Policing the wreck

Athina B aground on Brighton beach
Photo by Tom O'Connor

I was a Police Officer in Brighton in 1980 when the Athina B ran aground. I often carried a camera with me in the police car and took a number of photos of the scene.

Embedded on the beach
The picture shows the stricken vessel firmly embedded on the beach, watched by a crowd of onlookers. The crane to the left of the picture was used to remove the cargo of pumice and the crew’s possessions.

Thousands of sightseers
The site was visited by thousands of people both day and night. Along with many other officers I spent some time guarding the vessel from souvenir hunters and prospective looters.

My name is Tom O’Connor, originally from Ireland. I was a Police Officer in Brighton for 20 years. I am retired now and still live in Brighton.”

Comments about this page

  • I now live in New Zealand but I remember going to work and seeing this amazing site the morning it happened. I remember it like yesterday. Thanks for the memory!

    By Phil Beard (10/01/2003)
  • I have a photograph of a policeman standing guard over the wreck. And yet they managed to steal the compass! Memories have recently been revived for me. I live in New South Wales and, in a replay of the Athina B, a coal freighter has recently been washed onto a beach in Newcastle by a storm.

    By Robert Klein (22/06/2007)
  • I was a Brighton cop at the time. I came out of the Palace Pier Police box early hours having had a ‘break’, only to see the ship on the beach. Thought it was a bad dream. Re comment above from Tom O’Connor – I had many a happy time working with Tom. I now live in NZ. If you read this Tom, all the very best.

    By Gerry Hay (05/09/2012)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.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