One of the last remaining ships built for Townsend Thoresen for the Dover – Calais route as the PRIDE OF FREE ENTERPRISE was scrapped in December 2015 and was seen as SHERBATSKIY.
She was launched on 31st May 1980 by Schichau Unterweser AG, Germany as yard number 2281 as PRIDE OF FREE ENTERPRISE for Townsend Thoresen between Dover and Calais, initially entering service with them in 1980. In 1987 Townsend Thoresen was purchased by P&O European Ferries in the same year her sistership HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE capsized off Zeebrugge. As a result of these two events she was renamed PRIDE OF BRUGES under a rebranding exercise undertaken by P&O following the bad publicity of the HERALD OF FREE ENTERPRISE Disaster.
In 1998 P&O European Ferries merged her Short sea routes with Stena Line forming P&O Stena Line. As a result of this merger the vessels were again rebranded, this time the vessel was renamed to P&OSL PICARDY. During 2000 she was laid up pending sale, and later sold to Transeuropa Ferries.
Transeuropa Ferries renamed her as OLEANDER and introduced a freight only service between Ramsgate and Ostend which began on 4th July 2002. Two years later, on 20th July 2004 she was joined by LARKSPUR to provide a joint passenger/freight service also operating between the two ports. From 2010 onwards OLEANDER was often sailing on the Spain – Morocco lines on short term leases from TEF to Comarit or FerriMaroc . When TEF went into bankruptcy in April 2013 the OLEANDER moved to permanent basis to Acciona Trasmediterranea and sailed on the Almeria/Nador route as SHERBATSKIY.
She was seen offshore Malta during November 2015 of which she her name was shortened to SHER for her last voyage of which she she was beached at Alang, India in December 2015.
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Published – Monday 11th October, 2021.