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Sunday, 18 April 2010


Ship No 241

Was an order from the British, India Steam and Navigation Co, she was 1031 tons, a twin screw motor cargo vessel of 1031 tons, with a length overall of 230 feet and beam of 36 feet, she was launched from the yard on the 25th August 1937, and completed 30th October 1937.

Powered by Twin Screw, 2 x 5 Cylinder Polar, 2S.SA, 1, 450 BHP, 312 NHP

She had a speed of 12 knots and she was named after the port in Mozambique.
Sofala was specifically built for the East African Coastal Trades, she had four work boats aft to assist in cargo working at Roadstead ports, and she was the first Company ship with her Engine Room aft. She entered the Liner Division in March 1940 and exactly a year later became a Mechanical Transport Ship for service in the Somaliland Campaign. In October of 1941 she became a Cased Petrol Ship and had the distinction of being the first British Merchant Ship to enter Benghazi four days after it had been captured by the Allies in 1942. After her war service she returned to the East African coast and remained as such until being sold to African Coasters (PTY) Ltd of Durban on the 15th of May 1955 and renamed Voorloper. She was sold to Orient Maritime Corporation S.A. of Panama in 1968, renamed Sincere Orient and moved to the Far East. She was sold again with no change of name by the Sun Yuan Co in 1971 and was still registered until 1993 after which she was deleted because there had been no recent reports as to her whereabouts. So we don’t know what happened to her up to now, She may have gone for scrap or could be rusting away in some corner of the globe.

M.V.Sofala (Ship No 241)

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