During the late 1950s, I attended a 12-week training course in seamanship at the Sea Training Camp situated in Sharpness, Gloucester. Having earned the first of my seafarer’s tickets, I then became one of the thousands of British seamen serving in the British Merchant Navy.
On November 14, 1854, during a severe storm off the coast of Balaklava, the British frigate Prince did not have time to gain a safe haven in the bay, crashed on the rocks and sank to the sea bed. Of the 150 people on board, only six survived.
The tributes I have received during the 53-years of political struggle, Mike Kampf as my wife calls it, are invariably respectful and complimentary and are a great source of pride for me.
When on February 8, 1961, the MV King Arthur steamed out of Liverpool the sailors on-board the freighter couldn’t have known that one of their ports of call would be the scene of The British Empire’s Last Battle.
Since childhood, we know that dolphins are among the smartest creatures on the planet. There are many examples of dolphins saving the lives of distressed humans floundering in the seas and near beaches.
The Audacity of Peter Tordenskjold: The Naval Captain Who Asked His Enemy For Ammo in The Middle of a Battle
On November 12, 1720 Peter Tordenskjold died in a sword duel. It will not sound familiar to most people, but he was one of the great national heroes of Denmark and Norway—countries that were once united, a daring sailor who would be the equivalent of what Nelson is to the British, Ruyter to the Dutch, Jones to the Americans or Bazán to the Spanish. Remembered in several popular songs and honored with several statues, streets, books, films and even a festival, a corvette of the Danish navy and a ship of the Norwegian navy are named after him. He is also cited in the Danish royal anthem.
When in 1959 Michael Walsh was offered a deck boy’s job on the MV Britannic it never entered his head that he had been chosen by fate to be the final link in an ocean-going epic.
MICHAEL WALSH ex-seafarer, nomad and author of seafaring books is more aware than most of the awesome size and depths of the earth’s great seas. After all, the once British seaman on reaching his 26th birthday had travelled to over 60 countries, visited hundreds of ports many several times over.
At 4,000 miles it is quite a distance between Los Angeles and the entrance of the Panama Canal. The tranquillity of the tropical western seaboard of the United States was likely the last place on earth where one might expect high drama but on the high or restful seas always be prepared for the unexpected.
On December 14, 1907, a large sailing ship wrecked off the coast of Annet, in the Isles of Scilly, killing all but two of her eighteen crew and causing the world’s first large marine oil spill. The ship involved in the accident, Thomas W. Lawson, was an incredible ship.