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One of the first event I do remember is the complete rebuilding of the E.R. of ANITA MONTI carried out by OARN with the vessel afloat at anchorage in front of Genoa airport.

ANITA MONTI, one of the first VLCC steam tankers built by Italcantieri was delivered to the Owner, Messrs. EUROPA of Cav. Attilio Monti on 30th November 1970.

She was a 229.000 DWT tanker with one of the last type of Stal Laval turbine of 35.750 shaft horsepower, one main single boiler Foster Wheeler ESD III with a normal production of superheated steam of 100 ton/hour at a pressure of 82,6 kilos/ and at a temperature of 512C. The vessel was fully automated by Siemens, reaching the grade IAQ1 of RINA.

She was immediately in service between Europe and Persian Gulf, via Cape Town, where she was sailing for almost one year only with minor problem to the epicycloidal reduction gear.

Suddenly, when she was fully loaded for Shell, on October 18th 1971, on the west bound voyage from Mina al Fahal to Europe at 22,10 GMT hours, a fire broken down in the E.R. due to an oil lubricating spill on a superheated steam valve at about 380C.

The vessel was in Mozambique Channel and the fire was immediately extremely dangerous. Ten (10) minutes after breaking up of the fire the full set of 194 bottles of CO2 were discharged in the E.R. and assistance was required to the ESSO HAMPSHIRE in the vicinity.

About nine hours later, the temperature in the E.R. was rapidly increasing, the fire was on again and it was necessary to open the skylight and inject water with 12 butterworth hoses driven by the emergency fire pump. At 24.00 of the same day the fire was shut down.

At 13.30 of October 19,1971 the tug STATESMAN took the vessel under tow for False Bay .

On October 22, the CATERINA of the same company was giving assistance to the damaged ship with electrical cables, lamps, towing cables, providing meals for the crew, etc.

On October 26 at 10.30 p.m. another tug, the BALTIC was ordered by the Owner to give assistance to ANITA MONTI

On October 31, the vessel arrived to False Bay where she was at anchorage embarking specialists, spare parts, protective oil, diesel generator, etc.

On November 19 the vessel with the tugs STATESMAN and ENGLISHMAN was obtaining the towing certificate from Cape Town to Europe: this was the longest and heaviest tow (270.000 tons about) even done.

On December 24, 1971 the vessel was at anchorage in Fos Sur Mer where the cargo was due to Shell but, due to very bad weather conditions, the mooring and the discharging operations were impossible.

On first January 1972, was decided to tow the vessel to Milazzo where the discharging operations where completed and on the 10 of January the vessel was eventually towed to Genoa, with the order for repairing given to OARN.

On the 16th the vessel was in Genoa and moored at anchorage and at the buoys on the calm channel between the airport and Italcantieri shipyard.

source CTX
type A
volume N

One of the few close calls that has come to light, could very easily have been a 200,000 ton spill. Now a days repair yards rarely talk about the casualties they see for fear of embarrasing the customer.

This fascinating account makes several points, including fires just dont happen. They always have a cause.

Of course, we would always like to know more. What caused the lubricating oil spill? Was it an operational screw up? Did a pipe burst?

How about the chuztpah of towing a fully loaded VLCC around South Africa to the Med in December?