Reproduced with permission of the MOD


RFA Sir Lamorak
Previous name:                     Norcliff, Anu, Lune Bridge, Lady Catherine, Lakespan Ontario

Subsequent name:                Merchant Trader, Mols Trader, Mads Mols,  Pride of Portsmouth, Norman Commodore, Fjardvagen

Official Number:                    379743                                                           

Class:                                  RO-RO FERRY

Pennant No:                          L3532

Laid down:
Builder:                                Ankerlokken Floro
Launched:                             1972
Into Service:                          11 March 1983

Out of service:                       20 January 1986
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


9 May 1972 launched by A/S Ankerlokken Verft Floro A/S, Floro as  Yard Nr 90 named ANU for Alander Frachtschiff K.G, Hamburg. Was one of 4 sister ships.

15 December 1972 completed, on initial charter to Avomeri Line, running between Helsinki, Helsingborg and Arhus



m.v. Anu - before RFA service


1973 renamed NORCLIFF by her owners while on charter to North Sea Ferries, Hull

1974 name reverted to ANU on termination of charter

1979 purchased by Tejo Leasing Ltd, St Helier - name unchanged

1980 purchased by Javelin Shipping Co Ltd, St Helier - name unchanged

1980 purchased by Latila Shipping Ltd, St Helier and renamed LUNE BRIDGE

1980 chartered by Sealink U.K. Ltd for their Heysham to Belfast container service, name unchanged

13 December 1980 service terminated and was returned to her owners

16 December 1980 arrived Clyde Dock Engineering Ltd, Govan for disposal

18 December 1980 renamed LADY CATHERINE: purchased by Lakespan Marine Inc, Oshawa, Ontario (formed between CN Marine Inc and Rideau Shipping Co Ltd for a ro-ro trailer service across Lake Ontario.)

6 August 1981 renamed LAKESPAN ONTARIO and began operations between Oshawa and Oswego, N.Y

23 April 1982 service was terminated and the vessel was laid up at Montreal

1982 purchased by Cenargo Navigation Ltd (Triport Ferries (Management) Ltd, Managers) London - name unchanged

7 December 1982 laid up at Glasgow

14 January 1983 chartered as a stop-gap replacement for RFA SIR TRISTRAM and was refitted on the Clyde

17 February 1983 name officially changed to Sir Lamorak

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

11 March 1983 formally renamed SIR LAMORAK at Portsmouth by Mr K.J. Pritchard, DGST (N)

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

7 June 1984 at North Shields, River Tyne

5 July 1984 at Marchwood Military Port

12 August 1984 at Marchwood Military Port

1 October 1984 arrived at King George Dock, Hull

18 December 1984 at Newcastle on Tyne

20 January 1986 her charter expired and she was returned to her owners

January 1986 her management was transferred to Denholm Ship Management Ltd, Glasgow and she was chartered to Townsend Thorensen Car Ferries, Southampton renamed MERCHANT TRADER



MV Merchant Trader - after RFA service


1987 purchased by Scout Shipping Co Inc, Copenhagen and renamed MOLS TRADER



MV Mols Trader - after RFA service


1988 renamed MADS MOLSby her owners; management transferred to J. Lauritzen A/S, Norway

1988 purchased by K/S Bahamadifko LX11, Bahamas - name unchanged



MV Mads Mols - registered at Nassau - after RFA service


1989 managers became Mols-Linien A/S, Ebeltoft, Denmark - name unchanged and operated on the Sjaellands Odde- Ebeltoft service

15 March 1989 acquired by Sealink U.K. Ltd and renamed PRIDE OF PORTSMOUTH to serve their major customer Mainland Market Deliveries (MMD), who were specialised fruit carriers in the Channel Islands. Ran in MMD livery

20 March 1989 entered service on charter for three years under management of Sealink for the first year

20 May 1989 entered Portsmouth Harbour

1 August 1989 MMD taken over by Commodore Ship Management Ltd, Guernsey who became managers



mv Pride of Portsmouth - sailing from Portsmouth - after RFA service


20 December 1991 management transferred to Goliat Shipping A/S, Norway as that was a cheaper option and she was renamed  NORMAN COMMODORE as the Sealink management was not renewed



MV Norman Commodore - after RFA service


5 April 1992 at Portsmouth

4 May 1992 at Jersey

5 September 1992 sailed Portsmouth

December 1993 caught fire in the English Channel and proceeded to St Peter Port, Guernsey for the  fire to be extinguished. The local fire brigade opened her stern door and the fire spread, subsequently causing £1.5 million worth of damage and the ship was out of service for the next 6 months

June 1994 re-entered service

14 June 1994 while entering St Peter Port, she suffered a total engine control failure which resulted  in her crushing, slicing in half and sinking the local passenger craft HERM TRIDENT V1

June 1995 charter ended; owners now Clare Business Ltd, Bahamas

8 December 1996 sold to Rederi A.B. Lillgaard, Finland and renamed FJARDVAGEN



MV Fjardvagen - after RFA service


1999 on charter to Rederi A.B. Engship, Finland - name unchanged

2 September 2008 sailed Långnäs

10 February 2009 sailed Korpo, Finland

26 September 2009 alongside at Långnäs - Åland, Finland

25 October 2009 in port at Långnäs in Lumparland on the eastern mainland of Åland

7 February 2010 sailed Långnäs

30 April 2010 sailed Nagu, Finland

28 July 2010 sailed Korpo, Turku archipelago, Finland

11 November 2010 alongside at Långnäs, Finland

2 March 2014 at Tallin

21 June 2014 alongside at Långnäs, Finland

21 July 2014 berthed at Långnäs, Finland

3 June 2015 berthed at Långnäs, Finland

5 April, 2016 berthed at Långnäs, Finland

23 August 2016 at Naantali, Finland

16 January 2017 berthed at Nadenal, Finland

1 June 2017 berthed at Långnäs, Finland

14 September 2017 at Naantali, Finland

15 September 2017 berthed at Långnäs, Finland




Named after one of the 35 Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend who was the son of King Pellinore, one of King Arthur’s earliest allies. He was also the brother of Sir Percivale. He met Queen Morgause on one of his quests and was seduced by her. Caught in the act by her two sons Agravaine and Modred, both were killed on the spot


Additional information

Copyright © 2008 – 2018 Christopher J White

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