The general cargo ship MS Tabora (1965-1987). Her original shipyard model was built in the workshop of Ihlenfeld & Berkefeld on a scale of 1:100 and is part of our exhibition on the history of modern maritime logistics. It is located on deck 6 of the museum. Her construction plans are in our archive.
The MS „Tabora“ was a typical general cargo ship of the 1960s. She was 156 meters long and 20 meters wide, had an internal volume of 10,383 GRT and her design combined the classic lines of the 1950s with some elements that were more modern at the time, such as her bulbous bow. Her holds were designed so that the „Tabora“ could carry both bulk and general cargo. In addition to the 43-strong crew, the ship had particularly comfortable accommodation for up to 12 passengers. But one day the ship was to take on a very unusual task.
MV „Tabora“ was launched at Deutsche Weft in Hamburg on 25 March 1965 and began service for the shipping company Deutsche Afrika-Linien in the same year. She was to be deployed on the route between Germany and South Africa, with regular trips to East Africa as well. In 1974 she was sold to the Spanish shipping company Cía. Naviera Marasia and renamed „Ártico“. In 1983 she was sold again and renamed „Merchant Providence“ by her new owner, Cenargo Navigation Ltd. in Bermuda. The shipping company chartered the ship directly to the British Ministry of Defence.
The Falklands War of 1982 led to the United Kingdom seeing the need to strengthen its military presence in the Falkland Islands. It planned the construction of the RAF airport and base „Mount Pleasant“. The Merchant Providence was brought there to serve as a jetty, as there were no port facilities required for an ambitious military construction project. All materials and equipment needed for the construction were subsequently landed via the „Merchant Providence“, which was heavily converted for this purpose. When the project was completed in 1985, the ship was converted back to a seaworthy cargo ship and sold. Her subsequent career was short. After being renamed „Sagres“, she was scrapped in Gadani Beach, Pakistan in 1987.