Launched from the Helsingors Shipyard in Elsinore in 1890 the steel steamship Nordvest measured 260.0′ x 36.0′ x 16.7′ and weighed 1756 gross tons, 1104 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Helsingors delivering 175 net horse power. She had been ordered by Norden D/S of Copenhagen and operated for them until 1913. That year she was purchased by Nord-Osterso A/S also of Copenhagen and renamed Frederica. Towards the end of World War One she was purchased by her final owners, I/S Aarhus Oliefabrik (V Muller) Copenhagen, renamed Odense, and continued her operations crossing the North Sea in defiance of the German U-boats operating there.
On 5th May 1917 she was off St Abbs Head, en route from Bathurst to Aarhus with a cargo of ground nuts under the command of Captain Poulsen when she was attacked by the German U-boat UC-77 under the command of recently promoted Kapitanleutnant Reinhard von Rabenau. The U-boats initial attack by torpedo failed as the shot passed the ship without a direct hit but, when the submarine surfaced and fired warning shots at the Odense, the skipper was left with no choice and ordered his crew into the ship’s boats leaving the Odense to be shelled by the U boat crew killing two of the crew as they tried to leave the ship. A number of direct hits left the Odense in a sinking condition but, before they could finish off the ship, a British aircraft approached the scene forcing the German submarine to dive and speed away.
The Odense did not sink but drifted ashore in Broadhaven Bay and it was hoped she could be salvaged and repaired. For a number of months salvage teams worked to repair her damaged hull and prepare her for refloating. In a final stroke of bad luck, on 2nd October, the very day she was due to be refloated, a violent storm hit the Scottish east coast and damaged the Odense so badly that she was declared a constructive total loss.
The remaining wreckage of the Odense, which was know locally as the ‘Peanut Wreck’ lies in position 55° 54.931’N, 002° 09.343’W scattered in depths of 5 – 12 metres. The two large boilers are the most recognisable features.