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Maritime Image of the Day: “Shipping cars in the 1950’s”

PortandTerminal.com, January 7, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA -The first cargo ships specially fitted for the transport of large quantities of cars didn’t come into service until the early 1960s. Prior to that, cars were hoisted onto the ship using a crane and lowered into the hold as shown in this photo.

The photographer who took this picture which has since been colorized by a skilled hobbyist is unknown. The original black and white of the photo is kept at the M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark.

British Riley motor automobile (1951)
British Riley motor automobile (1951)

In all likelihood, the photo was taken in the 1950s and shows a British Riley car being loaded at the port in Harwich, England. The ship that it is being loaded onto was called the M/S Kronpins Frederik shown below in happier days.

M/S Kronpins Frederik

The Kronpins Frederik was a passenger ferry that was able to carry 33 cars in its hold. Late in its life, it was sold on to the Arab Navigation Company of Egypt who renamed it the M/V Patra.

On 24th December 1976, the M/V Patra departed Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on passage to Suez, Egypt with 353-387 passengers and 88-94 crew on board. Shortly after it caught fire in the early morning of 25th December 1976 and sank in over 1,400 feet water. 102 lives were lost.

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