MV Aris Fire
February 1982 HMS Ambuscade went to the aid of MV Aris which was on fire in
the Red Sea.
by Dave Rowlands ex AB(R)
More Photos below
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Dits....(More photographs below)
" I was part of the salvage team that went across to the Aris, stayed overnight. Being the RO, I got to flash up the radio shack. Always had good memories of it, my own radio shack aged 19!" RO1(G),
Pete Box (Boxy).
" My memories of this are that it occurred on a Sunday morning in February of 1982 as we were transiting north up the Red Sea heading home after our Armilla Patrol deployment. Myself and LS Ian Frame had the morning watch in the Ops Room when, at about 0500, we spotted a contact on the radar about 30 miles north of us. After reporting this to the Officer of the Watch we realised that the contact was not moving and that there was a second contact moving very slowly just to the north of it. I remember Ian and I having a small bet (more than likely a couple of cans) on what was going on as we continued to close on them. After a short time the bridge reported that they could see smoke on the bearing and it was not long after this that we realised the ship was on fire and so the fire fighting/damage control parties were called to close up. The second radar contact turned out to be a British tanker that had also stopped to offer assistance and I remember our boat crews racing them to the Aris so that we could claim salvage rights not realising that they had been there for some time! I think we spent about 24 hours helping to bring the fire under control using both fire parties onboard as well as boundary cooling from the forecastle as can be seen in the photographs. I also remember that we were under pressure to get under way again as we had been allocated a convoy position for our transit of the Suez Canal and so we had to be at Port Suez by a given time otherwise we would miss it. As I recall a sea going tug came out and took Aris under tow and beached her somewhere so the fire could finally be put out but I’m not sure about this. I do know that several years later we all got a pay out from the salvage which was very nice"
AB(R) 1979 – 1982.
i remember the Aris fire.........
As a young stoker i went onboard the Aris as part of the fire fighting team. We couldn't do a great deal at first until all our kit was there, so while the lads on the pointy bit on Ambers where doing the boundary cooling we went to look for the crew onboard and anything we could smuggle into our overalls ( rumours were rife that as we had found the ship it was now ours! salvage rights etc) Only to our disappointment the ship had been visited earlier by, i believe an Irish vessel that had taken most of the crew and anything worth nicking, i mean salvaging! We did find a member of the crew, in the galley a chef who reminded me so much of jock the bastard ( steward) frightening really........
So then to the task in hand, boundary cooling was the key ( so we were told) so i done that for several hours before being told to suit up in firesuit and breathing gear......
Then it all went steamy as i was lowered down the hold along with Mac Mcabe ( i think)
We touched what we thought was the deck, but it was actully bales of straw! Just what you need in a raging fire. We put several small fires out but the main job was just containment, as we did not want the fire spreading to the upper deck, especially as we had hatched a plan to relocate the Ford Transits back to the Ambers!
After a very long night on there we had a visit from a senior officer ( ??) who informed us a salvage tug ( registered in Singers) was going to tow her to shore and beach her.... and could we empty our pockets before returning back onboard!!
A few years later, possibly 1985 i was serving on HMS DANAE in refit in Devonport along with Ambers ex killick stoker John Wayne when we got called to the pay office ( in the sheds?) And received notice of our salvage award....... very nice
Mysteriously, a hand carved pipe in the shape of a skull with the words Aris is owned by mate of mine..... small world eh!
Scroll down for photographs..