History of ATR-7  -  Page 20

    ATR-7's only major towing job in Brazil occurred in March 1945. A confidential despatch on 1 March ordered the ship to rendezvous with USS CHAIN ARS-20 which was standing by the disabled tanker S.S. ESSO PROVIDENCE, crippled by rudder failure.
    ATR-7 immediately made preparations to get underway and left Recife late in the afternoon. Her excellent navigation team located the wallowing tanker by mid afternoon on 3 March. There in the distance one could see the big tanker dead in the water with USS CHAIN standing by. The ESSO PROVIDENCE was an older ship of
21,000 tons and carried a full load of oil. Rudder failure caused the ship to become completely at the mercy of the sea and any German subs that might be in the area.
    AT first the captain pulled along side this giant ship, four times the length of  the tug and put a line over with intentions of lashing the two vessels amidships and gently easing the huge ship back to port. The chief boatswain with several seaman, brought out the largest and heaviest line, an eight inch Manila rope.
    The thick rope, eight inches around, was passed over to the tanker and made fast to a pair of bitts and then fastened around the two heavy steel bitts outside the port side of the tugs mess hall. Gradually ATR-7 worked up to slow speed and the rope strained on the bitts of the little tug. Suddenly a heavy swell in the sea lifted ATR-7 and put an enormous strain on the doubled line between the two vessels. With a loud bang, the heavy hawser actually pulled the two big steel bitts out of the wooden deck. The chief immediately loosened the lines and the Captain quickly abandoned any idea of pushing the tanker that way.

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