Thor of Valhalla

In 2018, OSC purchased a new ship, named Thor of Valhalla. Here is the story of how she travelled from Norway to the UK and the adventures she had on the way.

Thor started her life as Svein Magne in Norway. She was built at Brodrene Aa Eikefjord marine AS in 1988 by a company called Vaaga Ambulance Service in the Lofoten Islands, by a marine engineer named Ola Lilloe Olsen.

Thor has undergone several modifications since first constructed. She was originally 22 metres long and had two Detroit 16V92 diesel engines. Her top speed was an astonishing 44 Knots and she was one of the fastest ambulance boats in Kabelvag. In fact, to place this into perspective, today’s lifeboats travel at speeds of around 25-34 knots.

Svein Magne in winter storms, Norway. Source: Frank Iversen.

She was then bought by a company based south of Bergen and was sent to Namibia for her next job. For this, she had to be changed slightly, as her fuel capacity needed to be increased. Consequently, in 1993 she was lengthened by 2 m at her stern. This was in preparation for her to participate in theNorth American Aerospace Defence (NORAD) Command project in Namibia, where she was used as a training vessel for the coast guard. During this part of her life, her name was Gurto Cuana Vale.

In 1999 she returned to Norway, where she was renamed Riko. She remained laid-up until her next job in 2002, when she was bought by Boskalis in Westminster, UK. In preparation for the next stage of her life, another 2 metres was added to her midsection, so she was rebuilt partially back at her birthplace Eikefjord AS marine.

She was then renamed SMIT Tamar, and transferred to Holyhead in Wales, where she was used initially as a fast patrol boat, and a Royal Air Force (RAF) training boat, alongside the SMIT Don.

In 2018, she transferred ownership to her final home with us at Ocean Science Consulting, and she was renamed by the Director’s daughter, Thor of Valhalla, in keeping with one of the Director’s Danish lineage. Here at OSC she will be used primarily as a research vessel. Currently, she is being kept at Liverpool Docks, where she will undergo a complete refurbishment.

Thor of Valhalla at Canning half tide dock in Liverpool in August 2018. Source: OSC (2018).
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