Bridge-class OBO carrier

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Class overview
Name: Bridge-class
Builders: Swan Hunter
  • Bibby Line (2)
  • Furness Withy (1)
  • Hilmar Resksten (2)
  • Hunting Line (1)
Built: 1971-76
In service: 1971-97
Completed: 6
Lost: 2
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Type: OBO carrier
Displacement: 77,316 GT - 91,655 GT
Length: 264 m (866 ft) - 294.1 m (965 ft)
Beam: 44 m (144 ft)
Installed power: B&W 8K98FF
Propulsion: 1 × propeller
Speed: 15 knots (17 mph)
Capacity: Over 100,000 DWT of cargo
Complement: 42

The Bridge-class combination carrier was a class of six vessels built by Swan Hunter on the River Tees between 1971 and 1976. The vessels were built by Seabridge for four different operators, hence their "Bridge" suffix names.


The Bridge class was designed in the late 1960s, with the first vessel (Furness Bridge) launching in 1971. Due to the vessel's height, the funnel had to be dismantled so it could fit under the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge. The vessels were built as a class by Seabridge, and were then operated by Bibby Line, Furness Withy, Hunting Line and Hilmar Resksten. Tyne Bridge followed in 1972, English Bridge (later Kowloon Bridge) in 1973, Sir John Hunter in 1974, Sir Alexander Glen in 1975 and finally Liverpool Bridge (later Derbyshire) in 1976.

Whilst in commercial service, two of the six Bridge-class vessels sank - Derbyshire in 1980 and Kowloon Bridge in 1986. Between 1982 and 1997, the remaining four vessels were scrapped, the longest surviving vessel being Kona (ex Sir John Hunter).


Furness Bridge[edit]

MV Furness Bridge (77,316 GT, 1971) was the first vessel of the class and built for Furness Withy. Whilst in service the vessel carried a number of different names - Lake Arrowhead, Marcona Pathfinder, World Pathfinder and finally Ocean Sovereign. The vessel was scrapped in 1992. Furness Bridge was the only vessel of the class built to the original design.

Tyne Bridge[edit]

MV Tyne Bridge ( 91,084 GRT 166,000 DWT est., 1972) was built for Hunting Line. Later renamed East Bridge before being scrapped in 1987.

English Bridge[edit]

MV English Bridge (78,527 GT, 1973) was built for Bibby Line. The vessel was renamed Worcestershire in 1977, and sold a year later. The vessel was renamed Sunshine, Murcurio, Crystal Transporter and finally Kowloon Bridge. In 1986, Kowloon Bridge lost its rudder in heavy weather conditions off West Cork, Ireland and later sank after breaking its back.

Sir John Hunter[edit]

MV Sir John Hunter (88,404 GT, 1974) was built for Hilmar Resksten. Renamed Nordic Challenger, Cast Kittiwake, El Caribe, Sam Hunt and Nafsika when in service. The vessel was scrapped in 1997.

Sir Alexander Glen[edit]

MV Sir Alexander Glen (89,423 GT, 1975) was also built for Hilmar Reskten. Renamed Ocean Monarch in 1989 and also renamed Ocean Mandarin before being scrapped in 1995.

Liverpool Bridge[edit]

MV Liverpool Bridge (91,655 GT, 1976) was the last vessel in the class and also the largest. It was also built for Bibby Line. It was badly damaged in an explosion and renamed Derbyshire in 1978 before being lost in Typhoon Orchid off of Japan in 1980 with the loss of all 44 crew members on board.