Past and PresentRegie voor Maritiem Transport (RMT)

MV Ijzer – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5158498

MV Ijzer

Courtesy of Adriën Barbé

Courtesy of Adriën Barbé

Steel motor vessel built by Beliard, Creighton & Co. at Ostend in 1954,(Yard No 139) as a freight/cargo vessel for Ministerie van Verkeerswezen .

Technical Data

  • Length: 48.91m (overall)(1954), 66.91m (1973)/61.9m (1973) (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth: 12.07 m (extreme)(1954), 12.07m(1973)
  • Depth: 3.89m
  • Draught: 3.96m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 1,171 gross , 1,179 (1974)/736 net, 622 (1967), 615 (1974)/457 deadweight, 400 (1967), 521 (1974)
  • Engines: One x 8-cylinder, Soc, D’Electricite & De Mec diesel
  • Power: 1306kW (1750 bhp)
  • Speed: 15 knots
  • Call Sign: ORAO, ONIJ
  • IMO Number: 5158498
  • Registry: Ostend/Belgium 🇧🇪, Antwerp/Belgium 🇧🇪, Cyprus 🇨🇾, United Kingdom 🇬🇧


July 20th 1951: Ordered.

March 19th 1953: Launched.

June 10th 1954: Delivered to Bestuur van het Zeewezen, Ministerie van Communicatie, Oostende, Belgium (Directory of Inland Waterways, Ministry of Communications),  (Management Regie voor Maritiem Transport, Oostende, Belgium).

Courtesy of M Meyer Courtesy of M Meyer Courtesy of M Meyer

Courtesy of M Meyer

“A unique vessel for the line (Dover – Ostend) was brought into service during 1954.…. should the need ever arise, her huge bunker space allowed her to sail directly to the Belgian Congo – supposedly with Belgium’s gold reserves and national treasures. Her interior furnishings were completed to a very high order, the ship herself carrying a variety of cargo ranging from import and export cars and latterly containers. At Dover she normally occupied berth 4 on the Admiralty Pier (later the site of the vehicle ferry link span) during her twice weekly service between June and September……..”

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (both)

© Ted Ingham © Ted Ingham

© Ted Ingham (both)

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

1966 – 1967: Served briefly as a training ship for the Captains of the Belgian State ferries.

Courtesy of Julien Tahon
Courtesy of Julien Tahon

1972: With the increase in roll-on roll-off traffic, her services became superfluous. Sold to N.V. Fadimal, Ostend, Belgium.

© Adriën Barbé

© Adriën Barbé (Early 1973. “Accompanied by the tugs “SEAGULL” (smallest) and “SEETIGER”. 

1973: Converted to transport livestock and was introduced between Yugoslavia and Beirut.

1978: Lengthened by 18m at Terneuzensche Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (TSM), Terneuzen, Holland together with NV Scheepswerven van Langerbrugge, Langerbrugge, Belgium, then sold to an unknown company in Lebanon and registered in Cyprus.

© Fotoflite

© Fotoflite


© Urbain Ureel (Ostend, 20/05/1978)

© Fotoflite  © Michael Woodland

© Fotoflite (Left) 🆕 © Michael Woodland (Right)

August 1985: Sold to Indian Summer Shipping, Ltd (Management Proba Shipping, Ltd) Georgetown, Caymen Island.

1988: Sold to G. Kerkhof, Faandam Holland for breaking.

September 22nd 1988: She arrived in Gent, Belgium and then went on to Zaandam in Holland

September 23rd 1988: Arrived at Zaandam.

November 1988: Broken up.

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: Fotoflite, Ted Ingham, A G Jones, Nicolas Levy, Julien Tahon, Urbain Ureel and Andreas Wörteler and for their assistance in producing this feature.

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


  1. De “IJZER” was built for the “Ministerie van verkeerswezen” Belgian gouvernement
    The “RMT” Regie voor Maritiem Transport was erected on the 01-jujy 1971.
    The RMT was also part of the Belgian gouvernement but got a different financial structure

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