carries out rescue in the
Malacca Straits 27th August 1973
The story as remembered with some help from the news media
On August 27 1973, HMS Dreadnought whilst transitting the Malacca Straits became involved with a rescue operation after two ships collided during a monsoon downpour.
During this deluge, Dreadnought was closest to the spot where the Cypriot tanker 'Anson', (20,000 tons approx) and the Panamanian registered freighter 'Carnation', 7,000 tons collided. This collision was roughly 65 miles North West of Port Klang.
Using the fore-planes as a landing stage, Dreadnought picked up 35 survivors from about eight sea boats from the Carnation. A submarine is not well designed for rescue at sea. However, all was not lost, the only space to take that number was the fore-ends - so down the forward escape hatch they went out of harms way.
Both the Coxswain and PO Chef were quick in identifying who could speak any English with the new arrivals. The omen was good - it was Carnation's cook. As all this activity took place during the forenoon, it was soon lunch time and watch change. The PO Chef was quick off the mark and invited the cook from the Carnation down to the dry store to choose a few litres of rice, tins of bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and anything else that would fit into a Chinese nosh. This was a good move as the PO Chef invited the cook to his stainless steel galley to cook for his ship mates as long as he would knock out a nose bag for the whole crew. I can tell you from the experience the smell that wafted the boat during the cooking cycle was unbelievable.
After having such a top nosh meal we had to say farewell to our guests - we couldn't keep the cook though, we might have got caught. Later in the day, our passengers were transferred to HMS Tiger and HMS Rhyl to finish their journey back to Singapore. Once the transfer was completed Dreadnought continued to Singapore no worse for wear but slightly adrift from its programmed time and a good run was had by one and all.
And what of Singapore? For many it was a first visit, for others a chance to visit old haunts. The whole ship's company was victualled in HMS Terror - "Butlins of the Far East." Accommodation and meal were . Sport, cinema and dancing were all available on the base. One of the many excellent facilities was the Chinese Dhoby firm - providing of course you didn't mind starched knickers.
HMS Dreadnought ship's company 1973
alongside in Singapore
This was a surprise, nobody realised there were so many pairs of white shorts on-board