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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Pacific Glory KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 4
source BBC, Shipwrecks off the Isle of Wight
type A
volume
material
dead 13
link

BBC, Shipwrecks off the Isle of Wright PAcific Glory The luckiest escape that the Island's shores have ever had from a shipwreck was that of the 43,000 ton Liberian super-tanker Pacific Glory, which carried a crew of 42 and 70,000 gallons [sic] of African crude oil. At 9pm on Friday October 23rd 1970, the massive Pacific Glory was travelling up the Channel headed for Rotterdam, and was about 6 miles off St. Catherine's Point when the 46,000 ton tanker Allegro veered straight towards them to avoid crashing with a third ship. The tankers were so vast that, without a spare mile to manoeuvre in, it was impossible for the collision to be avoided, despite attempts to change course and the engines stopping, the Allegro's bow ploughed into the Pacific Glory's side. The Allegro continued to Fawley near Southampton, where she was placed under arrest. The Pacific Glory then drifted slowly towards Ventnor as the collision had cut through the fuel pipes to the engine room. At 10:30 the escaping fuel exploded, killing 5 in an 80 foot sheet of flame that spread through the decks and caused further explosions. Oil began leaking from the starboard side of the ship, igniting on the sea below. The remaining crew abandoned ship by jumping into the sea, many to be burnt in the fires over the waves. By this time, 13 men had perished. At 11pm the fiery inferno was 3 miles off Ventnor as fire-fighting tugs from Fawley arrived on the scene, along with Royal Navy ships, the Island's lifeboats, hovercraft and helicopters taking part in "Operation Solfire", rescuing the 29 survivors, who were rushed to Haslar Naval Hospital suffering from severe burns and swallowed oil. During the night the tugs managed to put out the water on the sea and struggled to put out the fire onboard. The Pacific Glory was then headed to Sandown Bay by several tugs, hoping to ground her in the Nab Shoal near the Nab Tower as her stern began to sink beneath the waves. Then the fire broke out again as a thick cloud of smoke rose several miles high, and the ship was abandoned one mile off Dunnose Point. Sandown Bay, the busiest on the Island with its 5 miles of pure, golden sand was in danger. 500 men gathered on the bay armed with 8,000 gallons of detergent, with the coastguard and RSPCA patrolling the beaches. Oil slicks began pouring from the Pacific Glory, but fortunately ships spraying detergent near the wreck prevented them from conglomerating and threatening the shore. The firemen onboard fought with the blaze all through Saturday and Sunday, and by Sunday afternoon it seemed the danger had passed. When everyone was beginning to feel relief, a new danger arose when the wind rose to a force 8 gale. One of the ships near the wreck, the Beaulieu containing 40 reporters, almost went down, saved only by HMS Zulu. The tug Harry Sharman was forced by the gale straight into the base of Culver Cliff1. Despite this, the Pacific Glory remained in one piece, and on Monday Morning newspaper headlines declared her "The Ship That Would Not Die". That morning members of the Portsmouth Fire Brigade boarded her and finally extinguished the fire. The ship was then handed over to a salvage team, and from Thursday the oil was pumped out from her into smaller tankers alongside. The biggest danger to the Island's shores was over.


source CEDRE
type D
volume 5000T,6000T
material
dead 13
link http://www.le-cedre.fr/en/spill/pacific_glory/pacific-glory.php

One the evening of 23 October 1970, the tanker Pacific Glory was sailing from Nigeria to Rotterdam with a load of 70,000 tons of Nigerian crude when the steam tanker Allegro, loaded with 100,000 tons of Libyan crude oil collided with her, 10 km off St Catherine Point, Isle of Wight. An explosion occured on the Pacific Glory generating fire, Oil began to leak from the starboard side of the vessel. 13 crew members out of 42 were killed in the incident. The following day the Pacific Glory grounded 8 km from the shore, The Allegro managed to continue her route to Fawley (near Southhampton).


source CAHILL_C
type D
volume
material C
dead
link

The two ships were proceeding on nearly parallel courses, the Pacific Glory ENE and the Allegro NE. The Pacific Glory was on Allegro's port side, so Allegro figured she was the stand on ship. The Allegro was moving slightly faster than the Pacific Glory, so the Glory figured she was being overtaken and was the stand on ship. Both continued on a collision course until a minute before the collision. When they attempted to turn away, their sterns swung together.


source CTX
type D
volume 5000T
material C
dead 13
link

At one point, Cedre puts the spill at 5000 tons, at another 6000 tons.

This is a very rare collision between two loaded tankers, This collision exposes an ambiguity in the Rules of the Road. one ship read this as a crossing situation, the other as an overtaking. They did not talk.

The Glory did turn slightly to port, about two minutes before the collision to move further away from a coaster she was overtaking. This is probably the source of the BBC "third ship" but this does not seem to have had any real impact on the collision and may have actually helped a bit. The Allegro did turn to port at the last minute and then back, but Cahill says this was interaction effects.

Only attempt at communication were some light flashes and whistle signals in extremis.

The P Glory was on the wrong side of the Channel to be headed for Rotterdam, presumably to pick up North Sea pilot at Brixham. The Allegro had to cross over the downbound lane to get to Fawley, but in this case, this may not have been a factor.

Given the obvious errors in the BBC story, it is hard to give this account much credance. Neither ship would have been inerted. Best guess is that the corner of the transom of the Allegro penetrated the Glory in an aft starboard cargo tank. Nigerian crude is quite volatile, and it would not have taken much to set it off. The pictures we have support this theory, but not unambiguously. The fire could have started in the engine room or pump room, but this seems unlikely.

Need depth of penetration, but double sides might have helped on this one. Since both ship were at full speed, very unlikely twin screw would have helped.