September 2011 | nautilusint.org
| telegraph | 33 books OFFWATCH
A gripping tale of amazing salvage
Cox’s Navy by Tony Booth Pen & Sword Maritime/£12.99 ISBN 184884552-9
KErnest Cox’s extraordinary adventures are far
too often overlooked by history writers, who seem to prefer to focus on tales of the Merchant Navy in war times or lavish retellings of the golden age of cruising. It is partly this, and partly the author’s skills at bringing a story to life that makes this such a fascinating and gripping read. Cox was an engineer with a shipbreaking yard, and in 1924 he decided to ignore the assurances of the Royal Navy that it couldn’t be done, and his own lack of experience, and undertake the largest salvage operation in history. He and his team set out to salvage the German WWI fleet sunk at Scapa Flow and succeeded
against the odds to recover some spectacular vessels, including the 28,000-ton Hindenburg and the 25,000-ton Seydlitz. The impact of Cox’s achievements is still noticeable in current salvage operations. Having no prior knowledge of salvaging meant that Cox was not constricted by the same boundaries or systems as established companies. He approached the operation from a fresh and methodical path and as a result came up with some astounding solutions which still hold today. Cox may be described as stubborn, possibly
arrogant, and definitely driven; but Tony Booth manages to tell his story in a heart-warming and gentle manner. The writing flows in such a way that the reader learns the art of salvaging with Cox and experiences every achievement with him — his commitment to the cause is infectious. The chapters covering his relationship with his
Dr Solly makes light work of learning about oil tankers
Manual of Oil Tanker Operations by Dr Raymond Solly, with Capt Quentin Cox and John Onslow Brown, Son & Ferguson, £45 ISBN 978-1-84927-015-1 fwww.skipper.co.uk
KIt’s a welcome return to the pages of the Telegraph for
Handy guide to the ins and outs of bunker sales
Commercial Practice in Bunkering by Nigel Draffin Petrospot Ltd, £60 ISBN 978-0954-809782
KThere are some major developments in ship
bunkering right now, with changes in the bunkering industry itself and strict new rules on exhaust emissions having a huge impact. Former engineer officer Nigel
Draffin considers these and many other issues besides in this new book about the way in which bunker fuels are bought and sold. He takes the reader through the entire process from first enquiry to acceptance, pricing, payment, and physical suppliers. Of particular interest is a chapter looking at the commercial responsibility for operational issues — not least the implications of emission control areas and caps on sulphur content. With fuel quality an increasingly contentious issue, there is also useful comparison between the new bunker standard ISO 8217:2010 and its predecessor, ISO 8217:2005. Also very handy is an appendix with a long list of sources of further advice, information and assistance.
maritime author Ray Solly, who continues his mission to demystify the high-security world of oil and gas tankers. When he was interviewed for the May 2010 issue, Ray had just published Nothing Over the Side, a book for the general reader about life and work onboard crude oil tankers.
Now, in his academic guise as Dr Raymond Solly, he has completed the Manual of Oil Tanker Operations, a practical guide for cadets and junior officers. Written in cooperation with
Captain Quentin Cox and John Onslow
family are touchingly funny and the section on the sinking of the submarine HMS Thetis in Liverpool is particularly interesting.
The middle pages are devoted to black
and white photos of the people and places involved in the operation, and they too add a sense of comradeship and warmth to the book. No one sums up Cox’s achievements quite as well as he does himself: ‘Without boasting, I do not think there is another man in the world who could have tackled the same job.
‘Before I undertook this formidable task, I had
never raised a ship in my life. Quite frankly, experts thought me crazy, but to me these vessels represented nothing more than so much scrap of brass, gunmetal, bronze, steel, and I was
of Warsash Maritime Academy, the manual covers all the bases, with chapters on the following: historical background; basic hazards; modern tanker design; sources of ignition; inert gas production and operations; gas evolution and venting; pipelines and pumps; the voyage cycle; types of berths and offshore terminals; tank cleaning and COW; pollution prevention; dangerous space entry; cargo calculations; vetting inspections and response to oil spillage.
If that sounds a bit heavy-going,
don’t worry — there are plenty of illustrations to break up the text and help the learning process, including photos, diagrams and tables. There are also a number of case studies inviting student participation. The £45 price tag is quite steep for individual buyers, but it’s worth getting hold of if you can afford it, and definitely worth borrowing from your college or shipboard library.
determined to recover this at all costs.’ This is a story of true grit and determination, and goes to prove that when everyone says something can’t be done, there will always be some who are brave enough, determined enough, and possibly reckless enough to prove everyone wrong.
The terrible toll of UK trawler casualties
Trawler Disasters 1946-1975 by John Nicklin & Patricia O’Driscoll Amberley Publishing, £17.99 ISBN 978-184868-8414
KThe occupational death and injury rate in the UK fishing
industry far outstrips that in any other workplace and this new title has been written as a tribute to the thousands of crew members killed in helping to ‘harvest the seas’. The period covered by the book
saw the loss of at least 125 ships and more than 400 seafarers — just from steam and motor trawlers operating from the four key UK fishing ports of
Convoy horrors are captured
The Real Cruel Sea by Richard Woodman Pen & Sword Books, £15.99 ISBN 978-18488-44155
KFormer Trinity House master Richard
Woodman has written an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction inspired by the sea, of which his ambitious five-volume history of the British Merchant Navy stands as a towering achievement. Back in 2004, his book about the Battle of the
Atlantic — The Real Cruel Sea — was first published in hardback. Now Pen & Sword have taken the welcome decision to print a paperback version of this definitive work. Written with passion and authority, the book
weighs in at almost 800 pages — and the fact that the index, bibliography and notes account for almost 100 of these demonstrates its remarkable detail and thoroughness. Richard Woodman draws from first-hand
accounts with great effect, with powerful and often poignant descriptions of the amazing bravery and sacrifice of seafarers serving in what has been described as the most important battleground of the second world war. The sheer horror of death and suffering in the
freezing waters of the north Atlantic lingers long after the reader puts this book down. Mr Woodman also writes incisively about
Britain’s ambivalent attitudes towards its seafarers and its shipping industry, highlighting the dreadful decline suffered by the Merchant Navy in the years preceding the war and the appalling conditions in which many crew members were working. The book describes how some seafarers
reversed their MN badges to signify ‘NW’ — Not Wanted — because of the shabby treatment they received, such as going off pay the moment their ship sank or being ostracised by people who thought they were opting out of serving in the armed forces. With fascinating strategic analysis, Richard
Woodman examines how the Allies managed to recover from the devastating damage wreaked by the U-boats through improved intelligence, technology and sheer numbers, thanks to accelerated shipbuilding programmes in the US and the UK.
The sheer size of the book may deter some
readers, but the gripping narrative and the fascinating reflections upon our dependence on the sea, the failure to protect a vital national asset, and the shipping industry’s ever-present struggle with its public image are compelling. It is to be hoped the paperback version will bring this excellent work to a new audience.
Grimsby, Hull, Fleetwood and Aberdeen alone. Well researched, excellently
illustrated, and vividly written, the book shocks not only in its descriptions of appalling loss and suffering, but also in the number of cases in which skippers and their crews got the blame for the accidents despite the frequently poor standards of their vessels. There was, as the authors state, a heavy price to be paid for the nation’s fish and chips.
Nautilus members can buy the books reviewed on these pages at a whopping 25% discount on publisher’s price through the Marine Society’s online bookshop. The seafarers’ charity offers an
excellent price and customer service on all book orders, and members can have the satisfaction of knowing any surplus made on the deal will be used to support seafarers.
To qualify for this offer, readers need to make their purchase
through the online bookshop www.msbookshop.org
and use the promotional code Nautilus. Every title offered by the Society is at
a discounted price, and it can supply books on any subject and in any format available — paperback, hardback, or e-book. Readers can use the website’s ‘contact us’ button to request the title and the Society aspires to respond the same day with the best price and availability. Most titles can be secured within 24 hours.
| Page 2
| Page 3
| Page 4
| Page 5
| Page 6
| Page 7
| Page 8
| Page 9
| Page 10
| Page 11
| Page 12
| Page 13
| Page 14
| Page 15
| Page 16
| Page 17
| Page 18
| Page 19
| Page 20
| Page 21
| Page 22
| Page 23
| Page 24
| Page 25
| Page 26
| Page 27
| Page 28
| Page 29
| Page 30
| Page 31
| Page 32
| Page 33
| Page 34
| Page 35
| Page 36
| Page 37
| Page 38
| Page 39