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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Olympic Bravery KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 7
source SIS83
type D
volume
material
dead
link

stranded after engine trouble near ushant, fortunately was in ballast, broke in two


source HOOKE
type A
volume 1200T
material
dead 4
link

The 277,599 dwt steam tanker Olympic Bravery under the command of Captain Efstratios Tsioros sailed from Brest on her maiden voyage at 530 pm on January 23, 1976 in ballast for trials before proceeding to Farsund where she was due to be laid up as she had no charter, but, after sustaining machinery trouble and no fewer than seven blackouts, she drifted aground on rocks at 8 am on January 24 in very heavy seas about one mile NE of Creac'h Light on the east coast of Ushant in lat 48.28.21N, long 05.06.40W. Tugs from Brest failed to refloat her and subsequent heavy weather in the area caused her condition to deteriorate, with most of her tanks being holed and flooded and the enginer room and lower compartments also all becoming flooded due to continual rolling and bumping on the rocky bottom.

After a strong gale during the early hours of March 13, the Olympic Bravery broke in two amidships at about 7 am, causing considerable leakage of her 1,200 tons of fuel oil into the sea. A French Navy helicopter with four men on board, checking for pollution, crashed into the sea off Brest. No one survived.


source CAHILL-S
type D
volume
material
dead
link

Cahill puts a great deal of emphasis on the Chief's unfamiliarity with the boiler control system, despite the fact that he had joined the ship in the yard five months earlier and particpated in "all of the six sea trials that preceded delivery". It appears that the ship was never able to generate anything close to its design power. In any event, approaching Ushant she had seven blackouts. The anchors were let go but the wind was 40 knots from the NW. They did not hold. She struck stern first on the starboard side. All her starboard tanks were quickly open to the sea, and some of the center tanks were leaking. Unlike Hooke, Cahill makes no mention of continuing trials.


source ETC
type D
volume 5864B
material
dead
link


source CEDRE
type A
volume 1200T
material Bunkers
dead
link http://www.le-cedre.fr/en/spill/olympic/olympic.php

On the 24th of January 1976, the Liberian oil tanker Olympic Bravery, sailing without any cargo from Brest to Foresund (Norway) where it had to be laid up for lack of chartering, faced a series of engine failures. The ship drifted toward Ushant Island, dropped anchor. The anchor failed and the ship ran aground. Tugs wre unable to refloat it. On March 12th, the ship owner signed an agreement with a salver about the pumping of the bunkers and the ship's refloating.

On March 13th, a gale broke the ship and 1,200 tonnes of fuel were spilled.


source VISSER
type L
volume
material
dead
link supertankers.topcities.com/part-2/id204.htm

Two great pictures: one with the ship sitting placidly next to the coast; the other after the storm, ship broke cleanly just forward of the cargo derricks.


source CTX
type D
volume
material
dead
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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.