Mitchell page 196 says ship was on maiden voyage from Brest to Farsund.
Says ship was launched at Chantiers de l'Atlantique, St Nazaire on 1975-08-11.
The market at the time was in a deep slump.
Ship was insured for 50 million which was at least least five times her market value
in the slump into which she was delivered.
So there were some eyebrows raised about this loss.
And Hooke's use of the word "trials" is strange.
A ship undergoing trials is the responsibility
of the shipyard, not the owner's Captain.
But CTX's current best guess is that this was
what the insurers accepted it was,
a series of machinery failures.
But this may explain the delays and the lackluster attempt to get her off.
This casualty was a great boon to the owner.
Cahill's emphasis on the Chief unfamiliarity with the control system
may be misplaced.
Onassis tended to have good crews.
The Chief was in the yard much longer than normal.
And the fact that the ship required six sea trials is very strange.
The original departure was cancelled due to an blackout
caused by an incorrect setting of a boiler feed valve.
A VLCC in ballast in a 40 knot beam sea would have
been rolling quite a bit.
It is possible that the control system was just plain faulty.
At the time, the French were big believers in enormously complicated
and very unusual pneumatic control systems.
It would be interesting to know if this ship had such a system.
Not surprisingly the Liberian report blamed the crew,
but it seems quite possible that this crew was given an unreliable ship.
This ship probably had twin boilers,
but it certainly did not have two independent propulsion systems.
With reliability so bad that the ship only lasted about 50 miles,
it is hard to argue that twin screw would have helped that much.