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Small 'Sixties' Ship Discharges Transformer in Dublin Port

13th February 2020
A 120 tonne transformer that was in the cargo hold of veteran vessel MV Saturn (1966/627grt) was discharged by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG).  The small red hulled ship is a survivor in this day of considerably increasing sized ships.  A 120 tonne transformer that was in the cargo hold of veteran vessel MV Saturn (1966/627grt) was discharged by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG). The small red hulled ship is a survivor in this day of considerably increasing sized ships. Photo: nrsbshipping-facebook

A small cargoship built during the 'Swinging Sixties' when The Beatles were on the scene and the Hovercraft entered English Channel service, arrived into Dublin Port last week with a project cargo, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The veteran vessel, Saturn completed (as Wilma Frank) in 1966 by NV Scheepswerft in Foxhol, the Netherlands, had loaded the project cargo, a transformer in Szczecin, Poland.

The delivery voyage from the Baltic Sea port and through the English Channel, however was delayed due to severe weather conditions blasting Ireland and the UK.

Afloat tracked the Saturn take shelter in Torquay Bay, Devon due to prevailing north-westerly winds. It was not until Thursday of last week, that the cargoship, measuring only 53.6m in length and a 9.3m beam arrived in Dublin Port.

On the quayside at Ocean Pier, Alexandra Basin, heavy-lift cranes operated by Doyle Shipping Group (DSG) were tasked in unloading the transformer. The lift operation involving a pair of cranes hoisted the 120-tonne transformer from the cargoship's hold and safely ashore at Berth 33.

On completion of discharging, Saturn set a course around Scotland while in ballast. Four days later the ship arrived in Sunderland, UK on the North Sea. The ship has since departed (with a stabiliser as cargo) and is currently in the North Sea bound for the Orskov Shipyard in Frederikshavn, Denmark.

The ship's manager, Afloat has identified as Nørresundby Rederi & Shipping A/S located in Aalborg in the north of the Nordic nation. At only 627 in gross tonnage, the cargoship in today's shipping industry would be regarded as diminutive yet despite this it is pleasing to note this cargoship still trades on.

Saturn represents a rare survivor of a such a ship that were commonplace in decades past when operated as 'coasters'. Such vessels traded along coasts calling in between ports of the same country and or addition on short-sea distances to neighbouring nations. 

Published in Dublin Port
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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