Sally LineSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)Stena RoRo

MV Sea Runner (Ex Le Mans)- Past and Present

IMO Number: 7606645

MV Sea Runner

ex Lan Qiao, Ravel, C R Casablanca, Le Mans

 © Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Ramsgate, 1985)

Steel twin-screw motor vessel built at Dubigeon-Normandie S.A. Prairie au doc Nantes, France.(Yard No. 159) in 1978 for Walon SA & Societe Francaise de Transports Maritimes (SFTM) Nantes, France

Technical Data

  • Length: 123.33m (overall), 108.49m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 20.50m (extreme)
  • Depth: 14.23m
  • Draught: 5.901 m (maximum)
  • Tonnage: 4,156 gross/1,397-1,403 net/3,884 deadweight
  • Engines: Two MAK 12M453AK diesels
  • Power: 5,884 kW
  • Speed: 16.0 knots
  • Capacity: 12 passengers, 77 x 12.5m trailers/640 cars/285 x 20 ft containers
  • Call Sign: FNKT, C6JO3, 9HZF4
  • IMO Number: 7606645
  • Registry: Nantes/France 🇫🇷, Nassau/Bahamas 🇧🇸, Valletta/Malta 🇲🇹 


1978: Delivered to Walon SA & Societe Francaise de Transports Maritimes (SFTM) Nantes, France.

© Simonwp

🆕 © Simonwp (Niewe Waterway)

© "PWR" © "PWR"

© PWR (Manchester Ship Canal)

October 1st 1983 – November 5th 1983: Chartered to Overseas Container Service operating between Dieppe – Newhaven.

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Ramsgate, 1985)

November 20th 1984 – 1985: Chartered to Sally/CGM. Used at Ramsgate to import vehicles (“Yugos from Yugoslavia, Peugeots and Citroens from France, Talbot vans from Italy and Mahindra jeeps from India via Greece”.)

1985: Sold to Compagnie Maritime des Chargeurs Reunis, (CMCR), Le Havre, France. Renamed C R CASABLANCA. Operated between France – Morocco.

1988: Chartered to DIFT. Operated between France – England.

© Simonwp

© Simonwp (Gravesend, 01/06/1989)

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood (September 1989)(both)

© Ken Smith  © Ken Smith  

© Ken Smith (Gravesend, 06/05/1989)(both)

© John Jones

© John Jones (Tilbury, 20/06/1989)

October 1989: Chartered to SNCF. Operated between Dieppe – Newhaven.

© Gary Davies

© Gary Davies (Maritme Photographic)

1990: Sold to Sword Sea Shipping Inc, Nassau, Bahamas. Renamed RAVEL and chartered to Suardiaz.

© Ken Larwood  © Ken Larwood  

© Ken Larwood

© Ken Larwood (Ramsgate, 07/08/1991) (all)

© Capt Jan Melchers

© Capt Jan Melchers

1991: Services Ramsgate – Dunkerque.

1992: Sold to Dalian Steam Shipping Co, Dalian, China and renamed LAN QIAO.

1996: Sold to Cambridge Shipping Co, Ltd, Valletta, Malta and renamed SEA RUNNER.

2003: Chartered to Ministry of Defence.

© Tim Becker (Barcelona, July 2004)

January 2006 – March 2006: Bareboat chartered to Stena RoRo.

January 17th 2006: Commenced service between Fleetwood – Larne.

© Trevor Kidd

© Trevor Kidd  © Trevor Kidd  

© Trevor Kidd  

© Trevor Kidd (all)

January 19th 2006: “Made her first call at the port of Larne at 0515 on the 19/1/06. The ship had been chartered by Stena Line for the next few months to maintain their Larne – Fleetwood schedules during the absence of route regular Stena Seafarer which was covering fleet overhauls. Arrived at Larne light ship from berthing trials in Fleetwood at 0515 and immediately berthed at Chaine Quay with tugs Sarah McLoughlin standing by to assist. The vessel came to the Irish Sea from the Mediterranean and made her last call there Gibraltar over the 13/1/06 to 14/1/06 where a local Stena captain joined the vessel as Larne and Fleetwood pilot. After local engineering company Rea Brothers carried out some welding work to Sea Runner, the vessel shifted to Stena’s usual berth at Continental Quay to test the ramp once Stena Pioneer sailed at 1345. A number of different ramp configurations were tested before she commenced loading cargo at 1600 and sailed on her first commercial voyage to Fleetwood at 1800 with a little push off the berth from Sarah McLoughlin. Sea Runner had been pencilled in to cover Stena Seafarer’s usual sailings at 1600 ex Larne (Sun-Fri) and 0300 ex Fleetwood (Mon-Sat) although to allow for her slower speed she had been allowed 9 hours for the crossing instead of 8, calling for a 1500 departure from Larne. In view of her deeper loaded draft of 5.9m compared to Seafarer’s 4.5m there were a few unusual variations to her schedule, when low tides corresponded with her arrival and departure times at Fleetwood, than what would be the case for Seafarer being on the run.”

© Aubrey Dale

© Aubrey Dale (Larne, 22/012006)

27 January 2006:

MCA Press Release
Duty Press: 023/06
27 January 2006


“At 9.00 pm on Thursday 26th January, Port State Control Offices from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency detained the 10,669 ton Maltese flagged ro-ro vessel ‘Sea Runner’ at the port of Fleetwood.

The ‘Sea Runner’ was detained after it was involved in a pollution incident when approximately 2 cu metres of fuel oil was pumped into the River Wyre. It has subsequently been found by the attending Port State Control officer that fuel oil had been pumped overboard from a ballast tank. The ballast tank is adjacent to the fuel oil bunker tank. As such it is believed that the division between the tanks has been breached. Due to the breach between tanks the safety of the ship has been compromised. The bilge/ballast system has been contaminated with oil.

During loading operations the master of the vessel was required to discharge ballast water due to the tide. Upon noticing that the ballast water was contaminated, pumping operations were immediately suspended and the master of the vessel notified Stena Line, who in turn notified the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. The master of this vessel acted responsibly by notifying the authorities.

The vessel has been detained by the MCA until such time that the Maltese flag state authority and Bureau Veritas Classification Society confirm that the integrity of the hull has been restored and or measures put in place to allow the vessel to sail to a repair port.

The vessel is currently at a safe anchorage off Fleetwood Harbour.

Procedures have been put in place by the Fleetwood Port Authority to deal with the pollution that has entered the water, and all appropriate authorities have been notified.”

21st February 2006: Returned to service with a 0500 sailing from Fleetwood to Larne. The vessel had been withdrawn from service since the 26/1/06 after a fuel tank leaked into the vessel’s ballast system resulting in fuel oil being pumped into Fleetwood harbour. She had been laid up in Birkenhead for repairs but was moved to Rotterdam on the 9/2/06 to complete repairs to the fuel tanks, this work being carried out by Damen at their yard in Schiedam. With repairs completed, she left Rotterdam on the evening of the 17/2/06 bound for Fleetwood. She arrived off the port late on the 19/2/06 prior to coming into the berth early on the 21/2/06 to load for her first sailing to Larne after completing repairs. This voyage arrived in Larne at 1500 with help from local tug Maria McLoughlin. The Sea Runner’s revised short term schedule saw the vessel operating from Larne every second day to maximise time in port to allow full loads to be carried if needed. Previously the vessel had been loading practically all her cargo on the main deck only as the upper freight deck was only accessible by a lift and to load this deck fully would thus extend turn round times. Her return to service allowed Stena Line to continue with their dry docking programme.

March 30th 2006: Prior to her final run and her return to her owners, the vessel had earlier berthed on Larne’s Curran Quay at 0910 to discharge an inbound cargo from Fleetwood. She also had some minor welding work done to her port quarter, to restore some parts removed that were catching on piles at Fleetwood. At the completion of repairs, she shifted up to Continental Quay at 1400 to load for the final time in Larne prior to her 1600 sailing to Fleetwood. She then completed her final crossing Larne.

March 31st 2006: The vessel arrived in Fleetwood, completing her charter, and sailed at approx. 1500 bound for Vigo, Spain.

2009: Registered Owner: Cambridge Shipping Co. Ltd. ISM Manager: Demline Egypt. Ship Manager: Levant Shipping and Technical

© Yvon Perchoc

© Yvon Perchoc

August 21st 2010: Destination Mumbai. ETA 28/8/2010.

September 2010: Sold to Indian ship breakers.


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: Tim Becker, Aubrey Dale, Gary Davies (Maritime Photographic), John Jones, Ken Larwood, Capt Jan Melchers, Yvon Perchoc, “PWR”, Simonwp, Ken Smith and Andreas Wörteler for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks go to Trevor Kidd.

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

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