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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Golar Patricia KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source MIT79
type D
volume 20000LT
material
dead
link

Listed as explosion. Volume has to be high for a ship in ballast.


source LINK
type D
volume
material
dead
link http://www.warsailors.com/oddswar/oddsships.html#golarpatricia

While on a ballast voyage from Coryton, River Thames (where my husband and I went to visit my father on board) to Bahrain, Golar Patricia broke in two and sank after three massive explosions and fire on board about 130 miles for the Canary Islands in lat 30 36N long 14 25 W on 5 November 1973. One of the 43 persons on board died. The remaining 42, including Captain Harald Stormo, two female passengers and a 1 year old child, were picked up by the Spanish vessel Cabo San Vicente and taken to Tenerife. The master later stated that the first explosion occurred in an empty tank while it was being cleaned.


source CTX
type D
volume 5000T
material
dead 1
link

Would that all spill accounts were as factual and succint as http://www.warsailors.com. The accompanying pictures confirm that the explosion was midships or a little forward of midships. She sank bow first. Also that the weather was calm and clear, probably took place during the day. The destination indicates that the ship was probably headed for drydock in which case she would get more intensive tank cleaning that ususal.

Cedre has the volume of this spill at 10,000 tons which has to be way high for a VLCC in ballast. Maybe they counted all the slops as oil. Spanish source also says 10,000T. MIT79 is worse, 5000 tons is a rank guess but should be closer.

The key issue is was the tank inerted? This is 4 years after Mactra/Marpessa/Kong Haakon but CTX is assuming it was not. If she had been inerted, it is is quite unlikely the first explosion would have occurred, and even more unlikely there would have been follow on explosions.

Golar was a pretty good, technically savvy owner. They had to be aware of the Shell studies. Ship was delivered in 1969, her first Special Survey would be some time in 1974. Installing IGS is a big job, requiring taking the ship out of service for at least a week. The market was in boom through mid-1973. They almost certainly decided to put it off until the Special Survey docking.

A surprising element is that she broke in two but the photo is consistent with the account. Usually this sort of explosion on a VLCC blows out the deck, and at most holes 1 or 2 tanks. Flooding a couple of tanks on a VLCC in ballast, should not sink her. Must have been the follow-on explosions.