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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Jacob Verolme KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 2
source HOOKE
type A
volume
material
dead 1
link

On January 22, 1967, while on a voyage from Vitoria, Brazil to Ymuiden, loaded with 23,000 tons of iron ore, an explosion on board the Dutch ore/oil steamship Jacob Verolme at 4:30 am when off the Canary Islands in lat 27.06N, long 20.08W, caused 40 crewmen to take to their lifeboats. The only other member of the crew had been killed by the blast. Even though there was very bad weather in the area at the time, the Polish motor vessel Batory sighted the four lifeboats being tossed about in the heavy seas successfully managing to pick up all 40 men without loss. Once of the survivors gravely injured woth burns was rushed to hospital when the Batory laded them at Las Palmas.

According to the survivors, the explosion occured when a crewman was soldering a deck valve. The resulting blast in the vessel's forepeak caused the Jacob Verolme to keel over and eventually capsize. The West German salvage tug Seefalke managed to get a line on board, towing the ore carrier keel up toward Las Palmas.

The ship was eventually towed to Gando Bay, Grand Canary for an inspection. A survey by divers revealed that all the hatch covers were missing, the cargo had emptied itself out, and Nos 1 and 2 port cargo tanks had been destroyed by the original explosion.

Declared a CTL, she was towed out to sea and delberately sunk March 6.


source CTX
type A
volume
material
dead 1
link

Welding at 4:30 in the morning?

Ore/oilers generally carry oil only in the center tanks/holds. Doubtful if 1P and 2P were cargo tanks. But it is pretty clear from the diver's report, this was where the real explosion was. An explosion in the forepeak would not capsize the ship.

Whether or not 1P and 2P were cargo tanks, they must have had some oil in them. Best guess, and it is only a guess, is the oil leaked into the 1P or 2P ballast tanks. Perhaps the crew were unaware of this and felt that hotwork in the vicinity was safe,