Captain Brian O'Brien Atlantic Conveyor etc

20th August 2014, 13:56
I am seeking information on Captain Brian O'Brien (pronounced O'Brian) who died I believe at sea Dec 1981. He was Captain of the Atlantic Causeway and Conveyor retiring in 1976? He may have perished in the Bay of Biscay during a horrific storm possibly near New Year's Eve. Was he delivering china clay to Italy on board a ship (the Mark?)? I am very interested in the circumstances of his death and anecdotes of his life; are there any photographs of him? Did he have any relatives?
My friend, now in her eighties, corresponded with him regularly from 1963 until Dec 1981 and met him on the Conveyor in 1973. In Dec 1981 he promised to be in touch when he returned from Italy. She had always believed he died on Dec 19th when the "Union Star" and the Penlee lifeboat "Solomon Browne" crews perished off Cornwall. My research of this sad event confirms that he was not one of either crew.
Can you help fill the gaps.

20th August 2014, 17:16
On behalf of the 'SN Moderating Team', welcome aboard Davidaart.

Hopefully, someone will be able to help with the information you are seeking. Good luck (Thumb)

Nova Scotian
20th August 2014, 21:11
I sailed under Captain O'Brien on the Atlantic Conveyor, as 2/O in 1972 and 1973. He was relief master during this period and was in command when I left the vessel in Liverpool in August, 1973.

He was a very colourful character and well known throughout the Cunard fleet. I am sure many of the SN membership will be able to provide you with a lot of anecdotes and information regarding him. I believe that a thread was started about him on this forum about four years ago.

21st August 2014, 15:30
Mentioned here :


21st August 2014, 22:48
Can't seem to find any details of the incident on line. He is mentioned in a Seabreezes article here:


22nd August 2014, 10:04
IIRC there was an article in "The Sunday Express" about the loss of the ship he was sailing on at that time - seems he had reached retirement age with Cunard and they were unwilling for him to extend so he took employment with a manning agency and was lost in the same storm as the Union Star / Solomon Browne disaster. It's some time ago now but I think Captain Cheek mentioned the loss in one of his articles on bulker losses.

22nd August 2014, 13:03

Also on behalf of the SN Moderators, a warm welcome aboard from Florida!
You will thoroughly enjoy your time on SN and get many happy hours entertainment from your membership.

Captain O'Brien crops up a few times in our threads. Some examples can be found here ( and here ( Finally, as previously pointed out by beedeesea, sparkie2182 has recollection of the circumstances of his loss in post #4 in this ( thread. (Thumb)

Derek Roger
22nd August 2014, 14:40
I sailed with Brian in 171 on Brocklebanks Maihar . You can see a photograph of both of us in my gallery. Derek

23rd August 2014, 11:16
Greetings David and welcome to SN. Bon voyage.