Shipping disasters

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    Following on from the good chat with Patrix FAK!58 audio and links and comments

    FAK158-Patrix and Frolle

    perhaps any research can be dumped here.

    The list of victims of the 1987 Herald of Free Enterprise “disaster” – 193 – is here

    the usual profiles, children out of school, mainly working class victims, thanks to a Sun newspaper cruise promotion. I looked as a sample population, the 18 victims from South Essex, East of London. Up came this interesting story – two divorces with two “victims”, one from each and the two surviving partners marry each other shortly afterwards!

    The surviving remarried widow has only just died in May 2016, having moved away from the area shortly after her 1989 marriage in 1991.
    Mr and Mrs Gudgeon met through the Herald Families Association, became good friends and married in August 1989. They have lived in Stoke Holy Cross since 1991.
    We will miss her smile, her ‘Mum’s little sayings’ and her character.
    Her 20th anniversary story is here
    The memories live on
    10:02 07 March 2007

    I bet they do.

    Mr Gudgeon, 71, lost his wife Eileen, then 49. Mrs Gudgeon lost her husband Norman, 49; her 27-year-old daughter Sharon, and three-week-old granddaughter Rebecca.

    Mrs Gudgeon, 67, was one of only three of 53 diners in the ship’s restaurant to survive the disaster. She said: “I remember the boat tilted and the sweet trolley went flying and the gateaux were all over the floor…

    There was no probate on Norman’s estate. The family name of Norman, and Irene through her first marriage, was Blanchard

    Mr Gudgeon, vice-chairman of South Norfolk District Council, had gone on the trip with his wife Eileen, their daughter Josephine and her husband Rob, then both 26.
    He was sitting in the café one deck below the restaurant waiting for his wife and daughter to come back from the duty free shop.
    “I don’t remember anything else until I woke up in hospital,” said Mr Gudgeon.
    At first he did not know what had happened to his wife of 28 years, but discovered her body in a temporary morgue a few days later.
    “I found out later that Eileen was the fourth body to come out of the ship.

    A familiar pattern, and 9/11 is over 14 years away.

    Probate relating to the first Mrs Gudgeon:
    Eileen Josephine Gudgeon of Toad Hall, South Hanningfield Way, Runwell £2184 Administration [no will and in very quick time] May 12 1987



    Big BBC fanfare for the 30th anniversary, said to be the last one before the event slides undisturbed into the history books.What’s new?
    ‘I was swimming among dead bodies’ – Express writer was ONBOARD Zeebrugge ferry disaster
    note the lazarus style awakening of the woman towards the end of the video there on told some good news…

    by Simon Osborne

    I was on that ill-fated crossing on the Herald of Free Enterprise with seven school friends from Hinckley in Leicestershire.We’d made a similar journey a year earlier …the ship slipped out of Zeebrugge harbour onto a dark, still sea….the people around me that had been shouting out were slowly, quietly, succumbing to hypothermia in the icy waters of the North Sea.

    I was soon surrounded by dead bodies and it became clear that I had to make a move to improve my chances of survival.
    So I began to pull myself through the bodies.. I inched my way forward and eventually found myself under a broken window. By this time searchlights had been lowered into the upturned vessel and I was spotted by a frogman who dragged me the last few feet and put a rope harness under my arms. I was winched to safety

    Back in 2012, Simon was wheeled out with his story to coincide with the Costa Concordia psy-op
    A survivor of a ferry disaster which claimed 193 lives – including two of his best friends – has told how watching the sinking of the Costa Concordia brought back memories of the fear and terror he experienced. watched in disbelief as the drama of the Italian cruise liner unfolded at the weekend after it struck a rock off the coast of Tuscany.
    Simon, now 43 and running his own fishmongers’ business in Ealing, West London, it brought back memories of the fateful night, in March 1987, when the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry capsized 20 minutes outside the Belgian port of Zeebrugge after the bow doors were mistakenly left open.

    Mr Osborne, then a 19-year-old barman living in Hinckley, was with seven friends on a national newspaper’s £1 day trip to Belgium.
    The eight had forged strong links while in the sixth-form at John Cleveland College.
    Wayne Sculthorpe, 19, of Leicester, and Gary Lloyd, 19, of Hinckley, died in the disaster.

    Former Leicester Mercury and ITN journalist Simon Osborne

    What about the opther five friends’ stories? They are not mentioned.

    Whom does the BBC wheel out?
    Gillian Lashbrooke was one of the first people to know something was wrong. She was 16 years old. Her mother, stepfather and uncle died in the accident while she and her three stepbrothers survived.

    “I was wearing long boots and a denim coat, they were so heavy they were dragging me down. I struggled to take off my boots and coat while I was still trying to swim.

    “I thought I’d try to swim back to land. But it was so cold and the waves were so ferocious. I swam back to the boat and managed to hook my skirt on to a thing sticking out from the boat because the waves were dragging me down, and I needed to stay up.

    “That night I became an adult. I washed my clothes out in the sink and put them on a radiator to dry. I prayed for my mum, hoping I was praying for her and not speaking to her.”

    The following day Ms Lashbrooke and her stepbrothers were told their parents were dead. They were taken to a makeshift mortuary in a gym.

    The child shot – has she been near any water?

    An everlasting memorial….
    The bell of the Herald of Free Enterprise will be presented to Dover during a short ceremony on Monday, March 6, when the 193 victims of the disaster are remembered.

    It’s owner, a resident in Belgium, contacted The Dover Society who organised for it to be presented to St Mary’s Church where it is proposed it will hang next to the Herald memorial window.
    The bell was originally rescued from the sunken ferry by one of the Belgian divers and handed to the Belgian donor.

    Any more stories?
    One of the survivors was Andy Bridge, who was 19 and living in Clent, near Stourbridge at the time.
    He was one of seven young friends from the Black Country heading back to England after a fun day out on a £1 return fare deal.
    He was travelling with friends Lawson Fisher, Ian Moore, Andrew Dingley, Alan Cartwright, all 18, Ian Wood, 21, and his 18-year-old brother, Nick.[Wood]
    “We held onto our seats but a woman fell past me. She fell 70 or 80 feet into a window at the bottom.
    “The lights went off and the water started rising. It came up to my chest and I thought I was going to die, but it stopped.

    er, the boat’s on its side??
    The friends lost touch within months of the tragedy but many are thought to still live in the West Midlands.
    Five years ago Mr Fisher was running his own floor laying business, Mayfair Floors Ltd, in Stourbridge.
    Zeebrugge – how seven Black Country lads survived the disaster
    They became known as The Magnificent seven after cheating death

    Actually, that Birmingham Mail article is a rehashing of yet another 2012 Costa Concordia psy-op bolstering piece [the carpet business is still running…]

    Mr Fisher now runs his own floor laying business, Mayfair Floors Ltd, in Stourbridge.
    He previously told how he felt lucky to have survived, but his mother, Pat, said yesterday that he was too distraught to speak about the tragedy.
    “It’s still too raw for him,”
    she said.
    Mr Bridge said January’s Costa Concordia disaster, when 32 people were left dead or missing, revived memories of that terrible night 25 years ago.

    And we always need a hero in these events, again re-emerging for the anniversary…one from Ireland..
    Truck driver Larry O’Brien from Campile in Wexford made it on board the Herald of Free Enterprise with just minutes to spare before it left the Belgian port for Dover at 7pm on March 6th, 1987 , and he ended up a reluctant hero.
    “I was the last truck on,” Mr O’Brien, a Fine Gael councillor, told The Irish Times ahead of Monday’s anniversary.

    “I looked around me at the panic and the chaos. Even at that stage there were actually bodies floating in the water.
    “I eventually got myself out. I was on the side of the ship, the hull…He sat down, realised there was no-one else on the outside and then thought he had to start doing something. “Whatever mode I got into or put myself in, I got up and there was a big rope hanging on the side so I picked it up and threw it back in the porthole window.”

    After several minutes he had pulled out three or four men, who then started helping him. At least 30, and probably up to 40, lives were saved by O’Brien and the others. After about 45 minutes, the emergency services began to arrive and eventually the survivors were brought back to port.
    He gave up driving in 1988 and became a car sales manager in New Ross, was later elected to Wexford County Council. Two years ago he returned to continental driving with National Vehicle Distribution, collecting trucks from Europe and bringing them back to Ireland.
    He returned to Zeebrugge soon after the tragedy to see his truck when the ship was raised. “It was only scrap.

    A true fisher of men.



    Psyopticon in the chat has pointed out the predictable wheeling out for duty of ex lorry driver and haulier Brian Gibbons [for the last time, he’ll be relieved to know]

    Brian was, foreshadowing 9/11 “escapee” William Rodrigues and his own tall tale, “last man out” of the Herald of Free Enterprise [193 dead, allegedly the worst peacetime British maritime disaster in living memory.] after seven hours.

    Brian, second from right in blue shirt and time, handing over the Bell of Free Enterprise in Dover church

    Brian, in the following video, says he feels both lucky and guilty…

    Back in 1987, a public inquiry was announced within a few days to keep the lawyers busy.
    Three truck drivers who had been aboard the ferry, bound for Dover in England, said it left port 10 to 15 minutes late because the crew was having trouble closing the doors.

    ”They were even trying to close them with sledgehammers,’‘ said one driver, Ian Calderwood.
    ”The boat started taking in water as soon as she took off. The hold was flooding … . I’m certain this disaster happened because she took in too much water,” he said.

    ”As the captain made a right-hand turn to avoid the sand bank outside the harbor, all the water shifted to one side and turned the boat over,” Calderwood said. ”There was no noise, no bang. We didn’t hit anything.”
    Fellow survivor Brian Gibbons, 39, said, ”They put out three emergency calls for the ship’s carpenter. Then all of a sudden, the boat turned over.”

    Where was truck driver Ian Calderwood in 2017?

    Brian was wheeled out in 2012 for the 25th anniversary

    Now 64 and retired, the former truck driver lives in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire. “We thought they didn’t know we were there because it was five, six, seven hours until we got rescued. It’s a long time when you can’t see what is happening, because it was pitch black. I didn’t think I would make it. Afterwards, I found it very difficult to talk to people who had lost loved ones because of the enormous guilt of surviving when others hadn’t. In the early years there wouldn’t be a day go past when I wouldn’t think about it; now it’s every two or three months I go quiet.”

    The same guilt story also wheeled out with him.

    There is one story of astonishing bravery, allegedly, in that story…
    Andrew Parker lay across a damaged walkway and formed a human bridge allowing 20 people to walk to safety. He was awarded the George Medal for his bravery. Now 58, he works as a property manager overseas and shuns publicity.

    but no guilt.
    I notice that Andrew PArker GM “assistant finance manager at a city bank who was in the ship’s cafe with his family” [before his disappearance from public view] is cited in this book from 2014. I bet Parker wasn’t on a £1 booze cruise…he doesn’t seem to fit in with the average passenger profile.
    which is probably the best dictionary available of psy-ops from the past
    Collective Conviction: The Story of Disaster Action
    By Anne Eyre, Pam Dix

    Hmmm, that’s one to get hold of, perhaps, for a deeper insight into the minds of the disaster planners and recruiters.



    Last check in for Ian Calderwood…

    March 14, 1987

    A Stranraer family had an anxious wait this week when Ian Calderwood, formerly of the town, was the last man pulled alive from the stricken Townsend Thoresen ferry Herald of Free Enterprise after it capsized moments after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, killing 193 passengers and crew. Long distance lorry driver, Mr Calderwood, 44, who now lives in Dagenham, Essex, survived a nine-hour ordeal in freezing conditions inside the upturned ferry before being winched free by divers, who told him he was lucky to be alive. Mr Calderwood’s daughter Alison sat up with her husband until 3.30 in the morning waiting to hear if her father was one of the survivors.

    Married daughter still keeping abreast with her father’s daily haulage movements. Touching.

    Straight onto TV with the other “key survivors” for the reciting of the narrative

    Back to results

    }141431 CAPSIZED CAR FERRY/SURVIVORS: A look at the heroes of the
    9.3.87 ‘Herald of Free Enterprise’ the Townsend Thoresen car ferry
    TX which capsized off Zeebrugge on 6.3.87. Intvws Nicky Delo
    (Steward), Ian Calderwood (Lorry Driver), Andrew and Janice
    (Father and daughter survivors)



    Just spinning a disc by Canadian troubador Gordon Lightfoot I thought I’d have a look at the subject of one of his biggest [1976] hits…The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald based on a true life…..hoax imho. The ship sank on November 10 1975, the biggest ore carrier on the Great Lakes out of Duluth.

    29 dead at the bottom of the sea, except there was no trace of them until….mysteriously 20 years later; no photos, of course, must respect the “loved ones” in true psy-op style but we have plenty of memorials, including the “recovered” bell.

    “Scott was almost expecting a body…we’ve been at a funeral home a week ago to visit a friend….” hmmmm
    The wreck is well ring-fenced by the Ontario government.

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