Balmoral Universal


Brian Bannister from Facebook 21 Dec 2014

In August 1980 I was 4th engineer on the Balmoral Universal at anchor off Santos, Brazil.

Some of us were assembling in the bar for pre dinner drinks when the engine room fire alarm went off. There was no panic as we had a problem with the boiler blowing back thus setting off the fire alarm. I looked at the panel and every engine room fire alarm light was illuminated, it was the real thing.

Wilf Grant was the 2nd engineer and he told me to isolate the fuel to the generators, which I did. On return to the changing room I was told that Dave Craven 3rd engineer had escaped with his greaser up the tunnel escape.

The fire was duly put out by two officers donned in breathing apparatus.

The salvage vultures hovered but thankfully not needed.

When the dust settled it was discovered that a fuel pipe leading to one of the generators and burst and sprayed gas oil over the generator exhaust pipe.

Two generators were badly damaged and another one was patched up to get us into Santos under our own steam.

Many engineers will agree that Rolls Royce can build excellent cars and aircraft engines but their generators were rubbish.

If anybody that was there can shed more light on it please do so as the old grey matter is getting slower!

Evidence of the damage is shown in the photos.

Cayzer Irvine / CI Shipping Home Page
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