Tabaristan was a cargo ship built for Strick Line and completed in 1946. She served with that company until 1968 when she was sold and continued in service for new owners and under a different name until she was broken up in China in 1971.

I am grateful to Malcolm Salter and Len Tapwood (ex-Brocklebank Engineer) who have provided most of the information about her service history.

Tabaristan - Location and date not known. [1]

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Registered owners, managers and operators Owners: Strick Line
Managed by: F.C.Strick & Co. Ltd.
Builders John Readhead and Sons.
Yard South Shields
Country UK
Yard number 553
Registry London
Official number 181634
Signal letters N/K
Call sign N/K
Classification society N/K
Gross tonnage 7,173
Net tonnage 4,346
Deadweight 9,850
Length 137.4 Metres
Overall Length 145 Metres
Breadth 17.9 Metres
Depth 8.99 Metres
Draught N/K
Engines Triple expansion steam engine with cylinders of bore 24½, 44" and 74" with stroke 48" plus a low pressure exhaust turbine with D/R geared and hydraulic coupling.
Engine builders N/K
Works N/K
Country UK
Boilers N/K
Power N/K
Propulsion Single screw
Speed 12.5 knots
Cargo capacity N/K
Crew Approximately 58
Passengers 12

Additional Construction Information

Launched at South Shields on November 21st 1946, Tabaristan made her trials in the Tyne at the end on May 1947. Her contract price was £349,267 including machinery. She made her maiden voyage from Newcastle to London, starting on June 27th 1947 to Port Said, Suez, Basrah, Abadan, Suez, Port Said, Genoa, Antwerp and back to London, arriving on October 24th 1947.

Career Highlights

Date Event
21 November 1946 Launched
June 1947 Completed
1968 Change of name to St.Grigorousa and change of owner to Saint Emmanuel Maritime C. Ltd.
1968 Change of name to Hai Ning and change of owner to Southern Shipping Enterprises Co. Ltd.
16 November 1971 Taken to be broken up at Canton
Tabaristan - Location and date not known. [2]

Service History

From 1947 to 1960 Tabaristan traded from British and continental ports to the Persian Gulf ports.

A series of incident reports and other events follows. They suggest that Tabaristan had more than her fair share of collisions during her working life.

1947 to 1959

Date Event
5 February 1947 Steamer Tabaristan damaged Commissioners’ Jetty, Tyne Dock basin on 4 February 1947.
24 October 1947 Steamer Tabaristan from Basrah was reported to have struck Alpha Wharf, Cliffe, early in the morning. Vessel also fouled the mooring buoy with her propeller and the buoy sank. The vessel sustained damage to the starboard bow and was anchored off Cliffe, slight damage to the lower end of the wharf was reported.
7 November 1947 Steamer Tabaristan from Antwerp in ballast, was in collision with m.v. Seasilver in the River Thames on 24 October 1947 and had shell plating in way of forepeak tank damaged.
7 July 1948 Steamer Tabaristan while swinging in Kasba Reach, Shatt al Arab, on May 25th, fell against the bank and touched along full length of port side. A survey was held at Basrah on June 30th and it was assumed that the vessel was undamaged. It was recommended that the vessel be examined in dry-dock at owners convenience.
21 October 1948 Steamer Torfinn Jarl reported that while preparing to pass steamer Tabaristan in the Manchester Ship Canal at 08.52 the port side of the forecastle came into contact with the Tabaristan. Continuing, the port side of the bridge deck came into contact with the side of the Tabaristan. The Torfinn Jarl sustained slight damage to the forecastle shell plating, and paint was scraped from the side of the bridge deck, there was no other damage. Particulars of damage to Tabaristan unknown. Cause of accident, unknown.
27 October 1948 Steamer Tabaristan Liverpool for Manchester, in ballast, which was in collision with Torfinn Jarl in the Manchester Ship Canal on 21 October had shell plating and frames above the waterline on port side, in way of No.1 hold, damaged.
2 August1949 Steamer Tabaristan Abadan for Manchester and London, reported having encountered a strong SW monsoon with heavy seas between Ras al Hadd and Ras Fartak, on the Arabian coast, and pounded heavily on July 8th, 9th and 10th. No.1 double-bottom tank containing approximately 130 tons of fuel oil, was found to be contaminated with salt water, and it was assumed vessel had sustained bottom damage due to the heavy pounding. Extent of damage could not be ascertained until vessel dry-docked.
8 December 1953 Steamer Ulster Merchant Manchester for Belfast with general cargo, was in collision with steamer Tabaristan Manchester for Basrah, in the Manchester Ship Canal on November 28th and struck the bull nose of a lock, twisting stem between the 11ft 6ins and 16ft draught marks and buckling one plate.
14 January 1954 Steamer Tabaristan which had been in collision with steamer Ulster Merchant on 28 November had plating slightly indented and paintwork scored.
4 March 1954 Steamer Tabaristan Mormugao for Rotterdam, reported shortly after noon the previous day, that she had grounded for one hour when leaving Mormugao, possibly on a rocky bottom. She had refloated under her own power. She then anchored off Mormugao and reported no increase in tank soundings. The owners instructed vessel to proceed to Bombay.
5 March 1954 Vessel arrived at Bombay, where she completed loading. She was examined at Bombay by Register surveyor, who reported all soundings satisfactory, except No.7 double-bottom tank making a little water. Machinery and steering were gear in order. A certificate of seaworthiness was granted for the voyage to Rotterdam, where the vessel would dry-dock on completion of discharge.
6 March 1954 Vessel left Bombay for Rotterdam.
26 November 1954 Steamer Tabaristan London for Basrah, reported that she was hove-to in a full gale and one barge had shifted and was resting on a winch.
2 December1954 Steamer Tabaristan put in to Lisbon for bunkers.
4 December 1954 Steamer Tabaristan arrived at Gibraltar with a 60-ton barge on starboard side of No.4 hatch shifted and starboard No.4 winch badly damaged. The barge had minor bottom indent on her port side amidships. The vessel had sustained sundry heavy weather damage fore and aft, including two accommodation ladders badly damaged. It was necessary to re-stow shifted barge and repair one accommodation ladder, which was in hand. Other damages deferred to suit owners’ convenience.
6 December 1954 A seaworthiness certificate was issued on December 5th and the vessel sailed.
6 February 1958 Steamer Tabaristan Basrah for Grangemouth, London and the Tyne, put back to Aden at 00.20 for engine repairs, estimated delay four days.
10 February 1958 Surveyor reported damage sustained to main engine medium-pressure piston junk-ring, which had broken in three places. Prime cause of damage; stud nuts not being hardened up. Temporary repairs were being affected by securing steel rings at top and bottom sides of junk-ring.
13 February 1958 Steamer Tabaristan left Aden for the UK on February 12th.
30 March 1959 Steamer Tabaristan London and Tyne for Khorramshahr, put into Lisbon with engine trouble, and left later in the day for Port Said.
Tabaristan - Voyage Card for 1959-61. [1]

1961 to 1971

From 1960 she traded from UK ports to East African and Indian ports.

Date Event
8 April 1961 Dubai sub-agents reported: Anticipated considerable rain-water damage to cargoes of m.v. Star Arcturus and steamer Tabaristan, resultant on torrential rain and gale-force winds on April 6-7th, extent of damage, unknown, as both vessels put to sea.
23 November 1962 Steamer Tabaristan outward bound from Antwerp for the Persian Gulf, grounded about 02.40, in the River Scheldt off Bats in dense fog. Vessel developed a list of about 25degrees. One tug on the spot, but no assistance had been called for. Vessel refloated at 11.30 without assistance and proceeded.
24 November1962 Vessel arrived at Gravesend.
3 April 1964 Information received stated that the steamer Tabaristan left Madras in the morning of March 30th bound for London, Antwerp, Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin, but put back to Madras outer anchorage in the evening, with engine trouble. The vessel berthed at Madras on April 1st for repairs.
5 April 1962 Vessel left Madras for Dublin.
28 May 1962 M.v. Emma Bakke Oslo for San Antonio and steamer Tabaristan Chalna for Liverpool, Belfast and Dublin, were in collision in the River Scheldt near Hansweert at about 23.00.
29 May 1962 The collision had occurred in dense fog, in the River Scheldt off Schaar van Waarde near buoy 53. Both vessels anchored in the river but it was learned that the Tabaristan was to put back to port. It was reported that the Emma Bakke sustained only slight damage. The steamer Tabaristan reported that due to the fog she had anchored and had then been struck amidships by the Emma Bakke sustaining extensive damage to her upper works. She reported that she was returning to Antwerp for repairs.
2 June 1962 The owners of steamer Tabaristan reported that the vessel left Antwerp on June 2nd for Liverpool.
11 June 1962 It was reported that steamer Tabaristan had been heavily damaged on the starboard side in way of the boat deck and boiler-room. She was expected in the Tyne on June 23rd for repair damage and other repairs, which the owners were taking the opportunity of having done. The repairs were to take about three weeks.
5 August 1965 A ship’s derrick on steamer Tabaristan fell while the vessel was berthed at Millwall dock, London, in the afternoon, striking five men. One of the stevedores was taken to hospital, where he was said to be seriously ill. He and three other stevedores, together with an officer of the vessel were offloading cargo from a barge alongside the vessel when the derrick suddenly crashed down on them.
5 February 1966 Heavy rain fell at 01.30, damaging approximately 2000bags of rice ex steamer Tabaristan, Antwerp for Khorramshahr, all stacked at Customs Jetty.
19 March 1968 She was renamed St.Grigorousa when she arrived at Bahrain She was bought by Asimi Maritime Co. Ltd, of Greece and registered at Piraeus. She then sailed for Singapore to San Francisco to Japan, Durban and on to France.
27 August 1968 Steamer St.Grigorousa reported at Kobe, heavy weather on recent voyage; Various fittings and stores damaged or lost, to be repaired or renewed. She had also reported to Kobe on August 12th that she had sustained damage due to cargo shifting.
14 November 1968 Greek steamer St.Grigorousa was surveyed at Hong Kong on October 11th and subsequently in respect of damage alleged to have been sustained through encountering a typhoon on August 11th. It was stated that the vessel from San Francisco, completed discharge at Kobe on August 10th and proceeded for second discharge port of Nagoya at about midnight. In the morning of August 11th the vessel encountered heavy weather and took a 25 degree list, due to shifting of the remaining cargo. Machinery trouble developed and the vessel returned to Kobe as a port of refuge. Upon examination there Lloyd’s Register surveyor found main engine high and low-pressure guide shoe bearing metal fractured and part missing, exhaust turbine thrust pads and aft journal bearings wiped, seven holding down bolts broken and several tubes of main condenser partly blocked. The water-side of the auxiliary condenser was blocked with hard deposits in 280 tubes. The rotor and journals of the main circulating pump were badly scored and bearings burned. Repairs were completed satisfactorily on October 25th.
2 January 1969 She was renamed Hai Ning when she was bought by Southern Shipping Enterprises Co. Ltd, and registered at Hong Kong.
November 1971 She was delivered to Canton Breakers.
Tabaristan - Voyage Card for 1961-63. [1]

Image Credits

  1. By courtesy of Malcolm Salter
  2. By courtesy of George Robinson (original source not known)