Født: Lista - 1 desember 1898
Bosted: Tjørve, Lista - Farsund kommune.
Død: 22 april 1940
Otto Emil Pedersen(Tjørve) skipsfører på D/S ”Bravore”, og omkom da skipet ble minesprengt i Den engelske kanal 22. april 1940 på vei fra Tyne til Rouen.
Kildene forteller:Krigsseilerregisteret skriver:
D/S ”Bravore” ble minesprengt den 22 april 1940 - 1 n.m. syd av Gull Buoy. The Down på sørkysten av England på reise Tyne til Rouen med kull. 20 personer omkom.
Minnehallen i Stavern skriver:
Otto Emil Pedersen omkom 22 april 1940 da D/S ”Bravore” ble minesprengt i “The Downs” på vei fra Tyne til Rouen D/S ”Bravore” var under veis fra Tyne til Rouen med kull da hun 22. april 1940 kl. 1350 gikk på en mine 4 n. mil utenfor Ramsgate i Den engelske kanal. 11 nordmenn omkom, pluss tre briter, en polakk og fem franske soldater. Besetningen var på 19 mann, og kapteinen, Otto Tjørve, ble den første av Nortraships kapteiner som falt.
De norske som omkom med D/S ”Bravore”:
Paul Karsten Skodjevåg - Matros, Ole Ingemann Olsen Seveland - Stuert, Otto Emil Pedersen - Skipsfører, Lauritz Kvalheim - 2. Maskinist, Johan Albert Jansson - Matros, Fridtjof Petter Hofstad - Fyrbøter, Wilhelm Hille - Jungmann, Knut Bendik Gundersen - Lettmatros, Oskar Emil Gjærdal - Donkeymann, Asbjørn Fintland - Sjømann, Elling Kristian Ellingsen - Sjømann.
Rapport om D/S "Bravore"'s senking 22. april 1940 Denne rapport er skrevet etter hukommelsen, da dagboken samt skibets øvrige papirer gikk ned med skibet.
Lørdag 20. april: Kl. 08.00 var skibet lastet. Hadde tatt ombord 1991 tons kull. Dypgående F. 16' 7" A. 17' 8". .............. ... Kl.19.00 kastet loss og avgikk etter losens anvisning bestemt for ROUEN. Kl. 20.30 ankret utenfor Pieren i TYNE for å avvente konvoi. Kl. 22.00 lettet anker og inntok plassen i konvoien i overensstemmelse med instruksjoner mottatt av Navy Contrll i Newcastle
Mandag 22. april: Ostlig vind, noe sjø, tar endel overvann, været disig. Kl. omtrent 11.15 deltes konvoien i to idet noen av skibene gikk til London, mens vi fortsatte til The Downs sammen med 4 andre skib. Kl. 13.45 fikk vi se vaktskipet, og styrte med halv fart ned mot dette for å få videre instruksjoner..................
Kl. 14.00 oppstod en kraftig eksplosjon, sannsynligvis på babord side ved Nr. 2 luke i forkant av broen. Eksplosjonen var så voldsom at alle lukene på akterdekket blåste tilværs med en gang. Øienvitner i nærheten fortalte at skipet først ble løftet opp i luften for deretter å gå ned på 15 a 20 sekunder.
Der var 6 mann på broen, nemlig kapteinen, 2. styrmann, rormannen, samt 3 franske marinefolk. Av disse ble bare 2. styrmann bjerget. Han sto på en åpen plass da eksplosjonen inntraff, og ble kastet rett igjennem ett av brovinduene og overbord. Han ble straks etterpå tatt opp av en liten hollandsk båt som het "BADZO".
Maskinmesteren som lå i salonen klarte å komme seg ut, og gikk akterover på poopen. Der hvor skipet sank var det så grundt at poopen var over vannet etter at skipet var sunket.
Kokken som også befandt seg i salonen, klarte også å komme seg ut. Han ble først vasket overbord, men klarte å komme seg ombord igjen, og akterover på poopen. En liten motorbåt tok senere maskinmesteren og kokken ombord, og bragte dem inn til Deal.
1ste styrmann og en av de franske marinefolk lå og sov i lugaren på underbroen. Det er ennu uklart hvordan disse to kom seg ut, for hele lugaren ble smadret. Da styrmannen kom seg ut og opp til overflaten var bare litt av skorstenen over vannet.
Franskmannen som også kom seg ut, kom seg opp i livbåten som hadde stått usurret på dekket. Etter å ha vært nesten en halv time i vannet, ble 1ste styrmann tatt opp av mannskapet på "BADZO" de samme som hadde bjerget 2. styrmann. Begge ble tatt under behandling og det ble lagt en foreløpig bandasje på et sår som 1ste styrmannen hadde fått i pannen. De ble senere bragt inn til Ramsgate og innlagt på hospitalet der. 2. styrmann hadde brukket ett ribben, og såret som 1ste styrmann hadde fått måtte syes sammen.
Navnene på de reddete er:
1. 1ste styrmann Arnfinn Bentsen, Briseid pr. Farsund, 2. 2. styrmann Leonard Aasheim, Horten, 3. maskinmester Fredrik Thoresen, Oslo, 4. Kokk Reidar Vistung, Oslo,
Navnene på de omkomne ombord på D/S ”Bravore”:
1. Kaptein Otto Tjørve, Lista pr. Farsund... 2. Matros Kristian Ellingsen, Sandnes ... 3. Matrosl Pauls Skodjevaag, Mandal ... 4. Lettmatros Knut Gunnersen, Oslo ... 5. Lettmatros Albert Janson, Herad pr. Farsund ... 6. Jongmann Vilhelm Hille, Mandal ... 7. 2. maskinist Lauritz Kvalheim, Stavanger ... 8. Donkeymann Oskar Gjerdal, Lyngdal pr. Farsund ... 9. Fyrbøter Fridtjof Hofstad, Nord Rana ... 10. Lemper Asbjørn Fintland, Nes pr. Flekkefjord ... 11. Stuert Ingeman Olsen, Herad pr. Farsund ... 12. Fyrbøter Ingeman Olsen, Herad pr. Farsund ... 13. Fyrbøter Mc.Nanghon, påmønstret i Cardiff for omtr. halvannen måned siden 14. Dekksgutt Ryan, påmønstret i Newcastle 2. april 15. Messegutt Torres Danielsne, Swansia ... 2. Maskinisten og fyrbøter Fridtjof Hofstad hadde vakt da eksplosjonen skjedde. 9. mai 1940 Fred Thoresen, Maskinmester
Referat fra sjøforklaringen, 9. mai 1940, London, Administrator Konsul Gregg
Merknad 5 franske vaktmenn omkommet, 1 reddet - navn ukjent
Appeared the chief officer, Arnfin Bentsen,
The D/S ”Bravore” sank on the 22nd April at 2 o'clock in the afternoon in the Downs after an explosion. The vessel sank so quickly that the clothes and personal effects of every one were lost, likewise all the ship's papers and books. The president produced (1) a written statement, "Report about the sinking of the s/s "Bravore" on the 22nd April 1940" which chief officer Bentsen had handed in to the Consulate General on the 6th May and which was signed by chief officer Bentsen and counter signed by chief engineer Fredrik Thoresen.
The presiedent further produced (2) scrap notes made by the chief officer concerning the distribution of the cargo in the holds. This paper had been delivered to the Receiver of Wrecks, Dover. .
The appearer stated that it was he who kept the log book on board. The produced report is based on information which the appearer had received from the 2nd officer, also the chief engineer and the cook, and otherwise prepared according to memory. The appearer was relieved on the bridge at 12.30 o'clock. After the convoy had been split up at 11.15 o'clock at the mouth of the Thames there was steered according to sailing instructions received on departure from the Tyne. At 1 o'clock the appearer had lain down to sleep in his cabin and was awakened by being flung up into the cabin top. The appearer did not find his life belt, tried in vain to get out through the door, and does not remember anything in particular as to what subsequently happened to him. He was sucked under, but came up to the surface.
Appeared the 1st witness, Fredrik Eugen Thoresen, chief engineer on th s/s "Bravore"
The witness was shown the produced report which he declared he had signed. The report is based on information from the others who were saved and otherwise according to memory. The witness was relieved at 1 o'clock, was lying asleep in his cabin, was awakened by being flung up into the cabin top, he opened the door and encountered steam coming from the engine, kept his arm in front of his face, ran aft to the poop and stood there by the life saving raft, together with the cook, until they were taken off by a motor boat from shore. The witness wishes to add that those saved were well cared for by the Englishmen who rescued them, and that the witness and the cook were treated by the greatest kindness by the authorities and by private people at Deal.
Appeared the 2nd witnes, Reidar Antonius Vistung, cook on the s/s "Bravore"
The witness was sitting on a chair alone in his cabin amidship on the vessel, noticed a muffled - not particularly loud report, felt the vessel being thrown up in the air, managed to ged hold of the door handle and open the door. He then came straight out into the sea, was carried by the sea towards aft past the engine room door as the vessel was sinking with the bow first, got one leg over the rail as he wanted to get away from the ship, but was thrown down on to the after deck by the suction, got up into the rigging on the after mast, the vessel having heeled over to port. Got on to the poop by sliding down the derrick hoist. Stood on the poop together with the chief engineer until they were picked up by a motor boat from the shore. The life saving raft had become jammed in the corner on the port side. The witness did not see anything of any of the others.
Appeared the 3rd witness, officer Leonard Mikal Aasheim,2nd officer on the s/s "Bravore"
The witness came on the bridge at 12.30 o'clock relieving chief officer Bentsen. The helmsman Knut Gunnersen, 4 of the French guard, and the captin were on the bridge. Deck boy Ryan was on the forecastle. A.B. Seaman K. Ellingsen was at work aft. The others of the crew were in their cabins. The men's berths were forward.
The witness cannot state the hour of the explosion. The witness was standing on the starboard side of the bridge by the telegraph, was knocked through the window of the bridge side shelter so that the explosion must have occurred on the port side. Was flung perhaps 30 metres, anyhow so far that he came clear of the suction. The witness came up quickly. He had received a blow from a hatch cover or similar object and could not use his legs, it felt like a knife being stuck in his back when he tried to use his legs.
When the witness came up the stern and a little of the bridge could be seen of the ship; the bow was under water. The captain was lying some distance away. The witness was carried by the sea towards him. The witness saw that the captian's face was covered with blood, he had blood on his jacket across the chest and one of is hands had been torn off. The witness caught hold of him from behind, but had to let go his hold. The witness had a small piece of planking to hold on to, but did not have the strength to retain his hold. Subsequently the captian went unde without the witness seeing it. 'After a while the witness caught hold of a lifebuoy.
The witness saw one of the French guard go under, perhaps 20 metres away. Otherwise, the witness saw a patrol vessel which was trying to save somebody, but there was trouble with the lifeboat. This was (probably) chief officer Bentsen. The witness was saved by a Dutch vessel after having been lying in the water for perhaps half an hour. At the hospital at Ramsgate the witness was ex-ray photographed the same day and was lying in the hospital until the 14th May, but was then not quite well in the back where 4 ribs were broken and 2 vertebrae injured. Otherwise, the witness got his left hand injured by the glass of the window in the bridge side shelter, likewise the left arm and legs. A dental bridge broken.The convoy was split up at the mouth of the Thames a little before the witness came on the bridge. Thereafter the vessel proceeded in convoy under escort to the Downs up to the last buoy, namely the buoy outside Ramsgate. The sailing instructions terminated at this buoy and in the instructions it was stated:- later according to orders. The vessel was waiting for such orders. The order-boat had come along to one of the two French vessels which were proceeding ahead. A little to starboard we had en English vessel with electric protection cable, which vessel cut across the "Bravore's" course. The witness believes that that English vessel proceeded over the mine, but was saved by her electric cable. The lifeboats, life buoys and belts were in prescribed order and life saving vests had been distributed to the crew at Rouen, no doubt on the vessel's previous trip there.
At the hospital the witness spoke to some survivors from an English vessel, which had been lying at anchor in the Downs when the "Bravore" sank, but which had been blown up by mine on the following day. These men had seen the "Bravore" sink. They saw that the "Bravore" went down extraordinarily quickly.
Final Fate - 1940:
S/S ”Bravore” departed Tyne in the evening of Apr. 20-1940 in Convoy FS 151 (ref. link above), bound for Rouen with a cargo of 1991 tons coal. According to "Nortraships flåte" she had a crew of 19 and 5 French soldiers on board.
At the mouth of the Thames on the 22nd the convoy was split up, with some of the ships heading for London, while D/S ”Bravore” and 4 others continued to The Downs (2 of these ships were French, possibly Monselet and Senneville, which are both listed in FS 151, one of them was British).
Captain Tjørve became the first Nortraship captain to die when Bravore struck a mine about 4 naut. miles off Ramsgate that day (this message on my Ship Forum says it was an aereal mine laid by 9th F.D.).
They had procceeded up to the buoy outside Ramsgate and were waiting for further orders from the "order-boat" when a tremendous explosion occurred, probably on the port side near No. 2 hatch forward of the bridge, causing all the hatches on the after deck to fly into the air. Eye witnesses stated that the ship was lifted high, then went down in 15-20 Seconds.
On the bridge were the captain, the 2nd mate, the helmsman (Ordinary Seaman Gunnersen) and 4 French soldiers. Deckboy Ryan was on the forecastle and Able Seaman Ellingsen was at work aft. Out of this group only the 2nd mate survived. He was in an open area on the starboard side when the explosion occurred and was flung through the window of the bridge side shelter and into the water about 30 meters, far enough to get clear of the suction. When he came up, only the stern and part of the bridge could be seen of the ship. He saw the captain some distance away and as the sea carried him towards him, he could see that the captain's face was covered in blood and that one of his hands had been torn off. He tried to get a hold of him from behind but had to let go because he only had a small piece of planking to hold on to and didn't have the strength to hold on. He later caught hold of a lifebuoy. He also saw one of the French guard go under, and observed a patrol boat trying to save somebody (this was probably the 1st mate). The 2nd mate was picked up by the Dutch Badzo shortly thereafter. He remained in a hospital in Ramsgate until May 14, having broken 4 ribs and injured 2 vertebrae in his back, in addition to other injuries caused by flying through the glass.
The first engineer and the cook, who had been in their cabins, had managed to get out. The first engineer had been asleep, but had a rude awakening when he was flung up to the ceiling of his cabin. When he opened the door, he encountered steam coming from the engine room, but kept his arm in front of his face and ran aft to the poop, where he waited with the cook until they were both picked up.
The cook had gone straight into the water when he opened the door of his cabin, and was carried by the sea towards aft, past the engine room door, as S/S ”Bravore” was sinking by the bow, got one leg over the rail and was thrown down on the after deck by the suction, got up into the rigging on the after mast, then slid down the derrick hoist to the poop (the water was so shallow that the poop remained above water after the ship had sunk). A small motorboat from shore later rescued them both and took them to Deal.
The 1st mate and a French soldier were asleep in a cabin on the lower bridge, but somehow managed to get out, although the cabin was completely destroyed. When the 1st mate came to the surface, all he could see of the ship was part of the funnel. After half an hour he too was picked up by Badzo, as was the French soldier who had come across one of the lifeboats that had previously been on deck. They were both given first aid, and were later taken to a hospital in Ramsgate.
A visitor to my website has told me that "Shipwreck Index of the British Isles" gives the position as 1 mile south of Gull Stream Buoy, Goodwin Sands, mine laid by U-boat. However, according to the message on my Ship Forum, posted by Roger W. Jordan, it appears S/S ”Bravore” had struck a mine that had been laid by aircraft of the 9th Fliegerdivision.
S/S ”Bravore” was one of three ships (the others were British) sunk on mines laid by the 9th F.D. The minefield in which S/S ”Bravore” sank consisted of a total of 26 mines. The position of sinking was 51 18 38N 01 30 54E.
Mr. Jordan adds: "I do not have the identity of all three ships that sank on these mines, but one of the two British ships was Rydal Force (note that this ship is also listed in Convoy FS 151), which struck about 370 metres south of Gull Buoy. This would be about 0.75 miles north of the position in which Bravore struck". In fact, the 2nd mate says that while he was in the hospital he spoke to some survivors of a British ship that had been at anchor in the Downs when Bravore struck the mine. This ship had struck a mine the following day.
From the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, dated April 29-1940: "The Farsund ship S/S ”Bravore”'s loss – 1st mate and 2nd mate, 1st engineer and the cook rescued. As announced earlier the Farsund ship D/S ”Bravore”, 2300 tons, has been lost in the North Sea, probably after striking a mine. The news of the accident was reported through the radio on Apr. 23, while the shipping company, Stray & Sønn, Farsund has no further information on the incident. A later radio report announced that the following 4 were rescued: 1st Mate Arnfinn Bentsen, Herad - 2nd Mate Leonard M. Aasheim, Haus, Nordhordland - 1st Engineer Fr. Thoresen, Oslo and Cook Reidar Vistung,
Oslo. Christiansands Tidende (another newspaper) has received a crew list from the shipping firm, but the company warns that there may have been changes to this list, due to the signing on/paying off of crew members abroad. The last contact the shipping company had with D/S ”Bravore” was a letter from Captain Tjørve at the beginning of March."
Våre Falne skriver s. 619 Tredje bok:
Pedersen, Otto Emil, skipsfører, Lista. Født 01 desember 1898 i Lista, sønn av Tønnes Peder Olsen, f. 1862 i Lista død 1943 og Emilie Sofie f. Emanuelsen, f. 1855 i Lista, død 1928. Var fører på D/S ”Bravore”, og omkom da skipet ble minesprengt i Den engelske kanal, 22 april 1940, på vei til Rouen.MERKNAD: Krigsseilerregisteret benytter TJØRVE som etternavn mens både Minnehallen i Stavern og Våre Falne benytter PEDERSEN.
Kilder: Krigsseilerregisteret, Minnehallen i Stavern og Våre Falne, www.warsailors.com, Rapport fra de overlevende og Referat fra sjøforklaringen
Registernummer London: 1753