JERVIS BAY WAS BUILT FOR OCL BY UPPER CLYDE SHIPBUILDERS IN 1969 AT GOVAN, GLASGOW. SHE WAS 28,875 TONNES.
SHE WAS MANAGED BY SHAW SAVILL & ALBION AND WAS ONE OF THE SIX ORIGINAL OCL VESSELS. THE OTHER VESSELS BEING, ENCOUNTER BAY, FLINDERS BAY, MORETON BAY, DISCOVERY BAY AND BOTANY BAY, ALL OF WHICH HAD BEEN BUILT IN GERMANY FOR THE U.K TO AUSTRALIA TRADE. ALL OF THESE VESSELS HAD THEIR ACCOMMODATION, WHEREAS MOST OF THE OTHER OCL "BAY" SHIPS CARRIED CONTAINERS FORWARD & AFT OF THE ACCOMMODATION, AND HAD BEEN BUILT FOR THE FAR EAST TRADE.
THE JERVIS BAY WAS THE LARGEST CARGO VESSEL EVER MANAGED BY SHAW SAVILL & ALBION AND WAS THEIR FIRST CONTAINER SHIP.
IN 1983 JERVIS BAY HAD COMPLETED HER LAST VOYAGE SHE WAS LAID UP FOR A FEW MONTHS AND SOLD TO A GERMAN COMPANY,WHO THEN SOLD HER ONTO A TAIWAN BASED COMPANY FOR SCRAPPING.
SHE WAS PUT IN TOW BY THE GERMAN TUG 'HANSEATIC', DESTINATION TAIWAN, BUT HER TOW PARTED SEVERAL TIMES, SHE WAS EVENTUALLY TOWED TO BILBOA IN NORTHERN SPAIN, BUT DRAGGED HER ANCHOR AND WENT ASHORE ON THE BREAKWATER, AND BECAME A TOTAL LOSS.
The following information was provided by Ian Moignard, who served on all of the six original vessels:-
Jervis Bay, at the start of her maiden voyage in May 1970, was the first ship of Overseas Containers Ltd. to berth in Tilbury, and so was the first to complete a round voyage from Tilbury, despite being the last of the six Encounter Bay class ships to be completed. From the start of the UK-Australia container ship service in March 1969 when Encounter Bay left Rotterdam on her maiden voyage, the container ships of the UK-Australia consortia (OCL & ACT) were forced by the long-running Dockers dispute to use continental ports, usually Antwerp. UK cargo was loaded in Tilbury onto feeder ships and Trans-shipped on the continent.
During the afternoon of January 8th, 1976, whilst undocking Jervis Bay from Tilbury Dock New Entrance stern first with Sun XIX and Sun III, tug Vanquisher was girted and sank. The circumstances were almost identical to the sinking of Cervia in 1954 by Arcadia, the tug being on the starboard quarter and being caught by the wash of a powerful steamship in the New Entrance. With the ship going ahead with her helm to starboard, Vanquisher was unable to get round in time to run with the ship or to let go and was rolled over and sank. Fortunately on this occasion all Vanquishers crew managed to get out of the tug and were picked up from the water by a local waterman in his boat. The tugs were not fitted with the Britannia quick release towing hook at this time, and there was too much weight on the manual release hook for it to be knocked away. Vanquisher was raised late the following day by four wreck lighters and taken to Sheerness to be repaired and refurbished, returning to work on June 10th.
Image provided by Martin Padley
MARTIN PADLEY SERVED ON THE "BAY" BOATS IN THE MID SEVENTIES. HE WAS ONBOARD THE ' JERVIS BAY ' WHEN THE TUG ' VANQUISHER ' WAS SUNK.