TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

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Andymc1972
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Andymc1972 » Thu May 05, 2022 8:53 pm

Hi everyone,
My dad also served on board HMS Centaur and was involved in the assistance of the stricken liner.

Thankfully, he kept some wonderful photographs of the incident whilst on board one of the helicopters.

He never spoke about it and was always quiet around Christmas time, which I can now understand why and maybe put it down to the horrific sights him and his shipmates saw during the incident.

Sadly he crossed the bar suddenly at home on 17th December 2021, aged 81

BENIDORM
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby BENIDORM » Fri May 06, 2022 10:38 am

Hello Andy,
First can I offer my heartfelt condolences for the loss of your Father and for me as a former shipmate.R.I.P.

Welcome to the Andalucia.com forum also, I hope that you will be a frequent visitor.

I'm sure that I would have known your Father, even if just by sight and of course we all had nicknames so not always easy to recognise names.
It's a good many years since I first wrote about the 'Lakonia' incident and I've been amazed at the huge response over the years, I was still 17 years of age at the time and as I've explained previously it did affect me and made me realise how fragile life is.
I was the same as your Father with regards to not wishing to talk about it for many years, however I'm glad that I did make the effort and it's been very rewarding for me to see how it's helped many people to have some closure over this very tragic time.
I don't know if you have any of the 'Centaurs' year books and magazines, I have some and if you wish I will look to see if there are any references or pictures of your Father, I would need his name and details of his rating/job, send by private message if you prefer.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions and if you are ever visiting Spain I hope that you will be able to visit my little museum, I do have some Royal Naval artefacts and information if you are interested.
Best Wishes,
Gordon

Andymc1972
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Andymc1972 » Thu May 12, 2022 9:14 pm

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the reply and for the condolences. Apologies as I've only just seen it. My dad was Alan McIntosh (Mac to many of his shipmates) and was an Aircraft Handler and also a member of the fire crew. Born on 4th May 1940 he would have been 23 years old at the time of the incident.

I remember the photo's he kept of the assistance and recall seeing them as a bairn but not anything more about it. However, I was reminded of them by a close family friend when we were discussing arrangements for dad's service. Luckily as we were going through dad's belongings we found all of his Naval photos and service records, along with an itinerary of the ships movement's that he recorded. Such treasured pieces of history!!! Dad had books on the Centaur and I have shared quite a few of his photos on a few of the fb groups he was a member of.

Reading this thread really has brought a vast array of emotions, along with a few tears, with the most being a huge sense of pride of what dad and his shipmates like yourself went through in assisting the stricken liner. For that I will always be humbled and eternally grateful for the dedication to your roles and the respect shown at the time.

I'm also delighted to see that a plaque was finally arranged commemorating such a disaster and although I've never been abroad (at 50 years of age!!!) I feel a sense of needing to visit the graveyard next year and pay respect, on dad's behalf, to the victims in what would be the 60th anniversary year of the disaster.

I wish he felt able to talk about his time onboard more as everyone who knew him was aware of how proud he was to have served on both HMS Albion and then HMS Centaur but now understand a lot more about his reasons than I originally did.

Many thanks
Andy

Andymc1972
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Andymc1972 » Mon Aug 29, 2022 9:03 am

Hi Gordon, I found it interesting that I was working at a customers house a few weeks back and we got talking about holidays. To cut a long story short, I mentioned about wanting to visit Gibraltar and visit the cemetery to pay my respects and he told me his friend was a survivor form the Lakonia incident and nobody else he knew had spoken about it. Talk about a small world!

BENIDORM
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby BENIDORM » Fri Sep 09, 2022 12:05 pm

Hello Andy,
Apologies for my slow response, I've been running on 2 speeds,' slow and stop', during the heat of the summer.
Yes it really is surprising how often you meet up with someone who has a common link.
I'm still amazed at the response to the 'Lakonia' incident, I get regular e-mails from all over the world about the subject.
I think that so many important historical incidents are soon forgotten so I'm pleased at the large amount of information that is available now about the 'Lakonia', when I first started researching there was virtualy no information available.
If you do ever get to Gibraltar I recommend that you study the many other inscriptions on the grave stones in the cemetery there are such tragic, but interesting tales to be unfolded.
And of course Gibraltar is really steeped in history, going back to pre-history, well worth visiting as many sites and exhibitions as possible.
If you've never travelled far then now is the time to start, you will soon get the travel bug, get your passport ordered ...
I will try to visit Gib again soon , I love it there , but it's a bit like Marmite to some..love or hate it...

Andymc1972
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Andymc1972 » Thu Oct 27, 2022 7:03 pm

Hi Gordon,
No apologies necessary as I know the feeling all too well as currently trying to recover from a kidney infection.

As I say travelling abroad has never entertained me personally, but this is something I feel I have to do. I keep saying to my wife that I need to visit the local travel agents to discuss my options, before time beats me and I miss the opportunity.

It sounds weird but I enjoy the tranquility of a cemetery and read a lot of the headstones I come across, so I would probably do so while I'm there.

As a chockhead dad was a member of a few fb groups including Aircraft Handlers Association (Chockheads), HMS Albion now and then as well as Navy Oppos and My Royal Navy photos and I uploaded his Navy photos there if you are a member of fb and wanted a little trip down memory lane.

Regards

Andy

BENIDORM
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby BENIDORM » Wed Dec 28, 2022 3:29 pm

As always I stopped on Christmas day at lunchtime to spend a few moments thinking about the victims of the 'Lakonia' tragedy, not in a morbid way but more out of respect for the unfortunate souls who perished trying to escape the catastrophic fire that raged through the ship.
It really was a traumatic moment in time for me as a 17 year old and for all of the crew of course, made even worse because it was Christmas Day and we were all separated from our families and loved ones.
It's difficult to realise that the memorial event at Gibraltar was over 9 years ago and I will always be very grateful to A.Com and Chris who arranged the event so professionally.

I hope to be able to visit the memorial again next year, the 60th Anniversary of the loss of the Lakonia.
Regards,
Gordon.

JoeMurat
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby JoeMurat » Mon Mar 27, 2023 1:52 pm

[https://www.facebook.com/groups/Lakonia/?ref=share

This my Facebook group we set up together to get in contact and share

Katy Again
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Katy Again » Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:10 pm

Really interesting thanks.

Bethscott
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby Bethscott » Wed Nov 29, 2023 10:02 pm

Hi everyone,

We are making the trip to visit Gibraltar and possibly Tangiers cemetery to seek some answers and understand the Lakonia disaster more. My father in law, Peter Scott, who passed away this year, and his dad were on the Lakonia and now that we know about it a lot of things make more sense. As many of you have mentioned it is not something that was spoken about. Unfortunately he lost his dad in the disaster, as an only child and having lost his mum not long before the Lakonia disaster he was on his own as a 23 as a result of this tragedy.

We only found out more about the Lakonia this year and want to thank everyone for their knowledge, keenness and kindness in sharing information and linking us in to this group. We are travelling from Australia to learn more, the information we have so far has had such an impact on our understanding of Peter. Like others mentioned he wasn't keen on Christmas and we never knew why - etc etc.

Thanks for sharing all of your information, I will be reading more and refreshing in the lead up to our journey of discovery. We plan to be at the cemetery on December 23 this year to pay our respects for all of those lost and to thank all of the rescuers. If there is anyone that might be there on that day let us know, perhaps we can meet up.

Based on the information we have been able to put together, we believe that Peters dad might have been buried in Tangiers but we will try and make some headway on this when we are over there - if anyone has knowledge or a register of passengers laid to rest in Tangiers I would be very interested in hearing from them.

Thanks for keeping this story alive.

Cheers, Beth Scott

BENIDORM
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Re: TSMS Lakonia Disaster.1963

Postby BENIDORM » Thu Nov 30, 2023 4:21 pm

Hello Beth and Welcome to the Andalucia forum.

When I read stories like yours it makes me feel glad that I'd finally decided to try and find out more about what happened to the victims after we left them in Gibraltar.
Over the past 10 years or so since I first wrote about the disaster I've had many people contact me and I've tried to help them find answers.

For me as a 17 year old it was a very traumatic time being involved with the recovery of the victims and yes I still have a quiet time every Christmas day to remember them.

May I wish you every success in your quest.
Best Wishes,
Gordon ( Museo de Gordon )


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