Ship broke away from tugs

Dave Cooke Memory Lane pics
Dave Cooke Memory Lane pics

I WAS visiting an elderly relative recently in Hartlepool.

As is his habit, he always keeps the back copies of the Mail for us to catch up on the local news.

In a recent edition I came across your article regarding the grounding of an un-named vessel.

I immediately recalled that this was an Indian registered ship whose name began with Jala.

I then remembered that shipping company West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company chartered one of their ships, the MV Silton Hall, to an Indian company whose name was Scindia.

The ship was renamed Jalasiltonhall and my first reaction was it could be her.

It puzzled me on the drive home here in Scotland, but then thought no more about it.

However, my wife decided to clear out the loft and the first thing to attack was a box of old photos which were just gathering dust.

Lo and behold, I came across the enclosed pictures of the very same incident that I took and had completely forgotten about.

We all know that memory plays tricks, but I am still satisfied that the ship in question is Indian, though I am now sure that it is not the Jalasiltonhall, as there are too many characters on her name – which can be seen on one of the pictures.

I do remember that she grounded because she broke away from the tugs towing her out to sea.

As there was a strong gale from the south-west and was high-sided due to being in ballast, she was driven ashore.

You can see on my pictures that the crew dropped both anchors in an effort to stop her grounding.

If you look carefully at the different pictures the anchor chains are taught at an angle and then almost vertical.

This shows that the stricken vessel was being dragged across the rocks during the time I took the pictures.

It is likely that she had a harbour pilot on board during the incident.

Also it can be seen that there is smoke blowing immediately from the funnel, showing the strength of the wind and that she had power at least to boilers and generators.

I am fairly sure that the incident occurred in 1963.

As for her fate, I remember that she was towed off to safety by tugs on a high tide.

It is likely that she would have needed dry-docking to assess the damage, probably in Graythorp or Middlesbrough as Hartlepool shipyards closed in 1962.

A remarkable achievement considering how she was grounded on rocks.

Using a magnifying glass and strong light I believe the ship is named Jalamamjami.

Unfortunately, an internet search on the Scindia shipping company indicates that name is not on the list of vessels.

The nearest I can see is the only one with 11 characters, Jaladhariti, and it is not her.

Possibly with modern digital equipment the Mail can see it more clearly and solve the riddle.

I am sure you will have other contributors to your query and I hope this helps to support their memories.

Dave Cooke,

Heatherfield Glade,

Adambrae Parks,