Ship: LADY McGOWAN (1952-1977 Explosives carrier 182 feet long of I.C.I. Nobel Explosives, Glasgow)
|Port of Registry:||Glasgow|
Hans Hasse from internet
Built by Scott Bowling (yard no. 395) Bowling and launched on 12/2/1952, completed June/52. Registered owners Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. Glasgow. Owners in 1972 were Nobel`s Explosive Co. Glasgow with no name change. Sold in 1977 to Boyadjian Properties Ltd, Glasgow and renamed Lissa. Sold again in 1977 to Seacourt Marine Co. Ltd., Limassol Cyprus, no name change. Name changed in 1978 to Elvina. Sold in 1979 to Damascus Shipping Co. Limassol and renamed Joyce Clare. Owners in 1981 were Pan-O-Sullivan Maritime Ltd. Limassol, no name change. Broken up at Marsa, Malta on 10/6/84 by Sartard Shipbreakers Ltd.
LADY McGOWAN usually carried explosives manufactured at I.C.I. Nobel Factory, Stevenston, Ayrshire, Scotland, and loaded at the factory's Garnock Wharf at Irvine.
The ship (and her consorts in the explosives fleet) normally took the explosives to ports in England or the near Continent and, coming alongside ocean cargo vessels which were anchored in separate explosives-handling anchorages, transhipped the explosives to the ocean vessel for carriage abroad.
However, the I.C.I. explosives fleet sometimes did travel far, and at least on one occasion actually carried her cargo of explosives to India.
A much more mundane employment for the explosive vessels was in "drowning" - that was their term used - drowning unstable or weeping explosives which could not be used. This wonderfully descriptive name drowning aptly described loading the dangerously unstable explosives in small boxes, taking them to a deep part of the Firth of Clyde or North Channel between Scotland and Northern Ireland, (now disused for dumping) and tossing the boxes over the side for them to sink to the bottom. A sort of "out of sight - out of mind" scenario.
If a box of the explosives was reluctant to sink - and was near enough the ship - as it usually was - a crewman would lean over the ships side with a long pointed boathook and thrust it into the box - thereby allowing water in to sink the box. During the drowning business the ship was usually stopped in the water to prevent floating boxes being dragged into the turning propeller.