1961 - 86
A to Z
quick jump
Iron Arnhem
Iron Banbury
Iron Baron (111)
Iron Bogong
Iron Capricorn
Iron Carpentaria
Iron Cumberland
Iron Curtis
Iron Duke (11)
Iron Endeavour
Iron Gerringong
Iron Hunter
Iron Kembla
Iron Kerry
Iron Kestrel
Iron Kirby
Iron Mittagong
Iron Monarch (111)
Iron Myarra
Iron Newcastle
Iron Pacific
Iron Parkgate
Iron Prince (111)
Iron Shortland
Iron Sirius
Iron Somersby
Iron Spencer (11)
Iron Sturt
Iron Whyalla (11)
Iron York

Flotilla Australia





The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP)
December 1988 became BHP Transport Ltd.

THIS PAGE (Page 2)
1961 - 86

*Partially completed*


chartered/managed vessels

Page 3 Active!

Ed Ed Ed
pre 1985 1985-93 1994

pre 1985



34,048 gross tons, 20,557 net, 54,590 dwt. Lbd: 741'6" x 104'3" x 41'4". on332288 Bulk carrier (ore) the third of four 'specialised' single deck vessels as built at Whyalla Shipbuilding Yards, (Yard No 44) for BHP Ltd. (The other three vessels of this class were ANL's Darling River 1966, Bulkship's Bogong 1967 and later in 1970 Yarra River again of ANL.) Launched 29 June 1968 and placed into active service 24 October 1968 when registered at Melbourne. Machinery - General Electric Steam Turbine engine (two) double reduction geared to a single screw. 16,500 shaft horsepower. Babcock & Wilcox integral furnace provided steam at 510 degrees C burning 76 tonnes of marine fuel per steaming day. Rated 15 knots. 9 cargo holds with strengthening for ore cargoes. First BHP vessel with bridge control over an extensively automated engineroom. Maiden voyage with cargo of 47,787 tons of pelletised iron ore from Whyalla on 2 November 1968 for Port Kembla. From there steamed to Cairncross Dock, Brisbane on a four day inspection, returning to Whyalla. Loading with 51,851 tonnes of iron ore pellets, she steamed for Japan. Over the next four years this was her regular service but not incident free as, on 5th November 1970 when offshore Wilsons Promontory Victoria she suffered severe engine room fire, with the tragic loss of an engineer. Temprary repairs effected at Melbourne then under auxiliary power steamed for Newcastle sustaining a 4 month stay whilst full repairs undertaken. From 1973 she likely ran Whyalla - Newcastle where on 17 June she ran agound at Newcastle Harbour. Refloated after 5 days and discharging approx 5,000 tonnes of iron ore, again tempoary repairs made at that port, further temporary repairs taken at Brisbane's Cairncross Dock and full repairs undergone at Sasebo, Japan. Since employed on the various BHP trades and after 141 voyages, was sold to Saudi Pride Shipping Co Ltd, Jeddah on 23 July 1982. Handed over at Sydny and steamed out on 10 August 1982 as the Saudi Fahad. 19 December 1983 arrived at Kaohsiung for demolition
Left side image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database. Right side image now availalbe for purchase here. Click image for details



40,136 gross tons, 27,437 net, 69,115 dwt. Lbd: 798'5" x 120'3" x 39'3". Engine : Doxford Oil 2SA 8Cylinders 20,000 bhp 15 knots. Bulk carrier as built 1969 by (J.L.Thompson & Sons) Doxford & Sunderland Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd., Sunderland UK for the Nile Steamship Company under management J & J Denholm Pty Ltd. Registered in Newcastle, UK. Official Number 305467. Chartered immediately upon completion to the Dampier Mining Co Ltd, a subsidiary Company of BHP Australia and flew the "Red Duster" the whole time whilst under charter to BHP. Originally was to be named Iron King but changed to Iron Endeavour in recognising the Bi-centenary of Captain Cook's discovery of Australia in Barque Endeavour. Maiden voyage 10th February 1969 sailed for Australia via Liberia and Japan when she was sub chartered by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha for the Japan arrival and discharge of cargoes. Handed back to BHP and continued her first voyage for them to Port Hedland and then to Port Kembla. Her run was to be Port Kembla to Whyalla iron ore pellets to Japan and then to Port Hedland and iron ore to Port Kembla. Only incident was a grounding at Port Hedland 4th October 1970 sustaining extensive bottom damge, and repaired at Singapore. BHP had her from 1969-1983 and gave the company sterling service. She was nicknamed the 'Big E' by all Australian interests. Handed back to owners 2nd March 1983 and immediately sold to Efold Shipping Co. SA, Piraeus (Efshipping Co, SA Panama , managers) in 1983 and became the Andromachi. Sold to Ostene Shipping SA Turkey 1990 renamed Kaptan Ziya Sonmes (Ugland Brothers Ltd managers). March 1992 renamed Ocean Blue when sold to Good Faith Shipping Co SA Greece with Panamian registry. 27th June 1992 sold at Admiralty Court Auction at Gibraltar to Ostene SHipping SA Turkey and irenamed Nagos. In May 1993 it was as the Nagos that she foundered off Port Elizabeth with a cargo of coal from Richards Bay to Rotterdam in a accident similar to the Derbyshire when one of her hatches sprung and she took on water during a violent storm. 16 crewmen were saved 17 perished a sad ending to a ship that gave such sterling service
image courtesy Oceania Shipping Forum



57,250 gross tons, 40,088 net, 108,174 dwt. Lbd: 855' x 133'6" x 48'6". (260.6 x 40.7 metres) on337372 Bulk carrier built by Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast as Iron Somersby for Ropner Shipping Co Ltd, London. Immediately bareboat chartered by BHP Ltd. Retained her registry at Newcastle, UK and retained her Ropner shipping hull colours, being nicknamed 'The Jolly Green Giant". Powered by a Nine Cylinder B&W oil engine of 23,200 bhp by Harland and Wolff. 71 tons marine fuel per steaming day at 15 knots. Crew - 38. Departed Belfast in ballast on a 31 day journey via Cape of Good Hope bound for Port Hedland, Western Australia. The first 100,000 ton vessel to be locally employed on the Australian coast. At Port Hedland she remained at anchor for seven days owing to an industrial dispute. She was then able to load 69,871 tonnes of iron ore for Port Kembla, two-thirds of her maximum deadweight load owing to the draught restriction then in place at Port Kembla. 9 September 1982 againat anchor, this time off Port Kembla and for 38 days until industrial disputes were resolved. Employed by BHP for use mostly on the Port Hedland to Port Kembla run. Ran occassional trips to Japan with coal, also voyaged to Hong Kong with coal and a voyage to Labuan, Brunai with iron ore. Another two journeys saw her taking Iron ore from Dampier to Japan during a Japanese seamen's strike. 1977 saw her hull repainted in the traditional BHP colours. From 28 May 1982 until 22 June 1983 laid up at Geelong. By1986 she had 136 voyages on her tally, carrying a total of 13,788,000 tonnes of iron ore and coal, then 14 December 1986 returned to owners and renamed Somersby, her original intended name before laid upon the stocks. Registered at Nassau, she departed Hay, Queensland with a cargo of coal bound for Europe and manned by a Yugoslav crew of 24. 1987 sold and renamed Chia Yun. 1993 renamed Chi Yuni. and scrapped at Nantong April 1993



11,381 gross tons, 6678 net, 15,500 dwt. Lbd: 524' x 75'2" x 27'. (159.7 x 22.9 metres) on337373 General purpose cargo vessel laid down and launched as Banbury at Scotts Shipbuilding Co Ltd yard No. 721, Greenock for Alexander Shipping Co Ltd (Houlder Bros & Co Ltd appointed managers). During her fitting out period she was time chartered by BHP Ltd on a 4 year contract until 1975 and named Iron Banbury. Machinery: seven cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine by builder, 14,000 brake horsepower with consumption of 40 tons marine fuel per day and making 18 knots. Crew 32. 9 holds, 5 hatches four of which were twinned. Delivered from shipyard and steamed to Liverpool with an Australian crew. Loaded some general cargo, departing Christmas Day bound for Australia. En route bunkered at Las Palmas then onto Lorenco Marques in loading 11,000 tons of fluorspar for Port Kembla, Newcastle and Whyalla. June 1972 loaded a combined total of 13,644 tons of steel billets at Whyalla and Kwinana bound for Abadan, Iran. October 1972 sub-chartered to Hammersley Iron Pty Ltd for carriage of ore cars to Dampier from Melbourne and Brisbane. A variety of services in her chartered career, she was returned to her owners 18 December 1975 and renamed Banbury. Many owners & names since as 1982 renamed Lady Marina for Onward Marine Inc, registered Panama. 1989 renamed Ariane S 1992 renamed Presidente Aguirre Cerda and 1994 renamed M S C Elena for Compania Naviera Ariane S.A. Panamanian flag. Broken up at Alang from 3rd September 2001



8537 gross tons, 4885 net, 10,875 dwt. Lbd: 479'5' x 63'8" x 25'6". (146.1 x 19.4 metres) on337375. General cargo vessel built at Rostock East Germany for Reederi Barthold Richters of Hamburg . Nine cylinder 2SA MAN oil engine (diesel) 9,000 brake horsepower. Speed 17 knots. Crew 34. BHP Ltd bareboat chartered her from a subsidiary Company of Richters called Baron Shipping Co Ltd of Hamilton Bermuda. She was registered at Newcastle. February 1972. 9 February 1972 loaded cargo at Hamburg, went onward with an Australian crew of 35 to Immingham in the UK and loaded machinery. 4th March bunkered at Las Palmas, later loaded fluorspar at Mozambique en route for Port Kembla, arriving there 12 April 1972. Here she loaded heavy lifts for Cape Lambert and Port Hedland. Spent the majority of her career servicing the North-West coast of Australia, conveying at times unusual cargos such as locomotives, specialised heavy machinery etc. Not an infrequent visitor to New Zealand where, at Wellington 15 January 1978 sustained minor fire damage in the accomodation.

March 4th 1980 purchased by BHP Ltd when owners went bankrupt. She was then registered in Melbourne. Laid up at Newcastle 3rd March 1983 after 11 years service with BHP Ltd and sold 11 November 1984 to Epping Marine Co Ltd, Cyprus, being renamed Iron B. Last voyage from Australia out of Brisbane with cargo of bound for South-East Asia. April 1986 sold to California Shipping Co Ltd of Cyprus, name retained. Resold almost immediately to Specova-Compania Naviera S.A. Piraeus and renamed Vixen, registered Limmassol. Final voyage Colombo - Indonesia. Arrived at Kaohsiung in July 1986 after suffering major engine malfunction en route, she was towed the final distance. Demolition by E Chang Iron and Steel works commenced October 1986
Top image courtesy of Matterson Marine/Shippingdatabase, lower image by Mick Macauley with thanks



57318 gross tons, 38,422 net, 105,779 dwt. Lbd: 820'5" x 134'6" x 49'. on309871 Bulk carrier built as the Sigsilver by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, Aioi Japan for Silver Line Ltd, London. Machinery: 10 Cylinder 2SA Sulzer Oil engine, manufactured by builder. 23,000 bhp. 13 knots on 69 tons fuel per cruising day. Crew - 38. At completion she was the largest pure dry bulk carrier in the world, having been revised twice during construction. 9 holds and an unusual feature of narrow width bridge wings. Intended upon completion for charter to Berge Sigval-Bergensen, Oslo.

1971 chartered to the Seabridge Consortium and renamed Chelsea Bridge. Early 1973 sold to Carnegie Shipping Co Ltd, London. August 1973 chartered by BHP Transport on a 10 year contract, delivered at Susebo Japan and with an Australian crew steamed for Port Hedland as the renamed Iron Sirius. Serviced the Port Hedland - Newcastle & Port Kembla ore run. 1980 owners became Nytoncrest Pty Ltd. 8th October 1982 laid up at Geelong owing to prevalent economic conditions. Resumed service 22 June 1983. Only known incident was 25 June 1985 owing to crack in hold, put into King George Sound, Western Australia for repairs. 7 July 1986 after an extended contract spanning almost 13 years, handed back to owners at Misushima, Japan. From there arrived at Shanghai 14 July 1986 where demolition began. In her career with BHP, she carried a total of 10,880,908 tonnes of iron ore and 508,316 tonnes of coal
Black & White image courtesy Wollongong City Library



40,767 gross tons, 26,079 net, 72,030 dwt. Lbd: 820' x 104'3" x 43'10" (249.9 x 31.8 metres). on309755 Bulk carrier by Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd, Haverton Hill-on-Tees (Yard 520) as the Naess Parkgate for Turnbull, Scott Shipping Co Ltd, London with Naess Denholm & Co Ltd as managers. Nine cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine manufactured by G Clark & N E M Ltd, Sunderland. 20,700 bhp. Service speed 15.5 knots on 67 tons of fuel per day. Crew 38. Nine holds, handling gear: 2 x 2 ton cranes, one 5 ton crane and three 3 ton derricks. 1970 J & J Denholm Ltd appointed managers. 1972 Denhold Ship Management Ltd, appointed managers. June 1973 chartered to BHP for a 5 year contract, arriving Port Hedland 16 September 1973 from Sasebo, Japan with an Australian crew. Intended for the Port Hedland - Newcastle New South Wales ore trade, she departed 20 September 1973 only to seek berthage at Kwinana for necessary engine repairs. Upon reaching Newcastle, she tied up at No 1 Dyke End for further repairs and maintenance to cracking of tanktops, bulkheads and foredeck. Port Hedland services the ore mined at Mount Newman as transported across land by rail, an ongoing process being loaded into vessels some of which could hold 100,000 plus tonnes of the stuff as cargo. Iron Parkgate resumed the west - east Mount Newman ore tranportation to Newcastle only out of service on ten separate occassions from 21 December 1973 up until 26 July 1974. From 7 August 1974 after lay up of 26 July, it was decided to keep her berthed at Newcastle. October 1974 charter revoked with vessel returned to owners care. In her career with BHP, she completed only five voyages. Steamed out of Newcastle 17 November 1974 bound for Singapore where, on 3rd December she was formally handed back to her owners. Since handover, and during repairs carried out by the management Company, fire broke out in the engine room, killing the Engineer Superintendent and 15 dockyard workers. 1978 sold to Anglo-NordicShipping Ltd, renamed Nordic Trader. 1978 sold to Cameronia Navigation Corp (Eddie Steamship Co Ltd, Taipai) and renamed Panamas Uranus under Liberian flag. August 1983 transferred to Far Eastern Navigation Corp, (Eddie Steamship Co Ltd) Taiwan and renamed Panamas Solar. Scrapped by Taiwanese shipbreakers July 1985 NOTE: Legal ramifications of the repudiated charter contract were not settled, even with a 6 month legal battle in a London Court, until an out of court settlement was reached in 1979



10,584 gross tons, 4,321 net, 14,940 dwt. Lbd: 588'4" x 82'2" x 29'1" (179.3 x 25.1 metres) IMO 7305502 General cargo, Ro/Ro steel products carrier built by Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works, South Australia for BHP. Machinery: MS 5,000 heavy duty marine gas turbine engine (General Electric Co, Schenectady, USA) direct reduction geared to a single shaft. Of 19,500 horsepower and on 82 tonnes of crude residue fuel per day for a service speed of 20.5 knots. Crew 31. 12 September 1973 came into service upon being registered Melbourne. Signifcant in name, being the third to do so and of course the first vessel of this name also being the first BHP had ownership of. Much was put into the design, Iron Monarch being the world's first commercial vessel powered by an industrial gas turbine engine. Engine aft, Officer and crew accomodation situated 'Island-style' forward of one hold, and ahead of the twin funnels. A stern ramp, at 35% angle allowed for conventional cargo handling at most ports. Designed mostly for and place upon the service of Port Kembla to Melbourne and Adelaide carrying finished steel product and returning from Whyalla with steel to Melbourne and Sydney. This involved a 19 day turnaround. Owing to mechanical breakdowns leading up to 1980, she was docked at Newcastle, New South Wales for major modifications. Primarily, metal fatigue from thermal recycling had reduced performance down to 16 knots from almost 23 knots maximum at initial sea trials. From 25 September 1980 she underwent satisfactory sea trials after conversion to simple cycle operation. she steamed at 17 knots , from 90 tonnes of waxy crude per day whilst horsepower was 17,500. Resumed normal services within the fleet until 9 March 1983 when she was laid up at Newcastle owing to economic downturn coupled with rising costs and reduced speed performance. Placed for sale on the market, she was later given a reprieve when BHP management decided upon re-engining her. 15 July 1985 and berthed at No 1 Western Basin, Newcastle, her gas turbines and regenerators were completely removed and the installation of 2 x 12 cylinder 4SA vee oil engines manufactured by Oy Wartsila AB, Vassa Finland made. Again direct reduction geared to a single shaft. Of 10,903 brakehorsepower with a speed of 18 knots on 31 tonnes of fuel/oil per day. G H Varley Pty Ltd, Newcastle undertook these works. She now had a new life with 'medium-speed' diesels and commenced service 23 June 1986 as a steel slab carrier. Magnetic beam-type overhead cranes fitted along with other cargo handling modifications and her course became Port Kembla - Westernport - Port Kembla. She had replaced the ANL's vessels on that route, the Lysaght Endeavour and Lysaght Enterprise in a 6 day turnaround. December 1988 owners became BHP Transport Ltd. Carried BHP colours and remained on same service since her refit up to and including 1988. Since, with Billiton merger and separation of operations into bluescope and One Steel etc, she is currently under managemnt of Teekay Shipping (Australia) Pty Ltd. Registered in Australia and one the few still flying the Aussie flag 2009
Left image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database. Right side image in Bluescope funnel livery now available for purchase here. Click image for details



10,584 gross tons, 4,321 net, 14,885 dwt. Lbd: 179.33 x 25.02 x 17.37 metres. Sistership to Iron Monarch (111) Second purpose built Ro/Ro bulk carrier of Gas turbine engines, situated aft and built at Whyalla shipyard South Australia. Joined her sistership servicing Steel products from Port Kembla to Melbourne and Adelaide, returning with Whyalla steel to Melbourne and Sydney.

After seven years in the trade she experience the same 'regenerator' problems as her sistership suffered and, early 1981 had her gas turbine converted into a simple cycle operation. 29 May 1983 owing to downturn in the Ro/Ro trade, she was laid up at Snails Bay, Sydney Harbour and placed for sale. After two idle years she was moved briefly to the wharves at Pyrmont in May 1985 where certain parts were removed for installation into her sistership Iron Monarch. 10 January 1986 sold to Loy Kee Shipbreakers, Hong Kong. Taken in tow by the tug 'Commodore' 6th February 1986 arriving at Huangpu, China 4th April 1986 for demolition purposes (Note: her crew nicknamed her 'Iron Duck')
Upper Left & lower right image courtesy Wollongong City Library. Upper Right side image now available for purchase here. Click image for details



21,384 gross tons, 13,977 net, 37,675 dwt. Lbd: 196.24 x 26.55 x 11.378 metres. on356551 Bulk carrier built as the World Achilles by Hellenic Shipyards, Skaramanga Greece for Elmo Shipping Co, Pireaus. She was a BC35 class bulk carrier, british designed and of seven holds. Machinery consisted of six cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine - H Cegielski, Poland manufacture, 12,000 brake horsepower. Speed 15 knots on 38.5 tonnes of fuel per steaming day. Crew 34. Early 1974 time chartered by BHP until September 1974 when purchased outright. October 1974 transferred to County Shipping Co, Hong Kong, a BHP subsidiary concern. Registered in Hong Kong and renamed Iron Cumberland in November 1974 after being converted to Australian conditions as Sasebo, Japan. Maiden Australian voyage ex Sasebo 18 November arriving at Yampi Sound 26 November 1974 under Captain Hart and a crew of 53. Loaded ore for Kwinana and Newcastle. Over the next 12 years she maintained that service as well as taking in ports of Japan, Singapore Korea and New Zealand. After 12 years service, without mishap, she had carried over 7.5 million tonnes of cargo and ultimately declared reduntant May 1986. 25 November 1986 sold to Glentara Ltd, Hong Kong and handed over at Kwinana. Renamed Cumberlande, she steamed for Newcastle and loaded ore for Japan. Not lost to Australian ports, she continued loading export materials until her final voyage 27 May 1987 when she departed Newcastle with lead concentrates, having previously loaded ferro manganese from Bell Bay Tasmania. Bound for New Orleans, she foundered North-East of Pitcairn Island (23.50 S, 127.50 W) after taking in water in the two forward holds. At the onset of instability with the flooding, her Master opted to return to Newcastle with pumps at full operation, however after 2 days the order was given to abandon ship, her Indian crew of 27 taking to the lifeboats and being rescured by the containship 'ACT 5'
image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database



4,307 gross tons, 1,997 net, 8,518 dwt. Lbd: 119.68 x 19.02 x 7.743 metres. General cargo vessel Ro/Ro as built by Adelaide Ship Construction, Port Adelaide as the Cape Arnhem for Australian Territory Liner Services Pty Ltd, Sydney. Diesel engine, six cylinder 4SA MAN oil engine manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan. 6,000 brake horsepower, 14 knots on 16.5 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 32. 3 cargo holds, two decks and a starboard side door between decks. Controllable pirch propellor and bow thruster. Designed along with her sistership 'Cape York' for the Northern Australian ports trade. Short lived and on 10 October 1974 purchased by BHP. Under original name her maiden voyage for BHP was to Auckland New Zealand, arriving ther 1st November 1974 with a cargo of finished steel products from Newcastle and Port Kembla. Kept on that service for a few runs until late November when renamed 'Iron Arnhem', re-painted from a white livery to the BHP colour scheme, and re-registered at Melbourne. Her itinary of trade also changed, under status of general cargo carrier she took in the ports of Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania with occasional runs to Queensland and New Zealand.

Cargoes lifted were dolomite and limestone from South Australia. Eventually became a regular on the trans-tasman service. December 1988 owners became BHP Transport Ltd. Upon completion of voyage No. 184 she was laid up at Newcastle 27 September 1990. Renamed Kota Eagle when sold December 1990 to Pacific International Lines Pty Ltd, Singapore. She had sailed to Sydney for survey upon pending sale, passed inspection and proceeded with a cargo of scrap for Malaysia 18 December 1990. 1994 renamed Hai Feng for Hai Peng Shipping S.A. and flagged St Vincent & the Grenadines. 21 March 2012 deleted from Register as 'existence in doubt'
upper left image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database
lower right image now available for purchase here. Click photo for details



4,307 gross tons, 1,962 net, 8,518 dwt. Lbd: 119.69 x 19.82 x 7.74 metres. General cargo vessel Ro/Ro as built by Adelaide Ship Construction, Port Adelaide as the Cape York for Australian Territory Liner Services Pty Ltd, Sydney. Diesel engine, six cylinder 4SA MAN oil engine manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Japan. 6,000 brake horsepower, 14 knots on 16.5 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 32. 3 cargo holds, two decks and a starboard side door between decks. Controllable pirch propellor and bow thruster. Designed along with her sistership 'Cape Arnhem' for the Northern Australian ports of Gove, Weipa and Darwin from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Iron York was the last vessel constructed by the builder (A division of Adelaide Steamships Pty Ltd) Short lived and on 10 October 1974 purchased by BHP. Upon delivery 27 November 1974 at Newcastle she loaded general caro for Kwinana under original name and livery. Early 1975 renamed Iron York, registered Melbourne. Serviced the Australian coast and New Zealand, 111 voyages in fact until laid up at Snails Bay, Sydney 31 January 1985. Sold 29 May 1985 to Pacific International Lines Pty Ltd, Singapore. Renamed Kota Machan and arrived Singapore Roads 7th July 1985. Here she was transferred to Malaysian Shipping Corporation Sendirian Berhad and registered at Port Kelang, Malaysia. Service since unknown. Scrapped at Alang December 1999
Colour image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database



16,819 gross tons, 9175 net, 27,270 dwt. Lbd: 177.93 x 22.89 x 10.674 metres. on: 363301 Bulk carrier built at Hakodate Dockyard Ltd, Hokogate Japan as the Star Kestrel for Surrey Shipping Co Ltd, (Rethymnis & Kulukundis) London. Six cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine 12,000 brake horsepower. Speed 15.2 knots on 41.67 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 34. 21 December 1974 along with her sistership Iron Kerry/Star Kerry, she was under a 15 year charter from the Rethymnis & Kulukundis Group of London, being renamed Iron Kestrel for the duration. Initially she was employed under Surrey Shipping ownership, carrying finished timber from the West coast of North America to New Zealand and Australia. BHP took delivery of her at Sasebo Japan where she was refitted with accomodation suitable for Australian conditions. Arrived under ballast at Yampi Sound 29 January 1975 and loaded iron ore for Kwinana and from there pig iron for Shanghai China. Purchased by the Ropner Shipping Co Ltd., London 21 January 1982 bareboat charter contract maintained. 26 January 1990 returned to owners after completing 792,000 miles service for BHP carrying cargoes as diverse as wheat, sugar and steel products to Asia. Final voyage from Australia with British crew of Ropner Shipping saw load of manganese ore loaded at Groote Eylandt Northern Territory bound for Rotterdam. En route to delivery to owners February 1990 sold to Trias Shipping Co Ltd, Greece and renamed Aghia Trias. 1990 renamed Vienna Sky. 1996 renamed Panagiotis for Skye Maritime S.A. registered Liberia. Broken up at Alang May 2003
image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database



16,819 gross tons, 9715 net, 27,299 dwt. Lbd: 177.94 x 22.89 x 10.689 metres. Bulk carrier built at Hakodate Dockyard Co Ltd, Japan as Star Kerry for Saturn Shipping Co Ltd, London. Managers - Rethymnis & Kulukundis Group, London. on: 363252 Machinery - six cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine, 12,000 brake horsepower making 15.5 knots on 37.5 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 34. Along with her sistership Iron Kestrel/Star Kestrel, she was under a 15 year charter from late 1974, and 4th February 1975 delivered at Sasebo Japan for accomodation conversion for Australian conditions. February 1975 renamed Irin Kerry. 10 March 1975 departed Sasebo for Suzaki Japan where she loaded limesand for Kwinana. From there a cargo of pig iron bound for Shanghai and Hsingkiang, China was loaded. Purchased by the Ropner Shipping Co Ltd., London in 1982 with bareboat charter contract maintained. Ropner, ion 26 May 1983, changed the name to Iron Kirby, a charterer's right and in keeping with their tradition of vessels ending in 'by'. Her sistership - Iron Kestrel was an exception to the rule. Jume 1986 swithed over to the Trans-Tasman service. April - June 1988 at Yokohama Japan had her holds squared off, one of four cranes removed and replaced with a SWL 25 ton unit. Back at Sydney in June a second crane fitted all for the purpose of extra deck space container carrying capacity. 9th March 1981 saw 16 year (one more than original contract) conclusion of contract. 12 March 1991 delivered to owners at Newcastle New South Wales. Sold 28 March 1991 to the Greek owned Blue Light Shipping Co Ltd, Cyprus and renamed Seajoy. 29 March 1991 sailed to Geelong, Victoria where she loaded bagged rice for Lome, Togo. Bunkered at Durban en route. Late 1991 transferred to Seajoy Shipping Ltd, Malta. 1992 renamed Aynur Kalkavan. Broken up at Gadani Beach September 1998
image courtesy Wollongong City Library



20570 gross tons, 12,187 net, 35,224 dwt. Lbd: 176.99 x 27.84 x 11.153 metres. on: 356569 Bulk carrier launched as the Bergnes from the shipyard of Nippon Kokan K K Shimizu, Japan for Kristian Jebsen Rederi of Bergen, Norway. Purchased by the BHP subsidiary Capricornia Pacific Co Ltd, Hong Kong during fitting out stage, being completed February 1975 as Iron Capricorn. Machinery - Seven cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engine, 14,000 brake horsepower. 14.5 knots on 46 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 34. 29 February 1975 arrived at Sasebo, Japan for strengthening of her six cargo holds for heavy cargoes, trans-roto hydraulic hatch covers - watertight and 5 ASEA-Hagglunds Electric cranes each of 16 tons SWL Accomodation for Australian crewing conditions finalised the upgrade and she sailed 26 April 1975 for Port Hedland. Loaded upon maiden voyage with 33,000 tons iron ore for Newcastle. She was the last of the fleet to carry the old BHP colours of blue bands on black background, changing over to the logo of BHP on a white background. Her design, modifications and overall performance gave her the distinction of being the 'Seafarers' ship designed by Seafarers. 2nd March 1987 transferred to County Shipping Co Ltd, Hong Kong (another BHP subsidiary). Serviced the Australian coast in the bulk cargo capacity with occasional voyages to South-East Asia. By 1990 she had served 17 useful years in service and decommissioned 15 October 1990, being laid up at Newcastle. December 1990 sold to Athenian Faith S.A. Piraeus, Greece, being renamed Irenes Blessing. Late December 1990 sailed for Adelaide in loading wheat for Saudi Arabia. Since - 1993 renamed Alexander. 1995 renamed Arcadia Progress. 2004 renamed Maris. Broken up at Xinhui December 2003
Left side image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database. Right side image now available for purchase here. Click image for details



gross 12580 tons, 5386 net, 16,765 dwt. Lbd: 164.34 x 20.4 x 9.099 metres. Ore carrier built as the Mittagong by BHP Whyalla Shiyard No 37 for Bulkships Ltd (Associated Steamships Ltd Managers) Melbourne. Five cylinder 2SA Doxford oil engine as manufactured by Commonwealth Engine Works Port Melbourne. 5,700 brake horsepower, service speed 12.75 knots on 17 tonnes fuel per day. Crew 45. 9th April 1063 completed and registered Melbourne. Placed upon the BHP trades, running ore from Whyalla to Port Kembla and Newcastle until 8th December 1976 when chartered by BHP Ltd for a three year period. 26 August 1977 renamed Iron Mittagong. 3rd March 1982 and, from an extended charter that took in exactly 100 voyages for BHP, she was returned to Bulkships at Snails Bay, Sydney. Reverted to her original name. 2nd July 1982 sold to Monti Cia Naviera SA Panama, renamed Shalini and on the 12 July 1982 sailed from Sydney bound for Japan. 11 December 1982 arrived at Gadani beach, Pakistan for scrapping purposes
image courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database



4,504 gross tons, 7,132 net, 21,260 deadweight. Lbd: 177.43 x 22.61 metres. 7 cylinder 2 SA Sulzer turbo-charged oil engine made by Commonwealth Goverment Engine Works Port Melbourne. Ore carrier, nine holds, built at Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works, Whyalla South Australia for as the Gerringong for Bulkships Ltd (Associated Steamships Pty Limited as managers) Melbourne. Sistership ANL's Musgrave Range. Completed June 1965 registered at Melbourne. Intended for and placed upon the coastal carriage of ore BHP's trades.

1970 twice voyaged from Kwinana to Japan with a cargo of pig iron. 1976 transferred to Bulkships Containers Pty Ltd. 20 December 1976 bareboat chartered to BHP for three years. 5 August 1977 renamed Iron Gerringong. 26 May 1978 returned to owners and laid up at Sydney. 12 January 1979 sold to Alcoa Australia's subsidiary Company, AFP Ltd with Howard Smith Industries Pty Ltd appointed as managers. Renamed Gerringong. Serviced continually between Kwinana Western Australia and Point Henry Geelong Victoria carrying alumina until replaced by the newer vessel, Lindesay Clarke. 22 july 1985 laid up at Geelong, August 1985 sold to Rahim Maritime Ltd, Gibraltar renamed Rahim. Orient Steam Management of Hong Kong appointed Managers. September 1985 sold to Chinese shipbreakers, arriving 1 October 1985 at Ningpo for demolition
IRON GERRINGONG image as the Gerringong personal collection



33261 gross tons, 19,007 net, 55,974 dwt. Lbd: 226.01 x 31.85 x 12.594 metres. on317264 Bulk carrier built Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works as Bogong for Bulkships Ltd Melbourne. Associated Steamships as Managers. 2 steam turbine engines (General Electric Co, Lynn USA) double reduction geared to a single shaft. 16,500 brake horsepower, service speed 15.5 knots. Crew 44. Design of BHP Architects 'Darling River' class, her sistership being ANL's Darling River. Employed on the Australian coast in the coal and ore trades for Bulkships, which changed name as owners to Bulkships Containers Pty Ltd during 1976. 14 January chartered to BHP on a seven year contract and renamed Iron Bogong 29 August 1977. Continued in the same trade. 16 December 1977 until 17 January 1978 laid up at Geelong. 15 October 1982 laid up at Snails Bay Sydney when it was decided her services were no longer required. 14 January 1983 purchased outright by BHP and on-sold to China Dismantled Vessels Trading Corp. 16 February 1983 recommissioned for final voyage, this time to Tsukumi, Japan with 35,070 tons of coal loaded at Gladstone. Her non essential fittings were removed at Snail's bay as her destination after Japan was the shipbreakers at Kaohsiung arriving there 30 March 1983
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25084 gross tons, 16328 net, 45432 dwt Lbd: 202.71 x 27.55 x 12.515 metres. Bulk carrier built at Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works, South Australia for BHP. on: 374846 Launched 17 June 1977 completed 15 December 1977 and duly registered Melbourne. Machinery G E Gas turbine, triple reduction geared to a single shaft. 11,450 shaft horsepower, 14.2 knots on 48 tonnes of waxy crude per day. Crew - 34. From completion until April 1978 laid up due to lack of work. Built specificially for the ore carriage from Gladstone Queensland to Whyalla South Australia, along with her sistership completed 1978 (Iron Curtis) she had seven holds all strengthened for the carriage of ore. The transport of other bulk products of the BHP trades also occurred. June 1979 saw a voyage from Whyalla to Pohang South Korea, onward to Suzaki Japan and return to Australia. Her only overseas journey for the Compnay. 14 May 1982 constant problems with gas turbines (deterioration of regenerators) saw her laid up at Cockatoo Island. 7th February 1983 a decision was made to re-engine her via G H Varley Pty Ltd. Towed to Newcastle, new South Wales 22 June 1983 with major rebuild commencing 1st August. Installed were two Wartsila oil engines, 10,982 brakehorsepower, 13 knots on 30.6 tonnes of resiual fuel (waxy crude) per day. Sea trials 2 - 6th February 1984 successful and proceeded to Port Kembla in resuming normal services. 26 May 1986 loaded the last cargo of iron ore from Cockatoo Island, Western Australia. December 1988 owners became BHP Limited. Broken up at Xinhui December 2003
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1978 built as a Bulk carrier at Whyalla, South Australia. 25,849 gt, 45,432 dwt. Length: 202.7 metres. Single screw, diesel engined making 13 knots . March 1999 scrapped at Alang
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1979 built as a Bulk carrier at Kure, Japan. 59,962 gt, 107,140 dwt. Length: 238 metres. Single screw, diesel engined making 17 knots . 1996 sold overseas interests & renamed Anniversary . 1998 renamed Diamond XL 1999 renamed Avas, later 1999 renamed Almar I. November 2005 scrapped at Chittagong
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Built as a bulk carrier for Bulkships Finance P/L, Melbourne. 14,947 gross tons Lbd: 162 x 22.86 x 13.56 metres. 10 year charter to BHP and purchased outright 1989. Operated mostly South-East of Australia including Bell Bay Tasmania.
Purchased from BHP Billiton in January 2005 was renamed MV Vigsnes in the Keppel Cebu Shipyard in January 2006. The MV Vigsnes ( translation - ' vigs ' of the land and ' nes ' of the sea ) underwent extensive upgrade work during her intermediate survey in the Keppel Cebu Shipyard from January 11th to 26th. The MV Vigsnes is a 21,000dwt combination bulk and chemical tanker dedicated to the carriage of acid and metal concentrates on the Australian coast. The vessel is fixed on time charter to Zinifex and is dedicated to carrying concentrates from the Hobart Zinc Smelter in Tasmania, and the Port Pirie lead and zinc smelter in South Australia, Close to 200,000mt Sulphuric Acid is loaded into the Acid Tanks in Hold #2 for distribution to Victorian ports ( Melbourne, Geelong, Portland ) and a South Australian port ( Adelaide ). JEBSEN (of Bergen Sweden? Scandinavia anyhow) have undertaken the purchase as part of it's Industrial Shipping philosophy to the Australia coast and together with the self-unloader MV Enterprise provides a foundation for further opportunities. Jebsens have a long standing relationship with a leading Australian Ship management Company ( ASP Ship Management ) where ASP currently have in place ship management agreements with the two Jebsen Australian crewed and licensed coastal vesesels ( MV Enterprise & MV Vigsnes ). February 2011 scrapped at Alang
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12,586 gross tons, 5,388 net. 16,786 dwt. Lb: 164.34 x 20.4 x 11.89 metres. Built as an ore carrier at BHP Whyalla shipyard, South Australia as the Wollongong for Bulkships Ltd., Melbourne. Five Cyliner 2SA Doxford oil engine as manufatured by Commonwealth Government Engine Works, Port Melbourne (Fisherman's Bend) 4,193 kilowatts, (5700 bhp) and service speed = 13 knots. crew - 45. 1968 tranferred to ASP-Bulkships Ltd. Serviced the ore trade between Whyalla - Port Kembla- Newcastle. Laid up February 1972 until December 1972. Resumed ore trade, usual ports of call until December 1973 when sold to AFP Pty Ltd., Melbourne, a subsidiary of Alcoa Australia, and delivered 10 January 1974. Upon sale was chartered back to Bulkships until 28 May 1974 being renamed Myarra and worked the Kwinana - Point Henry, Geelong Alumina run. Manned and managed by ASP, later management transferred to Howard Smith Ltd. 31 March 1979 laid up at Hobart. 2nd May 1980 renamed Iron Myarra, after being bareboat chartered by BHP Co Ltd., from Alcoa Australia. 7th May 1982 re-delivered, name reverted to Myarra. 10th July 1983 laid up at Sydney. September 1983 sold to Ga Loy Marine Inc., Honduras and renamed Yarra with registry at Puerto Cortes. Scrapping at China began 20th October 1983



1981 built as a bulk carrier of 77,399 gross tons. Serviced the Pilbara regional ports of West Australia to Port Kembla and Newcastle, NSW. 2001 sold, renamed Pacific Resource, later 2001 renamed Loxandra. 2003 renamed Lydia. November 2008 scrapped at Chittagong. Sistership Iron Spencer
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1981 built as a bulk carrier. Single screw diesel engine 14 knots, 77399 gross tons. Intended for the bulk cargoes from the Pilbara regional ports in Western Australia to Port Kembla and Newcastle, New South Wales. Remained with Company as BHP-Billiton until 2000 when sold, renamed Kapadokia 2008 scrapped in Chinese waters. Sisiership Iron Whyalla (2)
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1981 built as a bulk carrier 15056 gross tons, 21740 dwt. Lb: 164.3 x 22.9 m. Single screw diesel 14.5 knots. 4 holds, 50th vessel for BHP. Operated most of BHP's Australian coastal services. 1999 sold renamed Handy Prince. 2005 renamed Ocean Prince. 2007 renamed Paula 1. 2013 renamed Paul. 30 December 2012 beached at Alang for scrapping purposes



Built as a bulk carrier, 78,625 gross tons, 148,140 deadweight. Lb: 283.5 x 47.1 metres. Single screw, diesel engine making 14 knots. 1999 sold renamed Lowlands Yarra. 2004 sold renamed Star Xingang. 2010 sold renamed Camriz for Camriz Investments Ltd, Panama April 2011 scrapped at Chittagong

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1986 completed as a Bulk carrier. 78625 gross tons, 148140 dwt. Lbd: 283.5 x 47 x 21.5 metres. Single screw Six cylinder 2SA Sulzer Oil engine making 14 knots. Nine holds. Crew 26. Main service was Port Hedland - Port Kembla/ Newcastle with iron ore then coal loaded at major NSW and QLD ports for Japan. 2005 renamed Star Yantai for unknown owners. September 2009 renamed Merit Land under Panama. flag with Cosco Qingdao as Managers 2018 still active

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118,491 gross tons, 71,793 net, 231,851 dwt. Lbd: 351.2 x 55.73 x 18.201 metres. Depth of hold 25.02 metres. Heaviest ship owned by Australian interests ie: BHP Transport. Built by Samsung Shipbuilding & Heavy Industries Co Ltd, Koje, South Korea (Yard no 1043) for BHP Transport Ltd, Australia. At launching on 1st February 1986 was actually floated out of the dock. Machinery Two x 4 cylinder 2SA Sulzer oil engines manufactured by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, Aioi Japan. 24,600 bhp. Twin screw, twin rudder dry bulk carrier, at the time the largest in the world, with specific design of a wide beam, catarmaran stern and shallow draught allowing for greater manouverability at future designated ports of her intent as blueprinted by BHP Architects, such specifications streamlined at the final construction stage. Service speed 13.5 knots on 60 tonnes marine fuel per steaming day. Crew 26. Maiden voyage from builder's shipyard 24 June 1986 to Port Hedland. Registered 30 May 1986 at Melbourne. At Port Hedland loaded an Australian record 179,351 tonnes of iron ore for Port Kembla, arriving there 26 July 1986. Her mainstay of cargo service was Port Hedland to Eastern Australian destinations Port Kembla and Newcastle, interspersed with cargoes of coal bound for South Korean terminals of Pohang and Kwang Yang Bay.

On 15 July 1986 held the distinction of being the largest vessel to enter Sydney Harbour, being berthed at the passenger terminal for public inspection. At the time, and since where records are concerned, she rules as ahead of the famous French Line's 'France" the 'longest' to berth in Sydney Harbour, and of course ahead of the 'Queen Mary' (who had berthed during the second world hostilities) on weight factor and again ahead of the USS Enterprise the American Aircraft Carrier where, on all accounts of length, breadth and depth she could actually 'carry' both the 'France' and the 'Enterprise' alongside on her upper deck. (Australia 3 - Rest of the world 0) 1998 and ironically, she was purchased by Norwegian interests, P/R Bergesen GOIC DA (Managers Bergesen d.y. ASA ) noting that Scandinavian Shipbuilders were at the time leaders in in ship construction until the advent and distinction of this vessel, as credit to both Australian ingenuity and Japan/Korean construction. Renamed Berge Pacific. Still in service (2009)
Leftside images courtesy Matterson Marine/Shipping Database & top right image taken by Mick Macaucley with many thanks


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