Since I became aware of the Centenary of BP Shipping I have been looking around for information on the ships and seafarers that have been involved. It seems a pity that BP have not seen fit to create some form of web archive and there are several comments to that effect on the Ships Nostalgia web site.
It appears that BP are not alone in not providing an archive, Kees Helder has published Helderline, a web site primarily about Shell tankers and Auk Visser has created his Historical Tankers Site, which has information about a huge number of tankers with photographs, including some of BP's, but with a special emphasis on the Esso fleet.
I have taken it upon myself to develop this site and I hope many of my fellow seafarers who have spent time at sea with BP will help in the task of creating a useful and interesting resource for anyone with an interest in the ships and people of the BP fleet, past, present and future.
GTZX was the fleet call sign of BP Shipping until 1986, when the ships were flagged out. It will be familiar to all deck officers and radio officers, as well as others, who sailed on BP ships prior to this date. It seems an appropriate name for a site dedicated to the people and ships of the BP Fleet.
Feel free to upload any photographs you may have to either the Gallery which is superceding the Ships, Archive and Misc Galleries. It is assumed that if you upload a photograph you have the right to do so and will not be infringing any copyrights.
Note that in order to view the crew list information, or add and view photographs you need to be a registered user.
I make no claim that the information on this site is complete or accurate, but I am continuing to research and will add, or edit data as it becomes available.
This is the wartime story of my father Eric Pointon, who served in the Merchant Navy, in many theatres with distinction, and is dedicated to his memory.
In his opinion he felt that the role of the Merchant Navy in World War Two was more understated than in the other services, but they had a vital role to play in keeping Britain supplied. The Merchant Navy suffered a proportionately higher death rate from enemy action than any of the armed services.
After he had joined the Merchant Navy from school in August 1930 as a deckhand on 'SS Deerpool', he served his apprenticeship before joining the British Tanker Company in July 1939.
He joined the M/V 'British Sergeant', an oil tanker, in May 1940 as 3rd Mate at Abadan, then sailing to Alexandria.
BP Shipping, the maritime arm of British headquartered global oil company BP, announced that six new LNG vessels - British Partner, British Achiever, British Contributor, British Listener, British Mentor and British Sponsor - have joined the BP Shipping fleet.
Each ship can carry a cargo of LNG equivalent in volume to 69 Olympic sized swimming pools and they deliver this low carbon energy to customers with 20% less CO2 emissions when compared to industry benchmarks.
BP Shipping has more than 30 years’ experience operating LNG ships. When BP Shipping designed the vessels to support IST operations, they had to consider operational flexibility, energy efficiency and new and more challenging port calls and canal transits.
Enabling technology, ship/shore compatibility and increased ship manoeuvrability were key focus areas.
"The technology on-board these vessels places BP Shipping as a technical leader in LNG transportation," the company claimed.
"The ships have been proven to exceed expectations in terms of operational flexibility, efficiency and reduction of waste. From a business benefit perspective, the ships are already confirmed as being 25% more efficient than industry benchmarks at the time of contract award and they are the first BP Shipping LNG carriers to be accredited under BP’s Advancing Low Carbon programme," it added.
BP Shipping took delivery of British Partner, the first of a half dozen new 173,400 cu. m. capacity liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers to be delivered through 2018 and 2019 from the DSME shipyard in South Korea. BP Shipping, which launched a fleet rejuvenation program in 2016 that includes 32 new vessels for delivery over a three-year period, said the six new Partnership class ships will increase its ability to transport LNG in emerging new markets, such as Pakistan, Jordan, Egypt and Bangladesh, in addition to established markets, such as India, China, the U.S. and Australia.
The Royal Institute of Navigation has reported the sad death of Captain Ralph Maybourn. I have enclosed the text of the RIN obituary below.
Ralph was apprenticed to the BP Tanker Company in 1942 and rapidly gained his Extra Master's Certificate, becoming BP's Marine Superintendent in Kuwait by 1963. By 1978 he had been appointed Director of the entire Tanker Company and in 1981 went on to become General Manager of what is now BP Shipping.
Despite his managerial responsibilities, after 1962 he still undertook periods at sea, including command of a 215,000 deadweight ton VLCC, and was involved in the voyage of the supertanker MANHATTAN through the NW Passage to Alaska.
Ralph was also closely involved in a number of national and international bodies. Posts included Advisor to the the DoT's Marine Pollution Unit, Chairman of the General Council of British Shipping's Marine Policy Committee and Chairman of the DoI's Marine Technology Committee. He was also a former President of the Hydrographic Society.
He spent many years on the Institute's Technical Committee, becoming its Chairman, and was Institute President from 1978 to 1981. He was elected a Fellow and, in 1972, awarded the Institute's Bronze Medal.
Friends and colleagues are invited to a Service of Thanksgiving at 1400 on 22 November at Christ Church, 3 High Oaks, St Albans, AL3 6DJ.
We pass our condolences to Ralph's daughters Susan and Angela, who may be contacted through the Institute.
I'm sure many of you will join me in passing condolences to his family.