ms Oranje

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January 16th 1947 - due Singapore late in the afte...

January 16th 1947 - due Singapore late in the afternoon from Amsterdam, to sail the same day for Batavia. January 29th 1947 - timetabled to depart Singapore for Southampton (journey time 17 days). Included in the cargo of the Oranje were 30,000 tropical fish headed for Europe for the collectors market. Unfortunately 5,000 of the fish died en-route due to the effects of a spell of cold weather. A replacement batch of a 5,000 fish were part of the Oranje's cargo March 19th sailing. It was intended to have only two sailings between Europe & Batavia during the first five months of 1947, but a third was added to cope with the increased number of passengers on the westbound sailings. March 12th 1947 - due to arrive at Singapore from Europe. 171 passengers were to disembark at Singapore along with 657 bags of mail. Distinguished passenger disembarking included the Sultan of Deli and the Prince & Princess Bhanubandh of Siam. March 19th 1947 - to depart Singapore for Southampton (journey time 17 days) & Amsterdam. 100 passengers would embark at Singapore along with 75 tons of cargo. April 6th 1947 - A severe storm in the Bay of Biscay led to the deaths of four persons on the Oranje which was transporting 800 Dutch repatriates and other passengers from Netherlands East Indies to Holland. Whilst crossing the deck stewardess Miss G Broer caught her leg between a pipe and the side of the deck, nurse Schimmel and chief steward G W Meyer came to assist, but all were swept overboard, the ferocity of the storm making rescue virtually impossible. Later the chief mate received fatal injuries when he was thrown against deck fittings. Several passengers also recieved minor injuries, the ship arrived at Southampton on April 6th with her flags flying at half mast. The storm which struck the Oranje with 30 foot waves also swamped the British ship Willodale (1,777 tons) which had sailed from Bordeaux on the afternoon of April 3rd. Survivors of the British ship Willodale told the Daily Express that the engine room was flooded by seawater, a seven hour struggle to save the ship failed when a deck cargo of pitprops broke free, causing the ship to list. Six crew members went down with the ship and a further six lives were lost in the churning waters filled with pitprops, the lifeboats had been battered to fragments by the pitprops whilst they were being lowered. A survivor said that five minutes after being abandoned the ship put her nose down and plunged out of sight at the mouth of the Gironde River. The Captain of the French pilot boat Eglefin said Willodale's crew were putting up a courageous fight on the wave-washed deck against the shifting pit props when the Eglefin approached. The Eglefin brought back 10 survivors and 6 bodies. Six others, including the captain, were missing. At least twelve other lives were lost in the storm, including ten French fisherman washed overboard off Brittany. The French ship Polynie which sailed from Concarneau, Brittany in response to an SOS was reported missing. April 29th 1947 - due at Singapore in the morning from Amsterdam, to sail later in the day for Batavia. On this voyage the Oranje stopped for an hour in the Bay of Biscay to drop wreaths in honour of four ship's crewmen who lost their lives here during a violent storm three weeks previously. Despite this stop it was expected the Oranje would attempt the Southampton - Singapore leg in 15 days 12 hours, to arrive two days ahead of schedule. This attempt was later called off due to there being no berth available at Batavia until May 1st. 150 passengers had boarded at Southampton for Singapore, whilst a further 900 Dutch passengers were bound for Batavia. May 2nd 1947 - A major fire at the Rotterdam Lloyd storage depot at Tandjong Prick, Batavia harbour required the moving of several vessels to safety including the Oranje. May 6th 1947 - to depart Batavia for Europe. Prior to departure eight British Indians headed for Colombo were visited by Customs, smuggled gold valued at 200,000 Dutch guilders was discovered upon their persons, in the form of rings, bracelets & belt buckles, gold soles inside their shoes, jewels sown in their coats and pants. After surrendering the gold items the men were allowed to sail on the Oranje. On May 7th the Oranje departed Singapore during the morning for Southampton (journey time 17 days) & Amsterdam. 100 passengers embarked at Singapore, joining 800 passengers already onboard from Batavia. July 23rd 1947 - due to arrive Singapore from Batavia and sail later in the day for Amsterdam. September 2nd 1947 - due to arrive Singapore from Europe. This was the first Dutch vessel to berth alongside the Harbour Board wharves since August 12th after Singapore dock workers lifted their ban on handling Dutch ships, providing they are not carrying arms & munitions to Netherlands Indies ports. October 28th 1947 - due at Singapore from Europe. More than 200 passengers would disembark at Singapore, including the Sultanah of Johore. 800 passengers remained onboard to disembark at Batavia. November 5th 1947 - due to depart Singapore for Southampton, expected to arrive November 21st. 127 passengers were to embark at Singapore for Europe. On arrival at Southampton the wind caught the stern of the ship whilst docking, the stern swung right across the dock and hit the quay wall. The nearby P&O liner 'Strathmore' barely escaped being hit. The Oranje's sailing was delayed whilst a diver checked for damage.

Oranje in de sluis

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