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Bianca 'C'

Friday, 20th October saw HMS Londonderry in Puerto Rico with all the conveniences of the USN base, but our stay was short lived after we received a request during the evening of Sunday 22nd October to proceed immediately to the Italian liner Bianca C which had been abandoned on fire, anchored in the deep water entrance channel to St. Georges, Grenada.
At midnight Londonderry departed San Juan arriving off St. Georges at 1815 on Monday 23rd October. It had been confirmed that all the passengers and surviving crew were safe ashore, (one crewman died immediately onboard in the explosion and subsequent fire, two others died later from their injuries) After negotiations with the master of the Bianca C it was agreed that we attempt to tow the stricken, still smouldering vessel, out of the fairway. Her anchor cables had first to be blown off before she could be towed stern first out of the channel. The tow parted and was reconnected several times during the night and following day. Unfortunately at 1123 on Tuesday 24th October, in a cloud of steam she sank to the bottom of the Caribbean, but clear of St. Georges harbour entrance.

The Copies of the HMS Londonderry deck log for the 23rd and 24th October are produced by permission of the UK National Archives and are not for commercial use without their permission.

Monday 23 Oct deck log - Bianca C HMS Londonderry deck log tues 24 Oct 1961

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