Back to Casualty List | Search The Casualty Database
Precis File
SHIP NAME: Mactra KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source howarth-sea-shell
type D
volume
material
dead 2
link

On 29 December 1969, Mactra has a tank explosion. Her Third Officer, R.W. Gardner, and a Grade I Seaman, J. S Lincoln, had been killed and several people seriously burned, including the wives of the Second and Fourth Engineers. An aerial photograph showed that, though the ship could still steam under her own power, a colossal hole, something like 50' wide and 400' long, had been ripped in the center of her deck.

Good picture of damaged deck on page 155.


source HOOKE
type A
volume
material
dead 2
link

.... sustained very heavy damage due to an explosion and fire in her No 4 tank during tank cleaning operation in the Mozambique Channel about 800 miles off Durban in lat 19.27S, long 39.07E on December 29, 1969. Two men were killed and another six injured, two seriously. The blast ripped open the main deck for about 500 feet, but the vessel which was a ballast voyage from Lehavre to the Persian Gulf did not take on any water and, after anchoring off Beira, subsequently reached the safety of Durban harbour ....


source CTX
type D
volume
material B
dead 2
link

Mactra, a new Shell VLCC, was tank cleaning off Africa when an explosion occured in one of her cargo tanks. This was a repeat of the Marpessa explosion two weeks earlier except the ship did not sink. It appears that this explosion was one tank further forward than that of the Mactra.

This was one of the three big tank cleaning explosions in December 1969, which led Shell to conclude that static electrictity created by the tank cleaning jet of water was the probable source of ignition, This in turn resulted in the requirement for inerting.

Howarth, A Century in Oil, p 295 has great picture of deck. Damage extends from manifold back to pump room in a sort of triangle with the base at the manifold where it is at least the full width of the center tanks narrowing at it moves aft.