Plight of the Searoad Tamar

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SEAROAD TAMAR Departing Devonport
Mitchell Bruce photo

Early this year it was revealed by reputable industry publications that the Searoad Tamar was sold to Greek buyers for further service. It was later revealed the buyer was Ainaftis shipping, based in Piraeus Greece.

The ship had departed Devonport for the final time on 31 March, bound for what many believed would be a long life in Greece, serving the domestic lines throughout the network of Ainaftis. next morning, 1 April she discharged in Melbourne and then moved to anchor before returning briefly to Webb Dock 3 April for auxiliary engine repairs, then to Victoria Dock 5 April for handover to Ainaftis Shipping of Piraeus 8 April. Officially the owning company was listed as STAR SAILOR SA with management by, UNITED SAILS SA. She was transferred to the Panama flag the following day and departed Melbourne 2345hrs on 13 April showing destination Port Said, Egypt.

The following is from a seafarer who was onboard the Tamar to Bangladesh and spoke with Chris Tiedemann from Devonport, Tasmania, who in turn has kindly provided me with the info and permission to post it.

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Searoad Tamar
Chris Tiedemann

After the pilot left the ship at the Rip, the seafarer said the threats from the “So called Captain” started… shortly after leaving Melbourne the crew were ordered to pack all the lashing and other gear into crates to be sent to Greece, or they wouldn’t be payed.
They couldn’t figure that out as they thought that they were going to Greece with the vessel anyway. Later in the voyage the owners asked the ship to turn off the AIS. The seafarer was not prepared to lose his ticket for doing things like that so it was kept on. The seafarer continued on to tell Chris that his guess was that the Greeks wanted it for scrap in the first place, as the dodgy happenings after Melbourne. They were asking the ship to go to Singapore for fresh water which makes no sense as it’s going way out of there way to Suez-then Greece. This never happened. Next they wanted to do ship to ship fuel transfer from her to a small tanker, LANKA FREEDOM (9058610, 414/92, Sri Lanka flag) offshore Galle, Sri Lanka 29 Apri at sea of 100mt of fuel. An engineer did not agree with this at all for obvious reasons, but seems it did take place.

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Screen shot of the transfer
Chris Tiedemann

Naka Reo _

The seafarer says the food was close to gone on arrival to Bangladesh. Rice and little amount of chicken was standard. They also had very little water. The crew contacted ITF London regarding it all, but he said he was basically told that ITF had very little to no power in Bangladesh, and had to accept that the Greek owners just did what they want.

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The cupboard was bare

They proceeded to Bangladesh with no paper charts or ECDIS, They only had a general chart sent by email to the Captain from the owner. To this day the crew have not been payed at all. They had to pay for their Quarantine time when they arrived in Australia.$2,800 they were later billed for this.

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Quarantine was in Brisbane, and the seafarers kindly got the bill to pay it.

on 5 May Searoad Tamar arrived at Chittagong, Bangladesh anchorage.
The Romanian delivery crew was on four-month contracts with airfares back to Romania upon safe arrival Greece. Upon arrival Chittagong, they were told to pack up all removable equipment/goods on board and prepare for disembarkation. Names of anyone refusing to co-operate were to be taken by the Master and reported. The crew then in effect mutinied as allegedly they had not been paid nor provided tickets ex Chittagong back to Romania.
Nothing wrong with the ship: purely a money play, scrap steel prices in Bangladesh and elsewhere have been rising steadily all this year and it’s likely the owners would reap c.US$4.2 million due to the very sturdy construction of vessel. They only paid c.US$900,000 (about A$1.3M) for it, plus cost of delivery voyage, so a very lucrative set of transactions …

Searoad Tamar beached at Chittagong ready for scrapping.
Photo: Mr Ridoy
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Searoad Tamar, all but gone. 🙁

Thanks to Chris Tiedemann for sharing this info with us. This kind of behavior from ship owners taking advantage over sea seafarers can only be condemned. Feel free to share to share this to bring awareness of the poor treatment Ainaftis has sown these sea seafarers, who have still not been paid to this day.

Some additional images

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New Spirit terminals

Today TT-Line and Brand Architects released some renders of what the new Geelong terminal should look like.
See their media release here

A View from the water
Current view from the main rd
Mitchell Bruce
The future marshaling area
Mitchell Bruce
Overview of the new port
Geelong ports Corp

Here are some screens shots of the new works in Devonport, the biggest change being the new ships will berth facing out to sea at T3, in the old Spirit III layover berth.
You can see the YouTube vid of it here

The new ships will berth starboard in the old Spirit III Berth
Tas Ports
Some renders of the terminal infrastructure
Tas ports
3 level link spans
Tas Ports

Wärtsilä choice to power new Spirits.

Wärtsilä’s multi-fuel engine technology the choice for two new Australian RoPax ferries

Wärtsilä Corporation,
Press release
11 August 2021 at 10:00 AM E. Europe Standard Time

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply the engines and fuel gas supply systems for two new Ro-Pax ferries. The vessels are being built at the Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) yard in Finland for TT-Line Company Pty Ltd, a renowned Australian ferry fleet owner and operator. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in June 2021.

TT-Line currently operates two ferries, Spirit of Tasmania I and Spirit of Tasmania II, both of which operate with Wärtsilä engines, on the route between Melbourne, Victoria and Devonport, Tasmania. This fleet is now being renewed by the building of two new 212 metre long vessels, which will adopt the latest technology and be powered with LNG fuel to lessen the environmental impact.

“Since 2002 when the current vessels were inducted into our fleet, the Wärtsilä engines have delivered both performance and reliability backed by strong service and technical support. Keeping in mind the IMO’s stringent emission targets for the future, TT Line has opted for LNG fuelled ferries. Wärtsilä’s depth of experience and broad portfolio of LNG-fuel solutions for marine applications were prime considerations for us,” says Bernard Dwyer, Chief Executive Officer of TT-Line.

“We have worked closely with TT-Line for a number of years and are pleased and proud to continue this long-standing relationship via this latest newbuild project. We shall extend our best technical and operational support to TT-Lines’ new ferries. Wärtsilä has played a major role in enabling LNG to become a viable and increasingly popular marine fuel, and its adoption by global operators continues to grow. This order is a clear reflection of that trend,” says Mikko Mannerkorpi, General Manager, Sales, Wärtsilä Marine Power.

“Our goal is to be a pioneer in environmentally sustainable technology in shipbuilding, and we want to provide vessels to our customers accordingly. The LNG-powered engines play an important part in building two new eco-efficient and future-proof vessels for TT-Line,” says Jyrki Heinimaa, President & CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions.

The scope of supply includes, for each ship, four Wärtsilä 46DF dual-fuel main engines, three Wärtsilä 20DF dual-fuel auxiliary engines, and two Wärtsilä LNGPac fuel storage, supply, and control systems. The engines are future-proofed to operate on alternative green fuels as and when the availability evolves.

The new ferries will have a capacity of 1800 passengers and approximately 2500 lane metres on two freight decks. The first vessel is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2023, with the second one due a year later.

Foreship has been awarded the design, McGregor the access equipment.

New TT-Line vessels shaping up to be a quality build

Seroad Tamar beached for scrapping.

Searoad Tamar beached at Chittagong ready for scrapping.
Photo: Mr Ridoy

When Searoad Tamar left Melbourne a few weeks ago everyone thought she was heading for Greece sold to Ainaftis . The AIS showed Suez as her next detestation. She called at Colombo Sri Lanka, a common port to call for Bunkers and pick up security to pass the Red sea. But then she showed up at Chittagong anchorage and soon after AIS signal was lost.

Photos have surfaced of the ship on the beach at Chittagong in Bangladesh ready to be cut up.

Obviously no one will divulge what actually happened here and why the ship is being scrapped rather than sail for Greece and enter service as was intended, but we can assume that with the high price of scrap steel, the owners got an offer they couldn’t refuse to make a quick buck and on sold it for a tidy profit.
Whether or not is was known when she departed Melbourne she was bound for Chittagong may never be know to us…

Searoad Tamar beached at Chittagong
Photo: Mr Uddin

Hopefully i can post some updates as demolition continues.

TT-Line sign RMC contract for new Spirits.

Image of TT-Line's passenger ferry
New Spirit of Tasmania ships appear to retain the iconic Superfast look that Australians assosiate wih Spirit of Tasmania.
©Rauma Marine Constructions

It has been announced today (Friday 16/4/21) that TT-Line have formally signed off on a deal with Rauma Marine Constructions to build two new ferries for the Bass Strait, of approximately 48,000GRT.

As mentioned earlier in the week the new contract has a clause specifying up to AUD$100 million worth of Australian/Tasmanian content.
TT-Line chairman Michael Grainger said the new ships would be similar to the current vessels, but with substantially more capacity for passengers and freight.
Construction on the new 212-metre long vessels was planned to start in the European spring in 2022.

): Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, and Håkan Enlund, Executive Vice President of Rauma Marine Constructions, at the signing ceremony in Rauma.
Jyrki Heinimaa, President and CEO of Rauma Marine Constructions, and Håkan Enlund, EVP, Sales and Marketing of Rauma Marine Constructions, at the signing ceremony in Rauma with video link to Tasmania.
©Rauma Marine Constructions


New Spirits will be built by RMC

Image of TT-Line's passenger ferry
next Gen Spirits with a strong influence of Superfast
Drawing © Rauma Marine Constructions.

Rauma Marine Constructions (RMC) and TT-Line have finalised an agreement for the construction of two car and passenger ferries at Rauma shipyard.

Construction of the new sisters will begin in spring 2022. The first vessel will be delivered to TT-Line in late 2023 and the second one in late 2024.
The ferries will accommodate 1,800 passengers and will have an approximate gross tonnage of 48,000.

TT-Line has said that there will be up to AUD$100 million of Tasmanian/Australian content in the vessels.
There are penalty clauses in the contract if local content provisions are not achieved Mr Grainger CEO of TT-Line has said.

Sources/Further reading:

RMC Press Release
TT-Line Press Release


SEAROAD TAMAR departing Devonport for the final time
Photo: Cody Williams

Today (31/3/21) Searoad Tamar departed Devonport for the final time, after being on the line from Melbourne to Tasmania since 1991.

She is sold to Ainaftis Shipping Company where she will sail on Greek domestic lines.
It is expected, after she discharges cargo in the morning she will anchor in port Philip where her Greek crew will join her over the coming days.

Theofilos preparing for the last voyage.

Theofilos under tow near Salamis yards.
© Christos Chatzaras

It was reported last year that Theoflos, Former Abel Tasman was sold to ANEN Lines who would in turn sell the vessel for scraping. Most expected the vessel would depart to be beached, but it didn’t take place. Late last year the Piraeus port Authority called tenders for the removal of the vessel, but she remained at the Elefsina anchorage where she had been since 2018.
It is understood that the Piraeus port Authority had made a deadline for the removal of Theoflos and a few other old ferries too, as they pose a risk of sinking.

Tug Titan towing Theofilos.

On Friday 5/3/21 the tugs Aktor and Titan attached lines and towed her to Perama. Details are not 100% clear to me, but for some reason the yard didn’t take her at Perama and the tugs have remained attached to Theofilos overnight, indeed she may not moor, we will see. She has now moved to close to near by Salamis Shipyards.

7/3 Update. Theofilos is now docked at Spanopoulos shipyards in Ambelakia Salaminas, alongside old fleet mate Taxiarchis and Panagia Agiasou. Its said she will undergo some keel repairs here, but how long she will be there remains to be seen.

This is where Theofilos is now situated, alongside Taxiarchis and Panagia Agiasou

There will be more updates as they come though.

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Theofilos under tow near Salamis yards.
© Christos Chatzaras

No description available.
Theofilos under tow near Salamis yards.
© Christos Chatzaras

Check out Christos’s page

SEAROAD TAMAR bound for Greece.

SEAROAD TAMAR Departing Devonport
Mitchell Bruce photo

Back in December last year it was confirmed, after months of speculation that SeaRoad of Tasmania had signed a charter agreement with Siem industries to charter the Ro/Ro ferry liekut for Bass Strait service. Consequently SeaRoad Tamar was put up for sale.
It has now come to light that Searoad Tamar has been sold to Greek buyers. Hopefully we will know who soon.
Searoad Tamar was built in 1991 at Carrington Slipways, Tomago NSW (Near Newcastle) She was the last mono hull ship built in Australia.

ShipPax article

Liekut to Tasmania?

The newest ship from FSG may soon be sailing on the Bass Strait.

There is strong information that suggests the FSG built Liekut will sail for Tasmania to go on charter to Searoad to replace the Searoad Tamar. It was rumored a few weeks ago that SeaRoad had been working on bringing the vessel out here, but AMSA had said there were some things not up to the task of the Bass Strait trade. ShipPax has reported that there maybe some works done to the vessel, such as a stern thruster, reinforcing of the cargo decks and modifications to the stern ramp to suite the trade.
The eight Flensburg-built Siem Ro-Ro vessels have all found charter work, to DFDS or its subsidiary UN RoRo, except Liekut .

SeaRoad Tasmania’s SeaRoad Mersey II was constructed to similar design at FSG.