SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged





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    Default SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged


    Just wondering how this happened.

    Makes me think back to the sinking, with loss of life, when two of our frigates collided due to bad comms and navigation.

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Mogster View Post

    Just wondering how this happened.

    Makes me think back to the sinking, with loss of life, when two of our frigates collided due to bad comms and navigation.
    Just for clarity.
    It was a frigate and a supply ship. Paul Kruger and the Tafelberg, if I remember correctly. The PK sank with loss of life.

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    at Port Natal Maritime Museum for exhibition as a museum ship

    This is the wooden mine sweeper in a marine museum. along side an old tug.

    Probably has had no maintenance checks since lockdown.

    This boat probably last sailed in the second war.

    Hull is wooden, so a bit of wood rot and bilge pump not working.

    museums have been closed for months...………….
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Mogster View Post

    Just wondering how this happened.

    Makes me think back to the sinking, with loss of life, when two of our frigates collided due to bad comms and navigation.


    I would just guess the failure of a very large thru-hull fitting of some sort, or prop shaft gland, coupled with poor watch standing/poor pump maintenance/poor damage control in some combination. Lucky it appears it was in port.

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Current off-road vehicles: *** Great family accommodation. See Facebook, Google maps and airbnb. Wild Wind Ranch/Mkulu Kei
    * 1975/8 SHREK Land-Cruiser FJ40 DIESEL P/U, BFG 31x10.5 muds. 2 x 1.6 ton tirfor winchs
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by K-9 View Post
    at Port Natal Maritime Museum for exhibition as a museum ship

    This is the wooden mine sweeper in a marine museum. along side an old tug.

    Probably has had no maintenance checks since lockdown.

    This boat probably last sailed in the second war.

    Hull is wooden, so a bit of wood rot and bilge pump not working.

    museums have been closed for months....
    I think I worked on this particular ship when I was in the SA Naval Dockyard - beautiful Napier DELTIC diesel engines.....3 banks of pistons (18) horizontally opposed....
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by RoelfleRoux View Post
    Just for clarity.
    It was a frigate and a supply ship. Paul Kruger and the Tafelberg, if I remember correctly. The PK sank with loss of life.
    Yes they were out doing an exercise with the President Pretorius as well...PK made a fateful Stb turn for an ASDIC sweep close to the Tafelberg which brought her directly in the path of the supply ship..
    Last edited by Landy90fan; 2020/06/30 at 12:23 PM.
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    Unhappy Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Me and Koos Best from Mtunzini did our sea training on the sister ship SAS Kaapstad.

    This is the SAS Durban that was still in active service when I left the Navy in 1984.

    Visited the ship around the turn of the century to show my kids who we lived in the "Navy" and I was appauled by the condition of the ship then.

    Such a sad sight!

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    I take it now the new mine sweeper will be chaps riding jetskis pulling a floating chain behind them
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Regarding the sinking of the PK:

    Accident and sinking[edit]

    On the morning of 18 February 1982, President Kruger was conducting anti-submarine exercises for the Submarine Officer Commanding Course with President Pretorius, Emily Hobhouse and Tafelberg. The high-intensity exercises progressed from 06:00 to 23:00 over several days, with different candidate submarine captains being given an opportunity of executing a mock attack against Tafelberg. The rest of the day, the ships followed a narrow zig-zag course that allowed the submarine repeated opportunities to engage the surface ships in lower-intensity exercises while the bulk of the crew rested. The frigates too were using the opportunity to carry out anti-submarine exercises, with each ship given a patrol sector ahead of Tafelberg. The escorts were expected to patrol their areas in a random fashion 2,0005,000 yards (1,8004,600 m) from Tafelberg. President Kruger's station was on Tafelberg's port side between 10 and 330 degrees and President Pretorius had a station on the starboard side.[7]:23
    At approximately 04:00, the whole formation had to change direction by 154 degrees, a near complete reversal in direction, to stay within their training area. The frigates had to change direction first to maintain their protective positions ahead of Tafelberg on the new heading. President Kruger's options were to turn 200 degrees to port, or 154 degrees to starboard. While the latter turn was smaller and tactically sound, it was more dangerous as it involved turning towards the other two ships. Critically, the inexperienced officer of the watch (OOW) elected to turn to starboard, and initiated a turn with 10 degrees of rudder rather than the standard 15-degree turn. A 10-degree turn had a larger radius and would take longer to execute than a 15-degree turn, thereby allowing Tafelberg more time to close on the ship turning in front of her. Shortly after beginning the turn, an argument ensued between the OOW and the principal warfare officer (PWO) over the proper amount of wheel to apply. About two-thirds of the way through the turn, the operations room lost radar contact with Tafelberg in the clutter because the high-definition navigation radar was broken and the ship was using the less-precise search radar. The OOW was unable to recover the situation, and Tafelberg's bow impacted President Kruger on her port side at 03:55.[7]:35 The impact tore a large hole in her side and killed 13 of the 15 men sleeping near the point of collision. The ship took on a large list and the captain ordered "abandon ship" at 04:32. The exercise was immediately terminated and the other ships present began rescue operations. More ships, both military and civilian, began arriving after dawn, as did aircraft from the South African Air Force. A total of 177 crewmen of the 193 aboard were rescued.[1]:23435[Note 1]
    Aftermath[edit]


    Model of SAS President Kruger at the South African Naval Museum in Simonstown

    A naval board of inquiry was appointed shortly afterwards that determined the cause of the collision was of a lack of seamanship by the captain and watch officers of the ship. The Justice Minister, Kobie Coetsee, subsequently introduced a retrospective change in law to allow him to hold an inquest into the death of the only crewman whose body was found. The inquest lasted a year and apportioned blame on the captain and PWO.[7]:57

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Ship happens! Minesweeper almost sinks at Durban harbour


    • A minesweeper vessel belonging to the Durban Maritime Museum has partially sunk.
    • The vessel, the SAS Durban, is a floating exhibit and had no people on board.
    • The harbour master said the eThekwini Municipality had engaged the services of a diving company to "try to right the vessel".


    A minesweeper vessel partially sank at the Durban harbour, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

    "Transnet National Ports Authority at the Port of Durban confirms the partial sinking of the SAS Durban, a minesweeper belonging to the Durban (Port Natal) Maritime Museum and used as a floating exhibit in the port," said Captain Justin Adams, acting harbour master at the Port of Durban.
    Adams said the vessel took in water overnight.

    "It is understood to have taken on water overnight on 29 June and sunk partially in shallow water with no individuals onboard. The eThekwini Municipality has engaged the services of a diving company to investigate the cause and to try to right the vessel."

    He said there was no possible damage to the ocean."There are no concerns about pollution as the vessel was dry and clean without any oil onboard.
    Last edited by K-9; 2020/06/30 at 01:22 PM.
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Landy90fan View Post
    I think I worked on this particular ship when I was in the SA Naval Dockyard - beautiful Napier DELTIC diesel engines.....3 banks of pistons (18) horizontally opposed....
    Beautiful engines used by the British railways too. Actually 6 banks of 18 cylinders with 36 pistons. Three crankshafts and supercharged. On the minesweepers the engines were started using a blank shotgun shell.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    I served on the SAS Durban as Gunner's Yeoman between 1977 and 1978. It was a lovely ship and a great crew, we have made several patrols to the Namibian waters and to their fishing grounds. The Durban was handed to SAS Jalsena late in 1978 and I was transferred to the President Steyn that was prepared to go into commission due to the arms boycott and the crew of the new corvettes built in France was removed and send back to SA. I think it was December 1977 when the three new Strike craft from Israel docked alongside of the Durban. So there we were, a ship manufactured in 1957 alongside ships manufactured in 1976/77. We were in awe, also we received with joy and .... all the girlie magazines not allowed that time in South Africa. What a time!
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by The Condor View Post
    Me and Koos Best from Mtunzini did our sea training on the sister ship SAS Kaapstad.

    This is the SAS Durban that was still in active service when I left the Navy in 1984.

    Visited the ship around the turn of the century to show my kids who we lived in the "Navy" and I was appauled by the condition of the ship then.

    Such a sad sight!
    Sad sad , I was emotionally attached to the Ton class Minesweepers.
    Yes as Johan said we did our national service on them, I was on the SAS Pretoria and sailed a bit on the SAS Kaapstad, the Pretoria and Kaapstad were the only two mine sweepers with Maybach diesels, the rest like the Durban were all Rolls Royce driven.
    We were a crew of 43 - 47 with , of that approximately 12 were citizen force like us.

    They were armed with a Bofor 40/60 anti aircraft cannon, a 20 mm Oerlikon double barrel machine guns and 7,62 mm sub machine guns.


    They were only de commisioned in the 90's, this SA navy sweepers were all build post WW2 ,ours the Pretoria was build in 1954

    Whats also interested about the Ton class Mine sweepers , that they are completely made out of teak, only have full bronze metals on board , nothing magnetic , the anchor chain(cable in nautical terms) and anchors were solid phosphor bronze
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Koos Best View Post
    Sad sad , I was emotionally attached to the Ton class Minesweepers.
    Yes as Johan said we did our national service on them, I was on the SAS Pretoria and sailed a bit on the SAS Kaapstad, the Pretoria and Kaapstad were the only two mine sweepers with Maybach diesels, the rest like the Durban were all Rolls Royce driven.
    We were a crew of 43 - 47 with , of that approximately 12 were citizen force like us.

    They were armed with a Bofor 40/60 anti aircraft cannon, a 20 mm Oerlikon double barrel machine guns and 7,62 mm sub machine guns.


    They were only de commisioned in the 90's, this SA navy sweepers were all build post WW2 ,ours the Pretoria was build in 1947

    Whats also interested about the Ton class Mine sweepers , that they are completely made out of teak, only have full bronze metals on board , nothing magnetic , the anchor chain(cable in nautical terms) and anchors were solid phosphor bronze
    Hi Koos. Check posts #6 and #12 for the engines of all the other minesweepers. They were Napier Deltics. A very unusual engine in SA but very common in the UK where they were used in diesel locomotives. You're right about all metals used in their construction being non magnetic. Their frames were aluminium.

    Prince Charles was the captain of one in the UK, HMS Broninington, pennant number M1115. The story goes that he had a Captains Requestman whose formal request he refused. As is his right, the requestman stated that he would like to take the issue to higher authority, the highest possible being the Queen (In SA the highest possible is the State President). Prince Charles apparently asked him - "Just how high are you prepared to take your request?"
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Landy90fan View Post
    I think I worked on this particular ship when I was in the SA Naval Dockyard - beautiful Napier DELTIC diesel engines.....3 banks of pistons (18) horizontally opposed....
    I love it when someone makes their craft sound romantic

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Miems View Post
    I love it when someone makes their craft sound romantic
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by Olyfboer View Post
    Beautiful engines used by the British railways too. Actually 6 banks of 18 cylinders with 36 pistons. Three crankshafts and supercharged. On the minesweepers the engines were started using a blank shotgun shell.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Questions to the mine sweeper fundi's.

    I sort of understand with modern war fare that mines work off electromagnet fields so as to detonate when a steel hull is close. So wooden mine sweepers are made of wood etc etc with fancy mine detection equipment.

    What prevented a mine sweeper from hitting a WW1 or WW2 mine as what I understand, these old mines detonated only on impact.

    Lastly how did they clear out these old mines during WW2 and modern day mines. Interesting to know.
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    Default Re: SA Minesweeper in DBN Harbour Damaged

    Quote Originally Posted by hunter26 View Post
    Questions to the mine sweeper fundi's.

    I sort of understand with modern war fare that mines work off electromagnet fields so as to detonate when a steel hull is close. So wooden mine sweepers are made of wood etc etc with fancy mine detection equipment.

    What prevented a mine sweeper from hitting a WW1 or WW2 mine as what I understand, these old mines detonated only on impact.

    Lastly how did they clear out these old mines during WW2 and modern day mines. Interesting to know.
    Hi Hunter. I'm not a minesweeper fundi but I do know about degaussing systems used to negate the magnetic fields of warships to prevent the detonation of electromagnetic mines. I was friends with the Chief Engineer of the Minesweeper SAS East London and was often invited for a day trip to sea.

    The minesweepers of the type in the thread were designed to combat the WW2 type of mine which was a contact mine. These are still used by countries like Iran and are a particular hazard in shallow (Littoral) waters.

    Other mines used for that era's minesweepers are sound activated mines which activate on the sound of a vessels engine noise and propellors and electromagnetic mines which activate on the electromagnetic field of the vessel above it. Some mines could have all three activation systems.

    The minesweepers in the thread were used to keep harbour entrances and channels free from mines. A ship sunk in a narrow channel would block all trade in that port. These minesweepers were built of non magnetic materials to negate any magnetic field generated. They had a shallow draught as they were so light, which made them bounce severely in rough seas. The shallow draught meant were less likely to touch a contact mine and also meant they were one of the few medium sized SA Navy vessels that could pass over the bar going through tThe Heads into Knysna. They also carried a noise maker that was towed behind them to detonate noise activated mines.

    Contact mines of the WW2 type are attached to weight by a chain and float near the surface. To sweep contact mines they towed two floats like a fishing trawler does to keep their net open. Instead of a net there are sweep wires attached between the floats that drag and hopefully snag the chain of the mine, either cutting the chain or contacting the mine and detonating it. Should the chain be cut the mine would surface and be destroyed with rifle or gunfire.

    If anyone is interested I will continue with another post about more modern mine warfare.

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