© Brian FisherMV Free Enterprise V – Past and Present

MV Veronica Line

ex Tadla, Laburnum, Pride of Hythe, Free Enterprise V

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

Steel triple screw motor vessel, built by N.V. Werf “Gusto”, Schiedam, (Yard No. CO 755) for Townsend’s in 1970 as a passenger and roll-on-roll-off car and commercial vehicle ferry. Engined by Smit Kinderdijk V.O.F. 

Technical Data

  • Length: 117.50m (385.5 ft) (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 19.00m (63.7 ft) (extreme)
  • Draught: 4.39m (14.4 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 5,044 gross, 1,977 net, 1,296 deadweight
  • Engines: Three 12-cylinder Smit-MAN RBL 6612 four stroke single acting diesels
  • Power: 9,003 kW
  • Speed: 19 knots
  • Capacity: 1,132 passengers, 250 cars, or 160 cars and 22 heavy trailers
  • Number of crew: 74
  • Call Sign: GNOE (1970 – 1993), P3CW5 (2003 – ),V4ZC,
  • MMSI Number: 341657000
  • IMO Number: 7010509
  • Official Number: 334049
  • Registry: Dover (1970 – 1993), Limassol, Cyprus (1993 – ), St Kitts Nevis
  • Sister Ship: Free Enterprise VIII, Free Enterprise VII, Free Enterprise VI, Free Enterprise IV

History

January 31st 1970: Launched.

Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV  Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV

Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV  Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV

Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV  Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV

Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV  Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV

Gemeentearchief Schiedam / IHC Gusto BV


May 1970: Delivered to Townsend Car Ferries Ltd., Dover, England.

May 31st 1970: Commenced service between Dover – Calais and Dover – Zeebrugge.

October 11th 1971 – October 13th 1971: Out of service for three days when the FREE ENTERPRISE III took her place on the Zeebrugge link.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (both)

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

20th November 1971: Blown by a force 11 gale against the submarine pens, whilst berthing at the Eastern Docks (Dover). She was out of service the next day.

1972: “Townsend Thoresen” was added in small white letters on the hulls and TTF logo appeared on funnels in pale green.

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite (left) Roy Thornton Collection (right)

December 22nd 1972: Collided with the British coaster REDTHORNE off Zeebrugge. She sailed to Antwerp for repairs when the FREE ENTERPRISE III covered for her while the FREE ENTERPRISE I was brought out of winter lay-up to deputise on the Calais link.

1974: Ships had hulls painted dark green with company name in large white letters.

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

© Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

1976: “Thoresen” orange was for all ships hulls and funnels eventually became dark green with orange TTF company logo.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

© Brian Fisher   © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection

© Brian Fisher (left) © Fotoflite, Roy Thornton Collection (right)

© Ken Larwood  © Simonwp

© Ken Larwood (left)  © Simonwp

1982 (early part): Laid up in King George V Dock in London.

1982: Ran freight sailings Southampton – Le Havre.

May 20th 1982: Commenced service between Portsmouth – Cherbourg.

Simplon Postcard

Simplon Postcard

September 1982: Freight sailings from Southampton.

May 19th 1983: Introduced for the summer between Portsmouth – Cherbourg

© Brian Fisher  © Fotoflite

© Brian Fisher (left) © Fotoflite (right)

May 19th 1983: Chartered to the Poole-Cherbourg Twinning Association for a tour between Poole – Cherbourg.

1983 (Late): Returned to Dover to cover freight sailings.

1984: A new TT logo, in white, was introduced on the funnels.

September 4th 1984: Chartered to the Poole-Cherbourg Twinning Association for a tour between Poole – Cherbourg.

1984: Final Portsmouth – Cherbourg summer season after which sailed to Dover for winter Zeebrugge relief.

March 30th 1985: Refit at Chatham.

April 9th 1985: Relief between Dover – Boulogne.

June 1985: Dover – Zeebrugge.

December 1985 – January 1986: Refit at Rotterdam.

January 11th 1986: Returned to Dover after overhaul.

January 11th 1986: Relief Dover – Boulogne

March 1986: Portsmouth – Le Havre with sailings to Cherbourg.

© Mike Sartin  © Brian Fisher

 Mike Sartin (left)  © Brian Fisher (right)

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Cherbourg 06/04/1986)

May 1986: Laid up at Southampton.

June 1986: Relief Portsmouth – Le Havre.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

July 18th 1986: Relief Dover – Boulogne.

April 9th 1987: Commenced service between Dover – Calais.

1987: Following the “HERALD” disaster, from spring onwards, pale blue funnels with P&O flag logo became the norm.

Dirk Jankowsky Collection  © Brian Fisher

Dirk Jankowsky Collection (left) © Brian Fisher (right)

© Bob Scott

© Bob Scott

June 5th 1987: Operated between Dover – Boulogne.

October 1987: There was a change to P&O European Ferries navy blue hull and funnel.

December 31st 1987: Registered for P&O European Ferries Ltd, Dover, England.

© Mike Sartin  © Ken Larwood

© Mike Sartin (left) © Ken Larwood (right)

January 1st 1988: Renamed PRIDE OF HYTHE still operating Dover – Boulogne.


Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection  Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection


January 13th 1988: Refit at Tyne and livery change.

© Nigel Thornton   © Fotoflite

© Nigel Thornton (left) © Fotoflite (right)

February 1988: Laid up at Vlissingen Scheldepoort, owing to seamen’s strike.

July 1988: Laid up on the Tyne following overhaul from Smith’s.

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley

April 1988: Offered for sale. Boulogne sailings suspended owing to NUS strike

© Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley

August 1988: Resumed Dover – Boulogne service.

© Brian Pawley   © Ken Larwood

© Brian Pawley (left) © Ken Larwood (right)

March 15th 1991: Sold to Abbey National March Leasing, London. Bareboat chartered to P&O.

March 30th 1992: After refit (which included the addition of a stern walkway) at Bremerhaven returned to Dover – Boulogne service.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Brian Pawley  © Ken Larwood

© Brian Pawley (left)  © Ken Larwood (right)

January 4th 1993: P&O European Ferries announced the closure of the Dover-Boulogne route. Vessel sent to Tilbury for lay up and sale.

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley

© Brian Pawley  © Brian Pawley

Laid up pending sale in Tilbury with the Pride of Canterbury © Brian Pawley

April 1993: Sold to Charterhall Shipping, Limassol, Cyprus (a subsidiary of TransEuropa Shipping Lines). Renamed LABURNUM. Sailed to Dunkerque for remedial work

© Ton Grootenboer

© Ton Grootenboer

1993: Commenced service between Trieste – Koper – Durres – Brindisi/Bari.

1996: Chartered to Prekookeanska Plovidba, Montenegro. Introduced between Bar – Bari.

© Frank Heine

© Frank Heine

1997: Sold to Prekookeanska Plovidba, Bar, Montenegro. Introduced between Bar – Bari.

1997: Sold to Lavender Shipping Co. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus.

July 13th 2001: Adriatic service suspended, sailed for Ramsgate.

July 20th 2001: Maiden sailing for TransEuropa Ferries between Oostende – Ramsgate.

November 20th 2002: Operated her final Ramsgate – Ostend service.

© Andreas Wörteler  © Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler

© Andreas Wörteler (all)

January 9th 2003: Arrived at Vlissingen for refit (fitted with flood doors for SOLAS regulations).

January 16th 2003: Departed Vlissingen for Italy.

January 2003: Chartered to Comanav (Compagnie Marocaine de Navigation).

January 22nd 2003: Arrived at Genoa.

January 24th 2003: Commenced service between Genoa – Tangier.

2003: Renamed TADLA.

© Benoit Donne

© Benoit Donne

July 17th 2003: Detained in Genoa, following safety inspection. (27 deficiencies).

December 12th 2003: Further detention authorised (4 deficiencies)

June 26th 2004 – October 2nd 2004: Operated between Naples – Nador.

January 2005: Charter completed. Laid up in Genoa.

February 2005: For sale, “offers”

July 18th 2006: Sailed for Ferrimaroc on the Almeria-Nador route.

© Mike Barker

 (Almeria 25/07/2006) © Mike Barker

August 1st 2006: Detained in Genoa following safety inspection. (13 deficiencies)

© Enrico Righetti

© Enrico Righetti

August 1st 2006: Detained in Genoa following safety inspection. (13 deficiencies)

April 2007: Remains laid-up in Genoa. Reportedly sold to “undisclosed interest” and renamed VERONICA LINE

May 3rd 2007: Left Genoa for Otranto, Italy.

August 17th 2007: Further detention authorised

May 9th 2007: Further detention (48 deficiencies)

September 21st 2007: Registered owner recorded as: Medglory Ltd, Genoa, Ship Manager: Alemar SRL

September 2007: In service from Otranto (Italy) – Durres (Albania).

© Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)

© Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry)

September 2011: Believed to be under arrest in the Port of Vlore (Albania).

2012: Broken up in Durres.

Andreas Wörteler Collection

Andreas Wörteler Collection

© Google Earth/GeoEye

© Google Earth/GeoEye 2012


All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions found. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Mike Barker, Benoit Donne, Brian Fisher, Frank Heine, Dirk Jankowsky, A G Jones, Ken Larwood, Matt Murtland (HHV Ferry), Brian Pawley, Enrico Righetti, Mike Sartin, Bob Scott, Simonwp, Google Earth/Geo Eye and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks go to the World Ship Society (East Kent Branch).

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)


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