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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Oriental Pioneer KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 3
source HOOKE
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The Liberian ore/oil motor vessel Oriental Pioneer was on a voyage from Lourenco Marques to Rotterdam, loaded with a cargo of 46,000 tons of iron ore when, after taking a sudden list, she was placed aground four miles off Cape Agulhas list on July 22, 1974. Seriously holed and with several compartments tidal and flooded, the vessel continued to sustain heavy pounding. With the Oriental Pioneer breaking up, her crew was air lifted to safety by helicopter.


source CAHILL
type A
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There was some sort of dispute between the Master and the Chief Mate at the load port in Mozambique. The Master ordered the CM off the ship, at which three other deck officers and three seamen quit in protest. Ship was forced off berth and Master decided to sail to Cape Town for replacements. There were only 3 deck officers on-board. Weather was bad, no celestial sights, incredibly radar was not used, Master plotted course to pass only 3 miles off Cape Agulhas ignoring a TSS which required 12 miles. When they touched and breached 1P and 2P ballast tanks, Master headed to Stuys Bay, presumably for shelter. But this required crossing a shoal which was far shallower than his draft (38 ft before damage, about 57 ft after). Ship stranded and eventually broke up.


source CTX
type A
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A South African source says beached after alledgedly springing a leak but this is no place to play games. Cahill makes it clear the problem was navigation.

This is now a prime dive site.