MV Empire Shearwater
ex LST 3033
A former twin screw LST (Landing Ship Tank), the hull was built by William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd, Sunderland (Yard Number 275) in 1945, and engined by George Clarke (1938) Ltd, also of Sunderland
- Length on deck: 105.4m (347.5m)(overall), 100.6m (330ft) (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth of hull: 16.5m (54.1ft) (extreme)
- Draught: 3.2m (10.5ft) (summer)
- Tonnage: 4,285 gross, 2,296 net, 4,820 deadweight
- Engines: Eight 8-cylinder Clarke triple-expansion reciprocating type
- Power: 5500 ihp
- Speed: 13 knots (10 knots cruising)
- Capacity: 68-80 commercial lorries
- Complement: 115 officers and ratings
- Could carry: 10 tanks plus 15 vehicles
- ID Number: 6121613
- Registry: London
- Military load: 168 troops, seven LCMs, eighteen 40 ton tanks and twenty seven trucks. All cargoes could be discharged through the bow door mechanism which was fitted with a 23 feet by 14 feet ramp.
- Inside was a second ramp (50 feet by 11 feet) connecting the enclosed tank deck to the open upper deck.
- The tank deck was 204 feet 6 inches long and 28 feet to 29 feet 6 inches wide.
February 11th 1945: Launched as one of nineteen tank landing ships owned by the Ministry of Transport and managed on their behalf by the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company Ltd.
July 19th 1945: Completed as LST 3033.
1949 – 1951: Anti-Aircraft firing ship.
Roy Thornton Collection
1956: Named EMPIRE SHEARWATER when she was recalled to service as a mercantile, being transferred into the MOD (Army) during the Suez crisis as a military transport ferry (having previously been cocooned in the River Clyde). Operated by the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company on behalf of the Ministry of Transport.
1958: Management transferred to European Ferries Ltd (Townsend Bros Ferries Ltd) and modified as a roll-on roll-off motor ship with bow doors, the intention being to use her for a cut-rate Dover-Calais service (in competition with an existing transport ferry service between Tilbury and Antwerp) operating from a newly-built ramp at the root of the Eastern Arm in Dover’s Eastern Docks.
January 12th 1959: Eventually arrived at Dover from Greenock.
January 19th 1959: First commercial sailing to Calais.
June 1959: Withdrawn; the vessel thereafter being returned to her former owners.
Roy Thornton Collection (all)
June 1959: The service was closed and the ship was sent to the Medway to lay-up.
1961 – 1962: She was managed by the British India Steam Navigation Company.
November 28th 1962: Broken up at Terneuzen, Ghent.
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