• Short Summary

    A UNITED STATES-BUILT WORLD WAR TWO LANDING SHIP, THE DONA MERCEDES, ARRIVED IN LAGOS HARBOUR YESTERDAY (19 JUNE) READY TO OPEN A NEW RIVER ROUTE FOR MERCY SHIPMENTS TO SECESSIONIST BIAFRA.

  • Description

    A UNITED STATES-BUILT WORLD WAR TWO LANDING SHIP, THE DONA MERCEDES, ARRIVED IN LAGOS HARBOUR YESTERDAY (19 JUNE) READY TO OPEN A NEW RIVER ROUTE FOR MERCY SHIPMENTS TO SECESSIONIST BIAFRA.

    THE 200-FOOT (60 METRES) VESSEL SAILED IN AFTER A TRANSATLANTIC VOYAGE ONLY 24 HOURS AFTER THE BIAFRAN GOVERNMENT SAID IT WAS READY TO ACCEPT RELIEF SUPPLIES BY WAY OF THE CROSS RIVER.

    WITH ITS SHALLOW DRAUGHT OF ONLY EIGHT FEET (2.5 METRES) THE DONA MERCEDES WILL BE ABLE TO CARRY 900 TONS OF CARGO FROM FEDERAL-HELD CALABAR UP RIVER INTO BIAFRAN TERRITORY. THIS IS THREE TIMES THE MAXIMUM CARGO CARRIED ON THE NIGHT FLIGHTS INTO BIAFRA WHICH HAVE VIRTUALLY CEASED SINCE A RELIEF AIRCRAFT WAS SHOT DOWN.

    A SECOND SIMILAR VESSEL, THE DONA MARIA, IS EXPECTED IN LAGOS SOON. BOTH VESSELS WILL BE OPERATED BY THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS. THE BIAFRAN AUTHORITIES SAID THEY WERE WAITING FOR DETAILS OF THE SHIPS AND U.S. GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES AGAINST NIGERIAN ABUSE OF THE OPERATION, BUT THE RED CROSS HOPE TO START SHIPMENTS EARLY NEXT WEEK.

    THE RELIEF PLAN WAS AGREED AFTER THREE MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS WITH LEADERS IN LAGOS AND BIAFRA BY PRESIDENT NIXON'S SPECIAL RELIEF ENVOY, PROFESSOR CLYDE C. FERGUSON.

    THE DONA MERCEDES, REGISTERED IN COLOMBIA, IS CHARTERED TO THE RED CROSS FOR SIX MONTHS. IT WILL BE OPERATED BY A 17-MAN COLOMBIAN CREW HEADED BY CAPTAIN GASTON ROBINSON. THE PLAN IS FOR IT TO SAIL FROM CALABAR 50 MILES (80 KM) UP THE CROSS RIVER TO AN OFF-LOADING POINT NEAR IKOTKPORO, WHERE FEDERAL FORCES CONTROL THE EAST BANK OF THE RIVER AND BIAFRANS THE WEST BANK.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA856MHPE9K6FHY70DEQ51KAJ68
    Media URN:
    VLVA856MHPE9K6FHY70DEQ51KAJ68
    Group:
    Reuters - Incuding Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    20/06/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:31:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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