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Shell Tanker ss. Sepia
Ships and Harbours
 
No: 543   Contributor: Kees Helder   Year: 1961   Manufacturer: Cammell Laird, United Kingdom   Country: The Netherlands
Shell Tanker ss. Sepia

Shell Tanker ss. Sepia, Imo 5320510, 72.981 ton, built 1961 by Cammell Laird Shipbuilding & Eng. Birkenhead Engeland for Shell Tankers Rotterdam. Scrapped in 1983 at Kaohsiung. Sisterships; Serenia, Sivella, Sitala and Solen.
Picture added on 01 December 2006
External Links
Helderline - Lots of info & photos on Shell Tankers
add commentComments:
i went on sea trials with the Sepia as an apprentice fitter.I remember her as a beautiful looking ship with for the time unusual looking funnels, she also looked huge at the time.She is the ship i remember with most affection from my time at Cammell Lairds.

Added by John Allison. on 15 June 2008.
hi john..i joined the sister 'Solen' in 73'as deckboy...a beautiful ship..tho butterworthing was a bit intense..especially in the centercastle..my last tanker was the 'Mobil Flinders'..twice the size and all automatic cleaning..life was good ..cheers..Keith Goldie

Added by Keith Goldie on 16 June 2008.
Please explain "butterworthing" for a landlubber!

Added by Peter Langsdale on 16 June 2008.
hi peter..butterworthing is cleaning the tanks with butterworth hoses..large swivelling nozzels..we had to manually lower these beasts..every 15 mins till you reached the bottom of the tanks ..then heave them up..60ft+..transfer said hose and nozzle to next tank..many times after 2-3 days non-stop cleaning the mate would inspect the tanks ..if they wern, t up to standard..start all over again...hope this explains what butterworthing is...

Added by Keith Goldie on 17 June 2008.
Hi John
I was an apprentice fitter at Grayson Rollo next door to Cammell Laird. Sepia came in to have her launching gear taken off. She was a very beautiful ship. I cracked a port light in a cabin of one of the ship's apprentices. How time flies

Added by Ashley(Ernie)Jones on 18 July 2008.
When i joined her, in march 1964, "Sepia" was the second largest vessel in the Netherlands. Only "Esso Den Haag" with 90.000tons was newer and bigger at the time. "Sepia" especially looked gigantic to me as I had just left a 300 ton deepsea trawler. Walking towards the front windows in the wheelhouse i could not believe my eyes and i will never forget the impression that foredeck made on me. She was very big and very beautiful and a pleasure to be on. "Sepia" and her sisters most certainly were the nicest ever built for Shell.



Added by Aad Born on 02 November 2008.
I joined SOLEN in jan 1971 as a spud barber and stayed on her until sept 1974 SHE was a wonderful VESSEL had a GOOD CREW TOO she was my first ship.

Added by BERNIE LANYON on 02 February 2009.
1955 to the early 60's were, in my opinion, the golden years of tanker design. Most still had a centrecastle and many were built with flared bows and streamlined superstructure. The Sepia and her sisters were beautiful ships. Take a look too at the equally beautiful but tragic "Torrey Canyon," and my first ship (in 1973), Safmarine's "Marland" ex-"Bideford," built in 1958 and a bit smaller than Sepia, but very similar in appearance. When I was a kid in 1965 I attended the launch of another tanker at Cammell Laird, BP's "British Captain," but by then the centrecastle had gone - and the ship looks utilitarian by comparison with "Sepia" four years earlier.

Added by Jeremy Thorpe on 21 August 2009.
Did you know there was another tanker named Sepia built around 1925 and scrapped in Örnsköldsvik SWEDEN around 1959. Her last mission was as a temporary oil storage in the Shell depot. I remember well this ship which I visited at the age of 11 together with my father who was a depot manager at Shell at he time. It was sad to see the ship later beeing dismantled by the gas burners.

Added by Kenneth Castenbladh on 30 January 2010.
I was at the launch of the sepia at cammell lairds aged 11 years, great day out from school!

Added by Richard Starkey on 15 January 2011.
Hi Richard, if you'd said you were 21 rather than 11 when Sepia was launched at Cammell Laird, I guess we'd all be thinking you were actually Ringo Starr! And then I'd be able to say I almost saw you one day in 61 or 62 when, as a little kid, my dad took me into Liverpool - and we passed a long line of teenagers queueing for something. My dad said they were queueing for the Cavern Club - for some band he'd never heard of called the Beatles!

Added by Jeremy Thorpe on 17 January 2011.
I was on the last trip to Kaohsiun. The Taiwanese company who bought the ship refused to pay the last 300.000 us dollars, so we stayed for 2/3 days under full steam on the scrapyard. It was spooky and very dangerous because we layed next to ships where they were steel cutting an milling next to our emtpy bunkers. Also the sts MACOMA lay there..., cutted in two pieces. For me, it was sad memory, to bring the third ship to a scrapyard.

Added by L.van der VALK on 20 September 2011.
Re Jeremy Thorpe's comment above about the Marland.
We had the Marland in drydock at Western Shiprepairers in, I think, 1974/5. She was in No 1 Dock in what used to be Grayson Rollo and Clovers yard. Anyway, I was the crane driver on the 50 ton crane at that drydock, and one morning, in the week between Christmas and New Year, came into work to find there had been a serious fire in the aft accomodation, and several crewmen had perished. They were taking bodies ashore in body bags all morning.
The following day a body was spotted in the mud at low tide, just outside the dock gates and I lowered a skip down so the body could be brought up to the quay.To my astonishment, the dead man turned out to be a close friend of mine who had vanished from home a few weeks earlier.
So the Marland will always stay in my memory as a ship of horrors.

Added by Pat Kennedy on 27 September 2011.
Hi Pat, elsewhere on this site there's a pic of the Marland at Glasgow immediately after the fire, which took place in Birkenhead in Dec 73 about 6 months after I left her. It was apparently a very cold night, the hydrants froze, and 5 people were killed because one of them had left a cigarette burning. Four of those who died were ship's crew and one was a visitor, who'd remained on-board. I knew two of those killed and still have a picture of them somewhere at home.

For me, as my first ship, the Marland was a ship of adventure and excitement, whether it was ploughing through a Force 10 gale or baking in 120 degF heat in the Persian Gulf. I was mortified to hear about the fire - and even more mortified to hear she'd been broken up a short while later! I still think she was one of the best looking tankers of her era.....

Added by Jeremy Thorpe on 28 September 2011.
Jeremy, I have posted a photo I took of the aft accomodation of Marland on the morning after that fire.
See picture #18173
Regards,
Pat

Click to View




Added by Pat Kennedy on 28 September 2011.
The fire on the Marland will remain in my memory forever. I was the first police officer on the ship that morning, I boarded via a Fire Service turntable ladder and I was responsible for removing a number of the bodies from the crew accommodation and conveying them to Birkenhead General Hospital and then to the mortuary. It was a very sad day.

Added by Terry English on 13 January 2012.
I took her in glasgow picture #13209

Added by Paul Strathdee on 16 January 2012.
I was on the Maryland the night of the fire I was apprentice ships fitter working in the boiler room I remember getting a shout get off the ships on fire I run up the ladders and came out in the aft crews accommodation you could smell the fire and feel the heat very scarey

Added by ROBERT BURKEY on 17 January 2017.
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Cammell Laird, United Kingdom

British cable-layer 'Cable Enterprise' of 1964Panamanian tanker 'Kuland' of 1962British cargo ship 'Auckland Star' of 1953HMS Edinburgh (D97)HMS Edinburgh at PortsmouthRFA Orangeleaf at PortsmouthHMS Liverpool at PortsmouthHMS Edinburgh (D97)HMS LiverpoolHMS Liverpool passing Erskine Bridge
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