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Tal-Ħandaq Nostalgia

Memories of the Royal Naval School, Malta, 1947 - 1978.

Oh Dear!

The Star of Malta being salvaged from the reef off Dragonara Point. July 1955.
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Prefect   [Feb 16, 2009 at 05:48 AM]
admin. 2007-04-14. I think this was when she mistook St Julians Bay for Grand Harbour. Can anyone remember when it was?
J. Banks. 2007-04-17. The Star Of Malta went aground on July 29th 1955.
Martin Powell. 2007-04-19 . I think this was possibly her final mishap - approx 1965 (or did you mean 65 not 55?)
J. Banks. 2007-04-19 . I arrived in Malta the same day, July 29th 1955 and watched the cargo of mainly peaches being rescued by local fishermen from Balluta and St Julians.
admin. 2007-04-20 . Curiouser & curiouser! Like Martin, I thought this major disaster occurred in the mid 1960s. Surely she couldnt have done it twice? Or is my memory playing tricks??
J. Banks. 2007-04-21 . I'll stay with 1955.I also have a photo taken the day it happened. Please check out verdala site Guest Book entry 3-11-2001 pam cossins/skeet who witnessed the event too. The star Of Malta was back in service after repairs ,see ref verdala picture gallery ,Liz Mardel 1961 and Phil Rose 1959.
admin. 2007-04-21 . Yes JB, I'm not doubting your evidence for 1955 and I know she came back into service as I made several trips between 1959 and 1962, (including a minor grounding and a couple of breakdowns!) Its just strange that MP & I have this recollection of something serious happening later. No doubt someone will come up with the final chapter on the Star.
Anon. 2007-04-22 . The captain was obviously not a Naval commander/navigator! How on earth could anyone mistake St Julians for Grand Harbour. Certainly did not happen in 1965. I spent nearly my entire life between 1963-1966 down on the rocks at St Julians. Not something to be missed!
admin. 2007-04-22 . Your faith in the infallbility of the Royal Navy is touching! Ever heard of HMS Nottingham which had a similar encounter with rocks not long ago.?
Chas Ducat,53-56. 2007-05-29 . Definiely 1955, early morning in thick fog, with dubious radar.
admin. 2007-05-29 . Thanks Chas. I'm surprised she had radar at all at that early date. I dont think it was by then compulsory.
MilkMonitor   [Oct 25, 2009 at 01:35 PM]
On September 19 assessors from the maritime inquiry into the circumstances which led to the grounding of the Star of Malta found that the responsibility for the accident rested squarely on the master of the vessel, Commodore S.G. Kent. However, Commodore Kent's blameless record as master was taken into full consideration by the assessors, who felt they could do no less than recommend that his master's ticket be suspended for 12 months from the date of the grounding.
Martin Powell   [Nov 03, 2009 at 07:20 AM]
Presumably from Times of Malta which doesn't mention anything in 1965 at all, only 1955.
Prefect   [Nov 03, 2009 at 07:41 AM]
Not surprising as she was laid up by 1965.
Martin Powell   [Nov 03, 2009 at 03:03 PM]
Well just before that then - i mean while i was there (59-69), see above. YKWIM.
bass player   [Mar 08, 2010 at 03:22 PM]
I sailed on her on a few times including once when I was booked to play drums on her in a little pick up band and spent the weekend in Sicily. 1958 I think, and back to school on monday with hair raising tales of my exploits. And I was easily the worst drummer in the world.

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