"Friesland" found ghost ship "Angelina"
The ocean tug Friesland had been on
salvage station for some time near the South coast of Australia. In mid-July, 1967 she
received orders to leave her station in Australia and proceed to Colombo to take up
salvage station there. During the crossing the Friesland was in fact on mobile
salvage station. She arrived in Colombo on 28th July and on the 31st, a message was picked
up saying that the Liberian-registered Liberty ship Angelina (7.229 g.r.t.) was
on fire 85 miles ENE of Madras. On the following day the Captain and the 23 members
of his crew abandoned her and were picked up by the Liberty vessel Golden Eagle and
taken to Madras, leaving the burning Angelina to her fate.
The Friesland had to cover 500 miles to reach the position last given by the Golden Eagle. This was reached on August 2nd and the search for the Angelina began. It was calculatedthat she must have drifted a considerable distance in the current which was running and with a force 6-8 westerly wind . . . always assuming that she was still afloat.
For three days and nights the men of the tug, aided by binoculars and radar, combed a vast tract of sea in beats of 100 to 180 miles. On Friday, August 4th, Captain T.Hoek reported, "we at last got a blip on the radar screen. Distance 24 miles. The weather was bad, a Force 8 gale. When,that night, we reached the position, we found that it was indeed the Angelina . We decided to wait for daybreak before attempting to board her."
on the right: first mate C. v.d. Gaag reconnoitre the abandoned drifting Liberty Angelina in the Gulf of Bengalen
Abandoned by her crew, the Angelina was drifting in the Bay of Bengal
The vessel's position, 200 miles SE of Vizagapatam, indicated that she had drifted two hundred miles in five days. On Saturday, August 5th, four men from the Friesland manned a rubber dinghy and set out for the ghost ship, boarding her by means of a side ladder which conveniently hung outboard.
on the right:the four men who set out for the Angelina from left to right; W. Wijker, C. Schuyt, A.G. Groen and H.H. Clots.
The boarding party sets out from the tug
on top and below: the four men boarding the Angelina (in circles)
Fires were still burning in No.3 and 4 holds and in the engineroom and superstructure. Towage and salvage gear were put aboard the Angelina and the next morning the voyage to Singapore commenced (the authorities in Madras, the nearest port, having refused permission for her to enter). On August 17th, the convoy reached Singapore and the Angelina was moored to a buoy.