Posted on Monday, February 8, 2010 by Martin Cox
The SOLAS 2010 (Safety of Life at Sea) purge continues with MV BLUE MONARCH (ex RENAISSANCE, HOMERIC RENAISSANCE, WORLD RENAISSANCE, AWANI DREAM, GRAND VICTORIA) being sold for $1.8 million USD to scrap merchants after a plan to use the former Paquet liner, once nicknamed “white dolphin”, as an hotel ship at Vancouver for the Olympics fell through. The sleek vessel, last spotted in layup at Perama in October, is reportedly destoring at Skaramanga and preparing for her final voyage to Alang or Aliaga. This follows on the heels of the sale of Louis Cruises’ SS IVORY (ex AUSONIA, AEGEAN tWO) to scrap merchants last month. The former Adriatica liner, which is preparing for her final voyage after an 18 month layup in Elefsina, will head to the beach under the name WINNER 5. MV DOULOS (ex MEDINA, ROMA, FRANCA C), the oldest seagoing passenger ship in the world, has moved to a shipyard in Singapore for destoring, as well. Apparently two preservation deals have fallen through and the ship is being prepared for a voyage to Indian scrappers. Reports from India claim PLATINUM II (ex INDEPENDENCE, SEA LUCK I, OCEANIC INDEPENDENCE, OCEANIC), aground and abandoned at Gopnath (some ten miles south of Alang), is beginning to suffer structural cracks and it has been said the ship will never be able to move from her current resting place. At Alang-Sosiya, the Yugoslav-built liners DALMACIJA and GLORY (ex ANNA NERY) are being stripped and cutting continues on REGAL EMPRESS (ex OLYMPIA, CARIBE I), which was half-demolished last month. The two remaining P2 transports, the GENERAL JOHN POPE and the GENERAL EDWIN PATRICK, prototypes of the American President Liners ROOSEVELT and CLEVELAND/WILSON, respectively, are the next to go for scrap, according to MARAD sources. The pair is at Suisuin Bay, near San Francisco, and will be removed from the anchorage, cleaned of toxic paint, and towed to Texas for breaking sometime this year. Meanwhile, the dowager SAGA ROSE (ex SAGAFJORD, GRIPSHOLM) is still lingering off Gibraltar awaiting the next chapter in her long life. An encouraging sign came in the form of her missing anchor being replaced but no firm news of a sale has been forthcoming.