Rotherwick Castle


ROTHERWICK CASTLE was built in 1959 by Greenock Dockyard Co at Greenock with a tonnage of 9659grt, a length of 519ft 9in, a beam of 66ft 1in and a service speed of 16 knots.

One of two 'R' class reefers, much of her career with British & Commonwealth was managed by the Clan Line's, Cayzer, Irvine & Co. of London.

In 1975 she was sold to Sea Fortune Shipping Co. of Monrovia and renamed Sea Fortune and in 1980 became the Silver Bays owned by Barbridge Shipping Ltd of Liberia.

She was sold again in 1981 to Jersey Shipping Ltd of Panama with Wallem Ship Management as managers and was finally sold in 1983 to Mickle Shipping Ltd of Panama and broken up at Chittagong.

From CNI

My first ship as Second Officer, I always thought I was a bit lucky to get a reasonably new ship just after promotion. The voyage was a 9 month double header.

From Thyge Enevoldson - then 2nd Officer Rotherwick Castle

On passage on Rotherwick Castle through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Master Charlie Lorains had taken over the morning watch. At about 0700 the Chief Steward reported to the bridge that he had just witnessed a car sinking very close to the ship.

Initially treating this with disbelief it was only when the bosun came to the bridge with the same report that he accepted the fact. As 2nd Mate I was still asleep at this time but was awakened to report to the bridge. If I remember correctly it was about 15 minutes later that a man was seen in the water initially sighted by the Chief Steward from the main deck.

After hoving-to close by I was ordered get together a crew and to take the starboard side pulling (not the motor) lifeboat to rescue the man from the water. This was achieved with some difficulty in the existing conditions. With the man on board and who only spoke little English the Rotherwick Castle diverted into Gibraltar to land the man. Apparently he had been driving his amphibious car across the straits and he did say that he had tooted his horn and flashed his headlights but was not seen from the approaching ship.

Coincidently there was a Soviet ship in Gibraltar from which one of the crew was missing believed to have defected. Because of this Rotherwick Castle was delayed in Gibraltar for several hours until the rescued man was positively identified as being not the defector

At the subsequent enquiry the car owner was asked about his observance, or lack thereof, of the Rules of The Road. In his defence he stated that he "flashed his lights" and "tooted his horn".

The Rotherwick Castle was cleared of all blame!

As Sea Fortune but still in Union-Castle colours

The Amphicar Incident - November 1965

Murder at Sea - 1974

Life after Union-Castle

Launched by Lady Rotherwick

She was the first Union-Castle vessel to be built at Greenock Dockyard

As Sea Fortune

Sad and Neglected

Launch - August 1959    &    Maiden Voyage - May 1960

This is not the vehicle concerned but included for illustration

Rotherwick

Castle

Left Southampton

25 May

For Cape Town

Master

A T Underdown

Chief Officer

C Kelso

Second Officer

J Currie

Third Officer

N Creaser

Cadets

J Oliver

J Start

G Read

M Johns

D Brooks-Usher

Radio Officer

D Evans

Carpenter

A West

Bosun

J Smith

Chief Engineer

H Stuart

Second Engineer

J Wilson

Int Second Engineer

J Thomas

Jnr Second Engineer

L Block

Snr Third Engineer

G Bowman

Int Third Engineer

W Urwin

Jnr Third Engineer

M Desbrosses

First Frig Engineer

J Ringshaw

Sec  Frig Engineer

J Aitken

Third Frig Engineer

R Saadien

Electrician

J Brice

ER Storekeeper

W Murphy

Purser/Catering Officer

W Divers

Rotherwick

Castle

Left London

8 October

For E Africa

Master

C E Lorains

Chief Officer

I M Shearer

Second Officer

T Enevoldson

Third Officer

M Slayman

Cadets

A Ellis

Radio Officer

J Tomlinson

Carpenter

K Long

Bosun

T Meech

Chief Engineer

F Nicholls

Second Engineer

B McNaughton

Jnr Second Engineer

D Mawby

Third Engineer

J Crutwell

Fourth Engineer

L Ord

Junior Engineer

N Anderson

I Main

Chief Frig Engineer

M Thomas

Electrician

M O’Sullivan

ER Storekeeper

A Straite

Purser/Catering Officer

L Tompkinson

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