Doofus Of The Day #877

Today’s award goes to the pilot and/or captain and/or helmsman of the Olga M, a small freighter that recently found herself in the Euripus Strait between the Greek islands of Boeotia and Euboea in the Aegean Sea.  There’s a historic bridge across the strait in the town of Chalcis, of which Wikipedia says:

The “Old” or “Low” or “Sliding” Bridge lies across midtown, and can slide away to allow shipping traffic. It is located at the narrowest point of the strait, where it is only 38 m (125 ft) wide. It accommodates two lanes of vehicular traffic. It was originally built as a retractable bridge in 1858, replaced by a rotating one in 1896. The existing, originally wooden bridge was built in 1962 and was extensively refurbished in 1998.

The hazards of that narrow passage were shown to full effect when the Olga M tried (and failed) to pass through it.  The strong tidal current through the gap may have played a role, but even so, the ship is clearly way off course as it lines up to pass through . . . with inevitable results.

It’s a good thing the Olga M is a small ship of only about a thousand tons. If it had been larger, the damage might have been much worse. Even so, it looks like the bridge (or at least its abutment) may need refurbishing again . . . not to mention the ship!

(A tip o’ the hat to gCaptain, where I found the video.)



  1. Pretty little ship… first thing that comes to mind is the EU's policies of overlooking cooked books for pilotage, inebriation and work/rest regs.

  2. 40+ years ago (can it be that long ago?) when I was part of the bridge crew on a US Navy destroyer sailing around those waters, there were many such narrows, and various obstructions to shipping traffic. That tin can only drew 2 fathoms, so we could slide into certain small ports where other, newer warships couldn't go. Come to think of it, that might have contributed to the perception of tight quarters from which other ships stayed away.

    Pretty sure that collision left a few marks, though.

  3. I was going to write to one of my Greek friends and ask for the translation of "That'll buff right out."

  4. Apparently, there are changing and unpredictable currents that are most significant right there. But from the looks of it, the pilot was lining up to use the bow cushion off the abutment but got to close to the bank and the stern suction negated the rudder. It does seem that after going through the cut the set was onto the near bank.

    The tankers do something similar with the "Texas Chicken" needed to pass in the Houston ship channel.

  5. When you are heading for the pier and the Chief Engineer drops into Main Engine Control yelling for more astern steam, I can bet it was kind of interesting to be on the bridge.

    I was serving on the same class of cans that Rev. Paul served on.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *