MV Ant I
ex Stena Pioneer, European Pioneer, Bison
Bison – © Brian Fisher (Birkenhead, Dec 1983)
Steel twin screw motor vessel built in 1975 by J.J. Sietas KG Schiffswerft G.m.b.H. & Co, Hamburg (Yard No 755) as a Passenger/RoRo Cargo Ship
- Length: 125 – 140.81m (overall) 111.99 – 128.81 m (between perpendiculars)
- Breadth: 19.05 m
- Depth: – 11.99 m
- Draught: 3.785 – 4.7 m
- Tonnage: 3453 –4377 – 4259 -14387 gross/1103 – 1695 – 4316 net/5805 – 4170 – 7078t deadweight
- Engines: 2 x 4SA -12 cylinder Klöckner-Humboldt-Deutz 12M540 diesels.
- Power: 8827 kW/11990 bHP
- Speed: 18.5 knots
- Capacity: 12 – 76 – 60 passengers, 93 – 110 vehicles
- Call Sign: GUNH, ZCBJ8, ERMU
- IMO Number: 7361570
- Official Number: 363569 (Bison)
- Port of Registry: London/UK, Hamilton/Bermuda, Giurgiulesti/Moldova
- Sister Ships: Buffalo, Union Melbourne
October 31st 1974: Launched
Bison – Trials
January 24th 1974: Delivered to Stena Ab, Göteborg.
January 24th 1975: Delivered as Bison for The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company Ltd (P&O Short Sea Shipping, managers). Commenced service for P&O Pandoro Irish Sea Service.
Bison – © John Clarkson
Bison – © John Clarkson (Left) and Courtesy of Trevor Kidd (Right)
Bison – Courtesy of Trevor Kidd
October 8th 1975: Registered to Hain Nourse Ltd (Belfast Steamship Co Ltd) London, England (P&O Group) (already stretched before being acquired by P&O).
Bison – © Fotoflite (1975) (Left) and Courtesy of Trevor Kidd (© Clive Jackson) (Right)
🆕 Bison – © Paul T (Liverpool, early 80’s)
1975: Commenced service between Fleetwood – Larne.
March 7th 1978: Registered to P&O Ferries Ltd, London, England.
March 1981: “Lengthened by Tyne Shiprepairers Ltd to match the capacity of PUMA by providing additional deck-houses for the extra drivers now carried. An additional bow thruster was also installed. Re-classified as a passenger ferry.”.
December 31st 1984: Registered to POETS Fleet Management Ltd, London, England. Commenced services between Fleetwood – Larne.
Bison – © Aubrey Dale (16/08/1986) and © Robbie Cox Berth 26 North wall Dublin (25/12/88)
November 1988: Bare-boat chartered to B&I Line, Dublin, Ireland. Commenced service between Dublin – Liverpool.
Chantry Classic Postcard, © Gordon Hislip
Bison – © Aubrey Dale (Left) and © Robbie Cox (Right)
July 29th 1990: Dry docked in Dublin to repair reported rudder damage.
December 1st 1990: Ownership transferred from POETS Fleet Management Ltd to Pandoro Ltd.
October 1st 1991: Lengthened.
1993: Completed charter to B&I Line.
June 21st 1994: Re-measured.
July 21st 1994: Widened by Coastline Industries Ltd, Birkenhead. Redelivered after refit with a breadth of 21.00m (68.9ft) and a capacity of 98 x 12 metre units.
© Aubrey Dale (All, 1990’s)
July 1995: Rebuilt at Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, England with an extra trailer deck.
November 5th 1996: Struck a submerged object when entering Fleetwood, a diver’s inspection showing damage to one screw.
November 7th 1996: Left Fleetwood on one engine escorted by tug Collingwood to dry dock in Liverpool for repairs.
© Aubrey Dale (27/08/1995)
August 4th 1995: Commenced service between Fleetwood – Larne.
March 2nd 1997: Registered to P&O Ship Management, Hamilton, Bermuda.
January 1998: Renamed EUROPEAN PIONEER. Commenced service for P&O European Ferries Irish Sea between Fleetwood – Larne.
December 1st 2000: Whilst departing Fleetwood, in force 4 -5 winds, went aground in the Fleetwood Channel. There were 187 people on board. The vessel sustained no damage and was re-floated. MAIB Report
20th April 2004: Sold to Stena Ropax Ltd (Stena Line Ltd, managers) registered at Hamilton, Bermuda.
April 25th 2004: Renamed STENA PIONEER.
© Trevor Kidd (19/06/2004)
August 27th 2004: “Larne harbour area; Switchboard fire caused by mechanical breakdown within a generator breaker.”.
November 12th 2007: Stranded, for five hours, on a sandbank in the river Wyre. Re-floated with damage.
© Alan Geddes (Belfast, 30/06/2009)
Stena Pioneer at Belfast fresh from dry-docking (06/03/10) © Gordon Hislip
March 23rd 2010: “Departed her berth in Fleetwood for an overnight crossing to Larne. Early in to the passage, the vessel turned wide, left the deepwater channel and grounded on a bank of sand and mud. The vessel met with superficial damage to paintwork and refloated without assistance approximately 45 minutes later, proceeding to Larne without further incident.”
© Simonwp (Larne, 01/08/2010)
© Dave Rimmer
November 27th 2010: En-route to Fleetwood, suffered an engine room fire which was quickly extinguished and she was able to complete her journey.
December 23rd 2010: Final day in service Larne – Fleetwood.
December 2010: Laid up at Harland & Wolff repair Quay, Belfast.
© Aubrey Dale
May 2011: Sold to Anship LLC, Moscow, Russia.
June 2011: Renamed ANT-1.
June 18th 2011: Left Belfast for Sevastopol.
© Evgeniy – Sevastopol, 27/07/2011 (left) and 21/09/2011 (Right)
September 2011: Registered owner; Selket Ventures Inc,Moscow..
2012: Services Zonguldak – Kavkaz.
February 2014: Arrived Aliaga, Turkey for scrapping.
February 13th 2014: Beached and scrapping commenced.
© Selim San
All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Aubrey Dale, Brian Fisher, Gordon Hislip, Alan Geddes, Trevor Kidd, Dave Rimmer, Robbie Cox, Selim San, Simonwp, Paul T, Andreas Wörteler and Evgeniy for their assistance in producing this feature.