it is hard to see what could explode there.

              From the last picture in the STV News report, it appear that the whole Superstructure is going up in flames, but the Engine room could be spared.

              Time will tell if my speculations above is anywhere near the actual facts.


                another conveyor belt fire, this time in Tampa, California, as they were unloading granite from a ship on 16 June.


                Video (and others linked from page)


                  Maybe Granit is more flammable then I thought???


                    Not a good sight on Maasmondmaritime Newsletter recently:

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                      Whale crashes onto boat in South Africa...



                        Port of Alexandria, Egypt

                        Found this on Google Earth. I am uncertain about the number of shipwrecks, but four are obvious, and you catch a glimpse of two more.
                        Never seen so many in a so limited area before.
                        Are they put there by purpose?


                        If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you...


                          Very hard to find any information at all on the web about these wrecks. Virtually everything i can find relates to deep water wrecks for divers. But i did find a short video on youtube that shows them. Something tells me that these ships must have been abandoned or layed up without any maintenance visits at all. After all, this is Egypt we are talking about, we hear enough nightmare stories about some of their ferries that are still in service, so god only knows what state these merchant ships were in when they were anchored, must have been really bad for the Egyptians not to use them!

                          Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.


                            Search continues for a fisherman missing after a prawn boat collided with the Rosyth –Zeebrugge ferry Scottish Viking off St. Abbs yesterday evening, 5th August.



                              I hope the young fisherman is found safe and sound but I fear that time is running out


                                This is sad news. My thoughts go out to the family and friends of the young lad involved.
                                Your charts, your radar, your eyes and ears - if all 4 agree, you may proceed with caution.