Wild Gale Periled Dramatic Rescue
By George Foster
Thirty minutes later the Force Nine (strong gale) winds had increased to Force 12, hurricane velocity.
“Had we waited, we would not have been able to get them on board,” said Keith Richmond, the 45-year-old captain of the British tanker as the ship lay at anchor in Elliott Bay yesterday, two days after the daring rescue 300 miles off the Oregon Coast.
“It was very critical,” added the Templar’s
chief officer, John Bolton, 37, of
The 556-foot Templar left
Two Koreans perished aboard the fishing boat.
Two other survivors, Kim Ho Jong,
32, and Pak Jong, who received extensive burns after
an explosion on the fishing boat, remained in serious condition last night at Harborview Medical Centre’s burn clinic here. The two were
flown in by helicopter Saturday night from
The rest of the crew, including Capt. You Duk Heny, were staying at the
Mayflower Hotel last night. Contributions of clothing had come in during the
day from Korean communities in
A U.S. Coast Guard
aircraft radioed the Templar, an Athel Lines ship,
The Korean boat was en route to
“The crew was still on the deck as we approached,” said the skipper of the Templar.
Smoke was pouring from the engine room area and aft section. The paint had already blistered off the steel hull.
First Officer Rene Rostant, a lean
young man from
The Kwang Myung sent two life rafts containing about 15 crewmen each away from the burning boat.
The Templar then fired a rocket line out to the life rafts. The first went off target. The second fell across one of the rafts.
“From then on it was all done by hand,” said Rostant.
Both crews pulled together to bring the life rafts across the 400 or so yards of turbulent sea to the safety of the Templar. The tanker then lowered its nets and the South Koreans climbed aboard. Capt. You Duk Heny, the last to leave, arrived in a third raft.
Chief Officer John Bolton headed the rescue operation while
Rostant and Boatswain’s mate William Henry then climbed down to reach the two injured crewmen.
One fortunate addition to the ship’s crew this voyage was Susara Nicholson, 45, wife of able-bodied seaman Alan
Nicholson. Mrs. Nicholson is a nurse from
She cared for Kim Ho Jong and Pak Jong for some 48 hours without sleep until the ship reached
She was assisted by the ship’s chief steward.
A half hour after the last of the survivors was brought aboard, the strong gale-force winds increased to hurricane velocity, according to the skipper.
The tanker was taking on water.
Alan Nicholson was at portside helping the South Koreans aboard. There was one man that he will remember.
“I felt a bit embarrassed when the bloke came up and kissed me,” he said.
Said Nicholson, standing beside the captain in the ward room: “They (Koreans) were seafarers. We all are. Them lads … we’ve got to help them because we may be in the same boat some day.”
Added Rostant: “The Koreans have done this before for the English.”
Rescue an Inspiration –- Doctor
By Sue Lockett P-I Staff
The British tanker Anco Templar was a “formidable sight coming into port … big and orange against not-too-stormy seas,” Dr. Fairshter recalled yesterday.
“And when we went out in the harbour to board her, she looked even bigger. I learned later she’s about 550 feet long,” he said.
Scrambling up the “Jacob’s ladder,” Dr. Fairshter boarded the ship and found Kim Ho Jong and Pak Jong “severely burned about the head, neck, face, forearms, hands and feet.”
He decided they should be transferred immediately by air to
“Fortunately for the injured seamen,” Dr.Fairshter
said, “the wife of one of the tanker crewmen was on board. Susara
Nicholson, a nurse, was trained in
The doctor stayed with the injured Korean crewmen in a series of transfers from tanker to tug to ambulance to Coast Guard helicopter and back to ambulance to Harborview.
He was in radio communication with Harborview, so as soon as the crewmen arrived at the hospital they were whisked to the clinic for immediate treatment.
Harborview reported they remained in serious condition yesterday.
To Dr. Fairshter the maritime mission was all in a day’s work, but he added he was personally inspired by the selflessness of the Anco Templar crew.
“Sometimes I begin to wonder about man’s concern for his fellow man. But this episode reminded me that it really exists. The tanker crew went all-out for these people – they went four days off course and off schedule and spared nothing for their comfort – with nary a question asked,” Dr. Fairshter said.
(Document origin:- www.balmaha.net/mnavy/L/rescue5.htm)