Shipping Lines - Two entirely different ships with the same name

The Chinese-built freighter comes alongside the South Quay, Montrose port.The Chinese-built freighter comes alongside the South Quay, Montrose port.
The Chinese-built freighter comes alongside the South Quay, Montrose port.
It was quite a week at the port of Montrose with a wide range of subjects of general interest in addition to the ever-changing trends in modern shipping. Geography, history, economics, international security, politics and the complexities of present day global trade and current crewing arrangements etc were thrown into the mix.

To start off the Antigua & Barbuda-flag, 4265-ton deadweight, 90-metres long Suurhusen S arrived after a lengthy voyage from the North African port of Jorf Lasfar in Morocco. After discharging part of her cargo of urea (fertiliser) she sailed northwards to Invergordon, returning south a few days later bound for the French port of Rouen.

As the Suurhusen S dropped off her harbour pilot and headed away north, several other ships could be seen riding at anchor in the vicinity of the Seagreen wind farm. Those included a large general purpose freighter which turned out to be the Corsica - a ship with an interesting history.

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However, going back almost 70 years to a cold, dark early November night at Perth Harbour when I saw small Dutch coaster named Corsica finishing loading grain for her homeland. A cargo of 220 tons was not large in those days but at that time it helped to keep the inland port in business.

She was built as the Beluga Satisfaction for the Bremen-based multi-purpose heavy lift project shipping company which, as Beluga Shipping, became a leading force in that particular maritime sector. They took the lead in sending several ships through the formerly impenetrable Northeast Passage from Asia to Europe.

The first Beluga ship to berth at Montrose was the Beluga Favourisation with a part cargo of baled wood pulp but after the demise of the company a few have appeared having been renamed and under different owners such as the Corsica. Built in China by Jiangdong Shipyard at Wuhu in 2001, the 6,404-ton deadweight, 122-metres long Corsica reportedly arrived from Nigg, on the Cromarty Firth on April 30.

Following the dispersal of the Beluga fleet she became BBC Ecuador, Jonas and then taking up an intriguing charter as SLNC Corsica and moving out east off East Africa and South-east Asia.

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She became the most important of all the vessels trading in and out of the island of Diego Garcia and provided logistical support for the personnel working on the 12-mile-square-mile island. Strategically situated in the Indian Ocean, the island stands on an atoll providing air and sea base facilities to support the Indian Ocean Territory, part of the Navy’s mission in supporting maritime trade around the globe.

As the SLNC Corsica she supplied the island with everything from spare tyres, to fresh produce to complete aircraft. Once a year she shipped out all hazardous materials from the island. She sailed between the island and Singapore returning west the next month with much needed supplies.

She berthed on the South Quay as the sun went down. The following day she could faintly be seen as the port was shrouded in dense fog. It cleared later and the Corsica sailed out bound for Las Palmas. To be continued.

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