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Kaiwo Maru

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Kaiwo Maru

Postby shipstamps » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:27 pm

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Kaiwo Maru, Japanese Merchant Navy training ship, a very fine looking 4-masted barque with her white hull and sails. She was built at Kobe in 1930, is of 2,284 tons, and is still in service. Probably her most unusual experience in her long career occurred on June 23, 1959, when she had a most uneasy berthing. In fact, it took three hours and fifteen minutes, with the combined resources of the Japanese Ministry of Transportation and the United States Navy to move the ship 100 yards into Pier 43, San Francisco.
The "San Francisco Chronicle" on the evening of the docking gave this report: "The mountainous effort was witnessed by hundreds of amused spectators, Japanese Consular officials, and some very, very worried Navy brass. The task: to berth the Kaiwo Maru, with 86 merchant marine cadets, behind the sailing ship Baklutha at Fisherman's Wharf. Abbott and Costello couldn't have done a better job. At 11.55 a.m., after coming through the sunny Golden Gate with sails down, the square-rigged training ship lay 100 yds off Pier 43, waving and sighing in a 21/2-knot flood-tide and a 20-knot breeze. A U.S. Navy pilot aboard, lent in a spasm of international goodwill, gave orders for the anchor to be dropped. The auxiliary diesel engines of the 318ft. Japanese ship stopped, and down went the anchor.
The anchor failed to hold, was twisted out of shape into pretzel form, and the Kaiwo Maru, swayed —heavily broadside and rammed into her port-side U.S. Navy escort tug. The impact threw the tug away so heavily that her tow line connecting with the training ship snapped. Eighty-six Japanese merchant marine cadets looked aghast at this feat of old-fashioned Yankee seamanship. A sailor on the tug threw out another line, yelling quite audibly, "They better catch this, it's our last line." The rammed tug then nudged the ship into open sea again, too fast, apparently. The starboard tug then backed into the Kaiwo Maru, inflicting a good-sized dent. The line between the starboard tug and the ship was now hopelessly snarled. The tug, moving fast in reverse, broke the towline and pulled about 15ft. of mahogany taffrail off the Japanese ship. Direction was now taken over by Capt Saunders, Operations Manager.A third pass by the tugs and sailing ship at the mouth of the 150-yard pier was called off. Everyone went off to lunch and the Kaiwo Maru retired to anchorage No. 7 off Treasure Island. "We'll try again at 2.30," said Saunders. "The tide will ebb a little by then". At 2.45 p.m. a thinner crowd assembled "What's your next move?" Capt. Saunders was asked. Saunders, who had no real control over the actions of the Navy's pilot, said grimly: "You'll know as soon as I do." He looked up at the Japanese ship, again out in front of the pier. "It's pretty high-rigged and hard to keep on balance," he said. Meantime, the tugs had their hemp-matted stems firmly applied to the starboard side of the training ship and very slowly, gradually, eased her into the pier. At 3.10 p.m. the Kaiwo Maru, (which means "Neptune Ship") was moored. Lieut. Comdr. Thomas Fields, in charge of the US, Navy's Port Control Office on Treasure Island, blamed the day of mishaps on the "strong wind and heavy tide". That, combined with the fact that the Japanese anchor "wasn't any good for mud bottom", did the damage, he said. NC
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Re: Kaiwo Maru

Postby aukepalmhof » Mon Feb 02, 2015 6:28 am

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2015 Kaiwo maru 1989.jpg
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