© Ken LarwoodTS Sarnia – Past and Present

TS Saudi Golden Star

ex Golden Star, Aquamart, Sarnia

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw turbine steamer, built and engined by J. Samuel White & Co. Ltd., Cowes (Yard No.2009) in 1960 for the British Transport Commission’s Weymouth-Channel Islands passenger service.

Technical Data

  • Cost New: £1,500,000
  • Length: 98.15m (321.75 ft) (overall)
  • Breadth of Hull: 16m (52.7 ft) (extreme)
  • Draught: 4.2m (13.75 ft) (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,174 gross (1960), 3,989 (1969), 2,271 net (1960), 2,072 (1969), 580 deadweight (1960), 575 (1969)
  • Engines: Two Samuel White double reduction gearing steam turbines
  • Power: 6,620 kW
  • Speed: 20 knots
  • Capacity: 1,400 passengers (1960), 800 (after rebuild)
  • Call Sign: GHNF (1960 – 1978), HZPF (Saudi Golden Star)
  • IMO Number:5314236 Official Number: 302186
  • Registry: Weymouth ( 1960 – 1978), Jeddah/Saudi Arabia
  • Sister Vessel: Caesarea

History

June 6th 1960: Launched

Matt Murtland Collection

Matt Murtland Collection

June 1961: Delivered to British Transport Commission, Southern Region, London, England.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

June 13th 1961: Exhibition trip from Weymouth to Channel Islands.

Nigel Thornton Collection

Nigel Thornton Collection

June 17th 1961: Commenced service from Weymouth to Channel Islands.


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 (all)


December 9th 1961: Collided with the quayside in St Peter Port cutting a large hole in the hull, on the starboard sde

April 12th 1962 – April 17th 1962: Operated from Folkestone.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

April 1962: Operated between Weymouth – Channel Islands.

November 19th 1962 – January 30th 1963: Operated between Dover – Calais.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

January 1st 1963: British Railways Board succeeded British Transport Commission.

February 1963: Commenced service between Weymouth – Channel Islands.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood

1964: Vessels painted in the new livery of British Railways, (blue hull and red funnels) and the “Double – Arrow”

1967 (Easter): For a short time operated from Folkestone.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

November 1969: It was announced that British Rail’s Shipping and International Services Division (S.I.S.D.) had adopted the new brand name Sealink and as a consequence all vessels would be painted in the new house colours.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (both)

1971 (early): Had internal improvements made including extra seating, some of which was put forward on the boat deck.

1973: Sealink trading name painted on hulls

 © David Ingham

 © David Ingham

April 29th 1975 – May 15th 1975: Off service with engine trouble.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

September 10th 1977: Final day operating between Weymouth and Channel Islands.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (both)

May 1978: Sold to Supersave Supermarkets (Midland) Ltd, England. Renamed AQUAMART.

Thanks to www.caesarea-sarnia.co.uk  © Bob Scott

Thanks to www.caesarea-sarnia.co.uk (left) © Bob Scott (right)

May 24th 1978: Left the Dorset port for Immingham where she underwent dry-docking before moving to Grimsby’s Alexandra Dock for conversion and extensive refit. Her master was Capt. Bernard Hodges, formerly with the Townsend-Thoresen fleet at Dover. The ship began service in her new role of excursion ship-come-duty-free shop in mid-July operating out of Ostend and Dunkirk. But after the initial voyages, when serious problems were encountered owing to the non-cooperation of the Belgian tax authorities and unions, the ship had to be withdrawn and her future is now uncertain. With just 800 passengers on board, she should have operated four trips each day between Dunkirk and Ostend at £5 for the return trip. Capt. Hodges, aged 36, formed the Coastal Cruise Line and was promptly sacked by T.T.F. for forming a rival company. Following proceedings at the Industrial Tribunal, Capt, Hodges won his case against his former employers for unfair dismissal. Was due to have started in June perhaps using Deal as a British base but as can be seen, the original scheme has been somewhat modified.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Grimsby 18/07/1978)

July 24th 1978: Introduced by Channel Cruise Lines Ltd., Guernsey for cruising between Ostend – Dunkerque.

August 4th 1978: Ceased sailings and arrived in London’s West India Dock for lay-up. Her crew was paid off and no further plans have been announced.

December 1978: Sold to Grecian Fertility Inc, Greece.

January 20th 1979: Towed from London to Piraeus, Greece. Renamed GOLDEN STAR.

September 24th 1981: Towed from Piraeus to Jeddah.

1981: Sold to Hitta Establishment, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Renamed SAUDI GOLDEN STAR.

1981: Operated between Port Said – Aqaba – Jeddah.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

February 1987: Laid up at Gadani Beach, Pakistan.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection


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: A G Jones, Ted Ingham, Ken Larwood, Matt Murtland, Bob Scott and www.caesarea-sarnia.co.uk for their assistance in compiling this feature.

Special thanks to Terry Conybeare

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


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