Reproduced with permission of the MOD

RFA Sir Caradoc
Sir Caradoc



Previous name:                      Grey Master
Subsequent name:                  Stamveien - Hua Lu - Morning Star No 11 - ROYAL NUSANTARA  

Official Number:                     703332                                                           

Class:                                   RO-RO FERRY

Pennant No:                           L3522

Laid down:                             13 December 1971
Builder:                                 Trosvik, Brevik
Launched:                              11 August 1972 
Into Service:                           17 March 1983

Out of service:                        29 June 1988
Fate:                                      Returned to owners


Items of historic interest involving this ship: -


Background Data:   There were two vessels of this type, although by no means sisterships. After the loss of  RFA SIR GALAHAD (1) and the damage sustained by RFA SIR TRISTRAM during the Falklands Conflict, the RFA’s amphibious capabilities were significantly reduced and these two commercial ro-ro ferries were chartered as a stop-gap measure until such time as a replacement for RFA SIR GALAHAD (1) could be built and the damage to RFA SIR TRISTRAM could be repaired. Their purpose was to maintain appropriate support to MoD (Army’s) worldwide freighting tasks and although not equipped for the carriage of troops, they fulfilled a major freighting role for vehicles and stores. Neither vessel had any helicopter facilities, but in view of the specialised freighting roles that were envisaged for them, this lack of aviation capability was not considered to be of major operational importance. Owing to inherent stability problems, they were found to be unsuitable for operations in the South Atlantic and they were primarily engaged on the Marchwood-Antwerp run, until the expiry of their charters when they were returned to their owners


11 August 1972 launched by Trosvik Versted A/S, Brevik as Yard Nr 97 named GREY MASTER for I/S Grey Master (Golden West Shipping, Managers) Oslo. The Lady Sponsor was a Mrs Hagon

8 January 1973 completed

September 1973 on charter to Oy Bore Line A/B, Turku, Finland for their Turku - Harwich service

December 1973 placed on the Uusikaupunki, Finland - Norrtalje, Sweden service

January 1974 charter expired

February 1974 sailed on owners Finland - Calais service

1978 on charter to Roto Lines A/B, Wall Harbor, Sweden for their Wall Harbor - Hull service

19 November 1979 to 3 December 1979 on charter to Norh Sea Ferries B.V, Rozenburg, Netherlands for their Rotterdam -  Hull service

1980 on charter to Lubeck Line AG, Lubeck, West Germany for their Lubeck - Halmstad, Sweden service



mv Grey Master before chartered to the MOD as RFA Sir Caradoc


April 1982 charter expired. Nominal ownership passed to Nitre Shipping Ltd, St Helier to facilitate her bareboat charter to the MOD (Navy)

14 January 1983 chartered as a stop-gap replacement for RFA SIR GALAHAD (1) and proceeded to Falmouth for conversion by Falmouth Shiprepairers Ltd

28 January 1983 at Falmouth

16 February 1983 Captain Peter L Nelson RFA appointed as Master

28 February 1983 her Ship’s Badge was officially presented to her

17 March 1983 on completion of conversion, she was formally renamed SIR CARADOC at  Devonport by Mr R.J. Parrott, DST (SMV). This ceremony was attended by the Lady Sponsor

26 March 1983 after work-up at Portland, she entered operational service at Marchwood

22 April 1983 at Marchwood Military Port

Participated in Exercise Rough Diamond '83

28 July 1983 berthed at Devonport

26 August 1983 berthed at Marchwood Military Port

Sir Caradoc

used with the consent of the Copyright owner Tim Webb

23 September 1983 Captain Stuart G Pearce RFA appointed as Master

24 October 1983 berthed at Newcastle

6 August 1984 Captain Charles A Mitchell RFA appointed as Master

28 November 1984 Captain Peter J Lannin RFA appointed as Master

Captain Lannin

Captain Peter J Lannin RFA

16 April 1985 Captain David M Pitt RFA appointed as Master

24 April 1985 Captain Kenneth E Maxwell RFA appointed as Master

25 July 1985 at Gibraltar

28 October 1985 Captain John E H Orchard RFA appointed as Master

29 November 1985 at Marchwood Military Port

15 June 1986 sailed Parkston Quay, Harwich

11 July 1986 Captain Christopher O Smith RFA appointed as Master

5 September 1986 Captain Harold O Cribb RFA appointed as Master

1 January 1987 at Terneuzen, Netherlands

February 1987 Captain H (Jasper) Osborne-Cribb RFA in command

7 February 1987 at Marchwood Military Port

13 April 1987 on the River Clyde

5 May 1987 on the River Clyde

5 August 1987 at Marchwood Military Post

13 August 1987 Captain John P Thompson RFA appointed as Master

17 August 1987 at Marchwood Military Port

25 June 1988 was spotted in the Solent minus her pennant number

28 June 1988 purchased by new Norwegian owners for £1.2m

2 July 1988 sailed Marchwood on her final crossing to Antwerp as an RFA

July 1988 handed over to  A/S Rogaland Kystferger AB (Rutelaget Askoy-Bergen A/S, Managers) Stavanger and was renamed STAMVEIEN. She was converted to a car and passenger ferry by Fosen Mechanical Workshop A/S, Rissa and could accommodate 500 passengers. Tonnages now 6036 grt and 4018 nrt. Her sister STENA CARRIER which was renamed FJORDVEIEN, was similarly converted for service between Randaberg and Skudeneshavn

4 December 1988 while sailing from Skudeneshavn hit the dock wall 

11 January 1991 three vehicles damaged onboard after a truck overturned in heavy seas at Skudeneshavn

26 June 1991 on her owners Reykjavik - Arsvagen service

30 November 1992 laid up at Bergen

8 June 1993 resumed sailing on the Krokeide - Mekjarvik service

31 December 1993 laid up again at Bergen

1 May 1994 purchased by Yantai Marine Shipping Co, China and renamed HUA LU

23 December 2002 purchased by Prima Bridge Island Pte Ltd, Panama and renamed MORNING STAR 11

2006 purchased by PT Prima Eksekutif , Indonesia and renamed ROYAL NUSANTARA - call sign YHIU




24 May 2010 ran aground in waters off the island of Lunik Cage, one mile from the Port of South Lampung Bakauheni, Indonesia. Managed to free herself and remain in service after about two hours. The ferry was carrying one hundred and ninety five passengers and fifty five vehicles of various types. Based on the examination while Adpel Bakauheni, she was stranded due to interference with the steering system

25 January 2011 ran aground in the port of Indah Kiat, Indonesia  having suffered engine trouble. At the time she was carrying sixty passengers and thirty three vehicles. She was towed off by a tug and an underwater inspection was carried out to determine hull damage

10 April 2011 still alongside awaiting repair

19 June 2014 sailed Semarang for Bakauhen

30 October 2014 sailed Merek for Bakauhen arriving two hours later. Made two other crossing between these two ports this day

31 October 2014 sailed Bakauhen for Merak arriving two hours later. Made two other crossing between these two ports this day





1. Was named after one of the 35 Knights of the Round Table in  Uther Pendragon’s time who rebelled when King Arthur took over but was later reconciled with him.


2. Was replaced by RFA SIR GALAHAD(2)

Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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