The Marchioness Disaster – 20th August 1989 – London, England

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    Tom Dalpra

    ”Hello Sailor!”
    This guy’s worth a mention, fellas 😉


    From Essex, it’s TV presenter and famous ex-husband of Jade Goody – the reality TV star who famously and quite publicly died from cancer. It’s Jeff Brazier son, of Marchioness skipper Stephen Faldo.

    Now, would anyone like a sausage roll?


    Jonathon’ll have one.




    Brazier took part in the Channel 4 reality television show Shipwrecked

    Like father, like son.

    Brazier has two sons from his relationship with Big Brother contestant Jade Goody

    Mm, Big Brother, that’s Dutch, isn’t it?

    Anyway, we are totally in the realm of fiction/reality/fiction/real…Whatever.


    Now, would anyone like a sausage roll?

    Ah, there’s the warm snacks. Do you like this river cruise so far, Mr. Dalpra? Yes, calm waters. Fancy another drink? Here, grab a beer. Whoa, mind that bridge…xilef? Just had a chat with him…yes, Duper’s Delight again. He’s at the stern end. I’m going outside. Hate that bloody disco music. Yeah, see ya. Talk to you later.


    That’s better.


    Would be handy to know how much water the Bowbelle drew. Full moon was on the 17th just preceding the Saturday/Sunday of the event.
    from the report:

    Click to access cms_resources.cfm

    There was a flood tide, high water at London Bridge being 0448 hrs [GMT? or BST?]
    The rescue also has different tales:
    from the Guardian, Andrew Sutton epic:

    Most of those who lived were rescued within minutes by the other pleasure boat, the Hurlingham. However, the Bowbelle carried on, the skipper radioing in the news of the collision, but not even throwing its own life rafts into the water for survivors.

    Sutton describes the tide as incoming, so not low tide or high tide
    Helen was being dragged aboard a police launch

    hmmmm non-independent witnesses there.

    Four police patrol boats assisted in the rescue of 87 people

    The “agreed story” from the MIAB is here
    from which we learn that the Bowbelle and Marchioness had overtaken the Hurlingham; we also learn that according to this script that the police picked up more than half.
    It all hardly seems credible on reading it.

    The collision between the BOWBELLE and MARCHIONESS was witnessed by a number of people on board the HURLINGHAM, in particular by the Skipper who was at the helm

    not wearing pebble spectacles, one hopes

    When the wreck was raised later the same day. the upper saloon superstructure was found near to but completely detached from the remainder of the vessel.

    but naturally no photos have emerged of it.

    During the brief period the vessel
    remained afloat the Mate of the MARCHIONESS, who had been thrown into the water, managed to get back on board and hold open the door at the fore end on the port side of the dance deck, assisting some of those within to escape

    George Cross for that man.

    The BODIES

    The LFB fire fighting craft LONDON PHOENIX joined the search at 0218 hrs and recovered the first body at 0242 hrs between Lambeth and Vauxhall Bridges.

    Of those who lost their lives, 27 bodies were recovered from the River

    Between 1800 hrs and 2300 hrs [Aug 20] the wreck was pumped out, and a specially trained Police team, assisted by the London Fire Brigade, recovered 24 bodies.

    No further survivors or bodies were found on the 20th, and the massive commitment of craft, vehicles and manpower was gradually scaled down throughout the day.

    [a long summer’s day]

    Extensive searches of the river and foreshore continued, and the remaining bodies
    were recovered from various places on the Thames, over the next week.

    From the point of view of emergency services used to dealing with accidents on land, this disaster was almost unique, in that most major incidents are confined to a relatively small area.

    Report by Captain C.B. Marriott, Chief Inspector of Marine Accidents

    Drill written all over it.
    Have we established how formal identification was carried out? Everybody’s hand cut off? Certainly wasn’t be relatives or Annette.

    For reference: the Princess Alice disaster of 1878 – same year as the Vienna Opera House fire, by the way…


    And now we’re at it, let’s jump ship for a moment and take on this cruise gone wrong as well (or have Clues been busy already?):

    Why not take the Dutch Wonky for a change:

    Sir Paul McCartney, Ferry Aid, Let It Be and the BS meter runs in the red already.

    All hands on deck!


    Comment on a 2007 Kings Cross blog

    A friend of mine was on the Marchioness, Tony Lo, a skint but dedicated photographer just getting established. He was the second to last to be found several miles (I think it was upstream) from the accident. So not a pretty sight, I’m guessing.

    I find no other online statement to this effect – how would Anna know?

    written by journalist Anna Chen

    others noted
    Simon Senior: “a few days later”
    Antonio Vasconcelos, 11 days later Sept 1, and the last according to Magda Allani, [Mail, 2011]. What’s the chance, the party thrower days later?
    Francesca Dellaglio – 4 days Battersea bridge
    Lawrence is quoted:

    I was invited on the boat as well, but I had a headache so decided not to go. It was very unlike me to turn down a party,’

    more nonsense at the Mail:

    Dr William Dolman, his on-site deputy, had objected, particularly as it led to some parents initially receiving the wrong corpse to bury.

    How would anyone know? Family never saw any body, allegedly.

    Margaret Lockwood Croft, 70, lost her son Shaun, then 26, in the tragedy. She is the director of the Marchioness Action Group

    Three weeks before his death we chatted through the night….Shaun had written a will and the letter after our conversation

    he’s 26 years old and healthy [and unmarried with a girlfriend in Edinburgh] I imagine

    “I was not allowed to see Shaun’s body. I want to exhume the body I buried and to do a DNA test as I honestly don’t know if it is my son.

    Aug 16 2009
    what’s stopping her?
    Still time for more absurdity in this drama:

    Lizette Dennis and Others v United Kingdom (Application no. 76573/01)
    Fourth Section, July 2 2002
    Complaint that interference with cadavers breached relatives’ Article 8 rights rejected as time-barred

    A recorded death was that of Howard Anthony Dennis aged 29 [no birth recorded in England/Wales]
    here comes the good bit:

    Due to the lapse of time in recovering some of the bodies from the river, the Coroner decided that the bodies recovered on or after 22 August were to be considered, due to the degree of decomposition, as unsuitable for visual identification. Following a misunderstanding between the police and the coroner, the police proceeded on 24 and 25 August to remove the hands from the victims’ bodies for fingerprinting on a blanket basis without any consideration as to whether identification purposes required the measure in each case. This meant that hands were removed from bodies notwithstanding the fact that some had already been positively identified by dental records and dental records for others were in the process of being obtained. No relatives of the victims were informed that there was to be a removal of hands. Many did not become aware that the bodies had had parts removed until during the inquiry proceedings. The relatives were also denied access to the bodies to say their last farewell.

    Dental records….hmmm
    The official story goes that 24 bodies came out sharpish from the vessel. No problems there. Then conveniently we have a vague time window to accommodate the other 27. Those 27 were in the Thames, allegedly. So, it would seem reasonable that a good number of these might be found sooner rather than later. But no…
    Not forgetting that the Thames tidal barrier had been closed hours afterwards at 09.15 on August 20 until 01:30 on August 21

    No further survivors or bodies were found on the 20th….Extensive searches of the river and foreshore continued, and the remaining bodies were recovered from various places on the Thames, over the next week.

    Totally unbelievable – with no tide, not a single drowned body was found in the river during the first 24 hours, since all the noted 24 were from the wreck…allegedly.


    rgos – Reichstag Fireman was onto this. Have a read:
    Reichstag Fireman is a former incarnation of Psyopticon, I am fairly sure.
    Worth a punt. New thread?


    rgos – Reichstag Fireman was onto this.

    Ah, I see. He’s right on the money there.

    Worth a punt. New thread?

    Mm, might as well let it be. “It’s too big for us,” in the words of a notorious Dutch psyop artist. Personally, I like the obscure ones much better. It’s the gourmet in me.


    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>xileffilex wrote:</div>
    Worth a punt. New thread?

    Mm, might as well let it be. “It’s too big for us,” in the words of a notorious Dutch psyop artist. Personally, I like the obscure ones much better. It’s the gourmet in me.

    indeed, Zeebrugge screams “drill” straight off the Wiki page. Far too blatant for any connoisseur of psy-ops.


    It strikes me that, even now, I begin to watch these things and start half-believing them.

    Ay, matey, it’s a strong potion, this Kool-Aid.


    Legal notes:
    Louise Christian of solicitors Christian Fisher represented Marchioness families through 7 years of legal processes – inquests, judicial reviews, private prosecutions etc etc [1989-1996] Good work. [Hazel Hartley, Exploring sport and leisure disasters:
    “to investigate the legal processes following the 1989 Hillsborough and Marchioness disasters through documentary sources and semi-structured interviews and to locate these…and their findings in the broader legal political and economic contexts of the 1980s”
    [available at Google books online]
    “Dr Knapman also showed journalists police photographs of the deceased when discussion the matter of denial of access without the knowledge or consent of the relatives” source: private interview with Margaret Lockwood-Croft 1992]
    I can’t find the names of the journalists who allegedly were told by Knapman that was Margaret L-C was “unhinged” [and others were described as “mentally unwell” allegedly- ref below]
    more work for Christian & Fisher solicitors..

    Eileen Dallaglio and Margaret Lockwood Croft

    result: Knapman removed from the inquest resumption.

    Some figures: parliamentary question

    Mr. Jonathan Evans

    The direction given to the Legal Aid Board in respect of the Marchioness grant was made on 10 March 1995. The terms of the direction were as follows”To make a grant of up to £200,000 to the firm of Christian Fisher to cover the costs of representation for the families involved in the Marchioness disaster at the forthcoming inquest. The grant is to be made from the legal aid fund under the powers given by Section 4(2)(b) of the Legal Aid Act 1988.”
    On receipt of bills submitted by the solicitors, the Legal Aid Board satisfied itself that work up to the value of £200,000 had been carried out, and paid that sum on 30 June 1995 to the firm of Christian Fisher.

    This is just for the inquest in 1995…

    Some tidbits from p.221
    The Marchioness was built in 1923. Other crew – Andrew Gorman, 21, plus two bar staff. [no music?] later referred to as Andrew McGowan on the same page,222!
    that the Bowbelle anchor “came through the window” is credited to a nameless “bar staff” member. Well, one of the pair.

    The Marchioness Action Group was originally led by Iain Philpott a survivor of the disaster who had lost his fiancee Tamsin Cole and included M. L-C. and E.D. [see above] and Barbara Davis and Billy Gorman mother and brother of a survivor respectively.

    On p.272 two seamen on the Bowbelle are mentioned, relating to the 2001 inquiry: Terence Blayney and Edward Quantrill


    More snippets from the 2001 book, p.242 regarding the non-prosecution of the Bowbelle captain by the DPP
    Domenic Langlands Pearse, husband of a victim, is cited by Hazel Hartley as the person bringing an application for judicial review of the DPP’s decision not to bring any manslaughter charges. Whom did Dominic instruct? Christian Fisher [end of October 1990]
    [victim: France [sic] Langlands Pearce, 29]

    One more legal action by a relative: July 1991 – Ivor Glogg, husband of Ruth Haddon, issued a private prosecution for manslaughter against operators South Coast Shipping and four directors.

    Hartley gets the name of Ruth wrong – it is Ruth HaddEn not HaddOn. [m 1985]

    The Marchioness Action Group, which represents survivors and relatives, fears the report’s publication may predjudice the private manslaughter prosecution brought by Ivor Glogg whose wife Ruth died in the collision. Yesterday Bill Gorman, chairman of the group, said: ‘This report is a sham. The Department of Transport is fully responsible, in our view, for the deaths of 51 people.’

    see also p.14 a handy check list of Disasters of the 1980s

    Another legal firm involved Irwin Mitchell

    strangely this firm does not exist in the Hartley book.

    We acted on behalf of 48 survivors and families of victims of the Marchioness riverboat disaster


    Legal notes ctd. Christian Khan Solicitors

    Established in 1985 in the Covent Garden area of London and originally called Christian Fisher Solicitors

    In 2012 Imran Khan and Partners merged with leading solicitors firm Christian Khan Solicitors. The new firm – Imran Khan and Partners Solicitors incorporating Christian Khan – now provides an even greater range and depth of legal expertise.
    past clients:

    Imran Khan & Partners, which is based in London, has defended clients in over a dozen cases, including the 7/7 trial and Saajid Badat, who was sentenced to 13 years for conspiring with the “Shoe Bomber,” Richard Reid, to blow up a transatlantic aircraft
    At a conservative estimate, based on Freedom of Information releases and parliamentary answers, The Daily Telegraph believes that the bill has topped £110 million over the last decade. The latest figures from 2010 show that Arani & Co earned £4.8 million over six years. They were followed by Birnberg Peirce & Partners, who earned £4.4 million. Imran Khan & Partners took £3.6 million, while the Leeds-based Yasmin & Shaid were paid £3 million. Christian Khan earned £2.2 million. A host of smaller firms also earned millions.
    Apr 20 2012

    London-based Christian Khan was set up in 1985 to specialise in human rights. Louise Christian, the senior partner, has represented detainees at Guantanamo Bay, along with the wife of suicide bomber Omar Sharif.

    Omar who?

    Would-be suicide bomber Omar Sharif, who tried to kill himself and others in a Tel Aviv bar in April 2003, was born in the city.[Derby]
    His accomplice, Asif Hanif, did succeed – his bomb killed three people, plus himself, and wounded 65.

    Khan’s bomb failed to detonate,[Sharif tried to set off his own bomb, but when he pressed the trigger the kilogram of explosive packed into a brace at the small of his back failed to detonate. In the confusion he got away, dumping his bomb.[*] ] but his body was found in the Mediterranean 12 days later.
    His brother Zahid Sharif, of Stenson Road, Derby, and sister Parveen, of Breedon Hill Road, were cleared at the Old Bailey of failing to alert authorities about his mission.
    In February this year, Derby-born Parviz Khan was jailed for life for plotting to kill a British Muslim soldier.
    Khan planned to lure the soldier with the promise of drugs
    and then film him being beheaded

    Familiar territory?
    [Omar’s wife, Tahira, was cleared at the first trial of failing to disclose information.]

    [*] April 30 2003

    A total fantasy world brought to you by the MSM and its suppliers and hangers-on and the taxpayer.

    Tom Dalpra

    Woah – it wasn’t just the hands!

    Some families are now considering holding second funerals to reunite those who died with their major organ”

    What the hell was Knapman doing? Hands, major organs, he took organs from nearly all the victims we’re told.

    ”Marchioness post mortem: family’s anger
    A man whose sister died in the Marchioness riverboat disaster said his family is considering taking legal action after it was revealed organs may have been taken from victims of the tragedy without the consent of relatives.
    The findings have emerged through a non-statutory inquiry into how the victims of the disaster were identified. Some families are now considering holding second funerals to reunite those who died with their major organ

    edit: I said it was from today originally. What’s 13 years?!
    THANKS FOR THE CLARITY xilef. That’s one of those moments I’d rather keep to the minimum!



    Tom, I think that was dated March 11 2001. But what happened? [ties in with Shaun’s mother being at the held for nearly 11 years of the Action Group]
    A few more items –

    There is a Vasconcellos Bursary at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, approx GBP45K pa

    Also a fund run by survivor Philip Robinson
    which is a development of the earlier just giving page

    At the time I was a Portfolio Manager at Barings, whilst my dear friend Antonio was a successful Fund Manager and entrepreneur

    [according to Allani, Mail artcle, A.Vasconcllos had been working at investment bank Warburgs until, two years earlier, he had been headhunted by Spanish financier Javier de la Rosa to run the London offices of Torras Hostench]

    I was awarded a choral scholarship to Oxford and commenced professional training in the 1980s. After the Marchioness disaster I became more of a risk taker and I embarked on a career as a professional tenor. Fortunately I was able to secure a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music to train in opera and oratorio. I have little doubt that without the events of that night in August 1989 I would not have been brave enough to follow my heart rather than my head.

    Swimming saved Philip’s life that night. He was underwater for a long time and dislocated his shoulder, his breath control enabled him to survive. Therefore swimming is a fitting way to launch The Antonio Vasconcellos Fund to help those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    He had to get out of the boat to get a chance to survive and swim in the disorientating blackness and strong current of the Thames. Glass had cut his head from the broken windows and the falling tables and chairs dislocated his shoulder. Adrenalin numbed pain enabling him to swim to shore where he was helped by Antonio’s surviving brother, Diogo.

    After 21 years Philip was prepared to step into the same river which killed many of his friends. After months of training he put a wetsuit on, said a prayer and started the two day swim safely upstream away from the busy river traffic in Oxfordshire. His concerned back-up team worried about Philip’s immersion but it proved to be cathartic.

    He sang an aria at the Vasconcellos brothers’ funeral.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\20141127-search_results.xml


    possibly whole organs

    During the non-statutory inquiry a pathologist, Richard Shepherd, who at the time of the disaster was a lecturer in forensic medicine at Guy’s hospital and took a leading role in the postmortem examinations, admitted that “if appropriate” tissue was retained for study.

    It seems like this adds credibility to there having been bodies.

    Where did the information come from, according to this article, March 12 2001?

    Margaret Lockwood Croft, who has led the Marchioness Action Group for nearly 11 years, yesterday said she was told after the inquiries that containers holding tissues or body parts of four of the victims had been found in the mortuary.

    She said that tissue from lungs, kidneys, hearts, brain and spleen was discovered. Mrs Lockwood Croft said it was possible that material had been taken from many more than four victims.

    Papered over by John Prescott Govt minister on March 23 2001:

    After the hearings, it emerged that tissue samples taken from four of the Marchioness victims had been found 11 years later in Westminster mortuary. Post mortems were carried out on all 51 victims after the tragedy and small samples of tissue removed, in accordance with normal forensic practice. Most of the samples were destroyed after six months, but four remained at Westminster mortuary. I should emphasise that, contrary to newspaper reports, these were small amounts of tissue, not the organs themselves, and that the material was not used for research.

    Emerged via Mrs Lockwood-Croft, actually.


    Location of memorial:Rookwood NSW Australia
    Youngest daughter of Arthur and Marjory
    No other details apart from the date 20 – 8 – 1989 and age 29 years.

    Tom Dalpra

    It seems like this adds credibility to there having been bodies.

    Sure, this all just amounts to more Marchioness Tragedy affirmation doesn’t it?

    ”Some families are now considering holding second funerals to reunite those who died with their major organs”

    Yeah right!? While you’re there you can bung the hands in that they chopped off and finally you have a decent burial and some dignity.

    Silly really, surely? But it doesn’t matter. It’s talking about bodies; mutilated bodies, at that. ‘Real’ dead people. That is powerful, as we know.
    It works.


    Tom Dalpra

    Would-be suicide bomber Omar Sharif, who tried to kill himself and others in a Tel Aviv bar in April 2003, was born in the city.[Derby]
    His accomplice, Asif Hanif, did succeed

    Omar Sharif? Really?! Now there’s a versatile actor.
    Here, Sharif during a routine customs check post Tel Aviv:


    Also, you’ve got to say also the name Asif is also quite appropriate for a made-up terrorist. 🙂


    This article regarding the Australian Marchioness Action Group and the Australian memorial spells out quite clearly several things this PSYoP was about. Certainly I think it’s how it was sold to actor/agent – Margaret Lockwood Croft.



    25 years later and Margaret said she is proud of what she’s achieved:

    ”Mrs Lockwood Croft said she was proud of the safety reforms the families had won over the past 25 years.
    “We’ve saved other people going through the trauma we went through.
    “People are being rescued on the River Thames now. They have an excellent rescue service.”
    Lifeboat stations were opened following a 2001 report into the Marchioness tragedy
    . Crews have, to date, saved 466 lives and rescued almost 3500 people.
    CCTV cameras have been installed along the river and they’re linked to the Metropolitan police.
    Maritime drink and drug laws have been implemented and coroner procedures were overhauled after more than 20 victims’ hands were cut off in 1989 for identification purposes.
    But Mrs Lockwood Croft insists there is still more to be done.
    She wants certain vessels banned from the tidal waters and emergency telephones installed along the Thames connected directly to rescue services.”


    This is Marchioness Tragedy – Australian branch.
    I see some parallel here with MH17 and it’s smattering of Australian victims.


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