ON THE WATERFRONT: Whatever happened to those Danish ferries - Part Two
This week, we look at the destiny of more Danish ferries built by North East Shipbuilders Ltd in the 1980s, many of which lay idle in the Wear for months.
Superflex Foxtrot was launched at Southwick on January 22, 1988 for VR Nyborg – Korsør. Renamed Pantokrator in 1994, she was purchased by Megalohari Hellenic Tugboats Salvage and Towage of Greece. Afterwards, she was rebuilt as a traditional ferry at Kynossoura shipyards, Salamina Island. Her original thruster units were replaced by MAN diesel engines with bow and stern sections being reconstructed. In 2014, she was acquired by Indonesian operator PR Panca Merak Samudera, for which she is still in service.
Superflex Golf, floated out from Pallion yard on February 2, 1988 was another member of the Danish VR Nyborg - Korsør fleet but since 1994 has sailed under the flags of Spain, Italy, Italy, Cyprus, Russia and Greece. During this time, her names were changed to Antonio Machado, Razzoli, Reggio, Dorieus and Olympiada. She reverted to Dorieus last year and is now owned by Agatharchos Maritime of Greece, serving the Island of Corfu.
Superflex Hotel went down the ways at Southwick on April 14, 1988 for VR Nyborg – Korsør ApS. In 1993, she was renamed Freja Scarlett and sold to Islena de Navegacion of Spain in 1995, with which she took the name Miguel Hernandez.
Purchased by Italian interests in 2003, she became Budelli until being renamed Mongibello in 2011. She took her current name of Ionas in 2012 and has since sailed under Cypriot and Greek flags with various owners. She is still in service, most recently sailing between Perama and Corfu.
Superflex India floated out at Pallion on April 20, 1988, was not commissioned until 1990 under Chinese ownership, flying the Danish flag and registered as Mercandia V.
She was resold in 1995, still with Chinese owners and was renamed DVD No IV, being registered in St Vincent and the Grenadines. In 2008, she became Rosmala on sale to Indonesian owners Bangun Putra Remaja.
Superflex Juliet, launched on July 1, 1988 at Southwick entered service as Mercandia VI and followed similar ownership and registration to that of Superflex India.
Subsequent name changes to DVD No 1, Yong Lian and Laut Teduh 5 preceded her final name of Victorious 5 under which she sailed for Indonesian owners. On December 20, 2015, she collided with the 2,621 gross tons oil products tanker Mangun Jaya/Pertamina 33 off the Indonesian coast. Both vessels were anchored, sheltering from heavy weather, when they came together and were driven ashore.
Although the tanker was refloated, Victorious 5 became a total loss.
To be concluded....