MS European Mariner
|Builder:||Rickmers Rhederei, Bremerhaven, Germany.|
|Launched:||25 October 1977|
|In service:||January 1978|
|Out of service:||9 July 2011|
|Class and type:||ICE C|
|Length:||381 ft 6 in (116.28 m)|
|Beam:||59 ft 9 in (18.21 m)|
|Draught:||17 ft 9 in (5.41 m)|
|Speed:||15.5 knots (28.7 km/h)|
The European Mariner was a ro-ro freight ferry owned by P&O Irish Sea.
European Mariner was launched in 1978 as Salahala for the Salahala Shipping Company. She was chartered by Gilvani for use on the Genoa - Malta - Pireus - Alexandria route. In 1990, she was sold to Crescent Shipping and renamed Merchant Valiant and put into service on the Warrenpoint - Heysham route.Merchant Valiant was replaced on this route by the Merchant Victor and was put into service on the Larne - Ardrossan route on charter to Pandoro, replacing the Belard on that route. She was sold to Pandoro in 1995 and renamed Lion on 15 October 1995. In January 1998, she was transferred to P&O Irish Sea following the merger of Pandoro and P&O European Ferries (Felixstowe) Ltd and she was renamed European Highlander. On 8 November 1999 she ran aground at Ardrossan. A new route was opened in 2001 running from Troon instead of Ardrossan, and European Highlander was renamed European Mariner on 30 June 2001 as the Highlander name was required for a new ship being introduced to the Cairnryan-Larne route. European Mariner was replaced on the Larne - Troon route in January 2002 by the European Navigator. As she was spare, European Mariner spent time on charter to various shipping companies in 2002, including Color Line, Commodore Ferries, the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, Norse Island Ferries and Seatruck Ferries. Ports and places visited during this time include Aberdeen, Barrow in Furness, the Channel Islands, Douglas, Fleetwood, Heysham, Hirtshals, Kristiansand, the Orkney Islands, Portsmouth, the Shetland Islands, and Warrenpoint. On 6 November 2002 a lorry was washed overboard in storm conditions whilst European Mariner was on the Aberdeen - Lerwick route and she diverted to Invergordon. On 2 December, she came to the aid of the Merchant Venture which suffered an engine failue during a gale. Merchant Venture was escorted to Lerwick. In January 2003, European Mariner returned to service on the Larne - Troon route, replacing the European Navigator, which was uneconomic to operate on this route.
In 2006, European Mariner suffered damage to one of her propeller shafts in an accident at Troon. She ran for a few weeks on only one engine until repairs could be made at Birkenhead. In 2007, European Mariner was chartered to transport blades for wind turbines from Esbjerg that were destined for use on the turbines being erected as part of the Scroby Sands wind farm.
In May 2011 P&O Ferries announced that the European Mariner was to be replaced by the Norcape. The European Mariner operated her last service for P&O between Troon and Larne on 9 July 2011. She sailed for Turkey where she was run on to the beach at Aliağa where she was scrapped.
- "European Mariner". Larne Ferry Web. Archived from the original on 2008-04-30. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "M/S SALAHALA" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "Fourth Quarter News Summary October - December 2002". Larne Ferry Web. Archived from the original on April 2, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "On the Windmill Run with European Mariner". Larne Ferry Web. Archived from the original on April 25, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-29.
- "European Mariner Returns to NSL Birkenhead". Irish Sea Shipping. Retrieved 2008-04-29.