RFA Ocean Salvor



Previous name:
Subsequent name:

Official Number:                      168769             

Class:                                    KING SALVOR Class Ocean Salvage Ship

Pennant No:                           A492

Laid down:                             2 October 1942
Builder:                                  Wm Simons & Co Ltd., Renfrew
Launched:                              31 August 1943
Into Service:                           23 September 1943
Out of service:                        November 1958
Fate:                                     Sold commercially February 1960


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:  There were originally 13 ships in this Admiralty-designed Class, 12 of which saw service as RFA’s. The final unit in the Class was completed as a Submarine Rescue Vessel under the White Ensign. All were basically similar and were used as Ocean Salvage Ships. They had a complement of 72 and during wartime were armed with 4 x 20 mm AA guns.


31 August 1943 launched by Wm Simons & Co Ltd, Renfrew as Yard Nr 764 named  HMS OCEAN SALVOR

 23 September 1943 completed under management of Risdon Beazeley Ltd

8 October 1943 sailed Liverpool in convoy OS56 arriving at Gibraltar 20 October 1943 with HMS PRINCE SALVOR

20 October 1943 sailed Gibraltar in convoy KMS29 to Port Said arriving 31 October 1943 with HMS PRINCE SALVOR

26 November 1943 sailed Suez independently to Aden arriving 30 November 1943

9 December 1943 provided salvage assistance to ss Fort Camosun which had damage to the number 4 & 5 holds - location not shown in the Admiralty War Diary

6 January 1944 sailed to assist ss Robert F Hoke which had beached 300 degrees 7 cables from Jazirat Sharma 14.49N 49.27E on 5 January 1944

25 January 1944 sailed Aden independently to Massawa arriving 28 January 1944

29 January 1944 sailed Massawa independently to Aden arriving 1 February 1944

17 February 1944 following the loss of SALVIKING the Admiralty were advised that the local Flag Officer was going to base Ocean Salvor at Colombo - souce Admiralty War Diary of this date page 293

23 February 1944 took in tow Erling Brøvig, a Norweigan tanker which had sailed Bandar Abbas loaded with 14,500 tons of Admiralty oil and which had been torpedoed by the German submarine U.510 (Oberleutnant zur See Alfred Eick). The ships back was broken. The crew abandoned ship.  The ship reached port

E Brovig

Erling Brøvig

11 April 1944 sailed Aden in convoy AJ3/2 to Colombo arriving 22 April 1944

November 1958 laid up at Pembroke Dock

30 January 1959 and 6 February 1959 offered for sale by the Admiralty in the The Times of these dates. Lying at Pembroke Dock.

February 1960 purchased by Ship and Cargo (Salvage) Ltd, London and was to have been renamed BRITISH RECOVERY, but her name remained unchanged. It was intended that she be stationed at a major port between Suez and SIngapore - as reported in The Times of 16 February 1960

9 April 1961 was involved in attempting to save the British cargo liner 'Dara' in the Persian Gulf which had caught fire. The fire was extinguished by RN ships. The ship sank while being towed by the Ocean Salvor in 60 feet of water about 5 miles off the coast en route to Bahrain. 238 passengers and crew were killed in the explosion and fire


March and April 1962 a Board of Enquiry into the loss of the Dara was held under the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 at 29 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London by Mr J B Naisby QC during which the Ocean Salvor action was mentioned.

October 1967 purchased by Sind Steel Corporation for demolition while lying at Karachi.



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