MV Free Enterprise III

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  • Free Enterprise III (until 11 May 1982)
  • 1984: Tamira (until 2 Sept 1984)
  • 1984: Mona's Isle (until Apr 1985)
  • 1986: Al Fahad
  • Townsend Car Ferries Ltd.
  • 1984-85: IOMSPCo.
Port of registry:
Builder: NV Werf "Gusto", Schiedam, Netherlands[2]
Yard number: 538
Launched: 14 May 1966[1]
Maiden voyage: 22 July 1966[1]
Identification:IMO number6611461
Fate: 2004: wrecked near Jeddah
General characteristics
Tonnage: 4,657 GRT; 839 DWT
Length: 117.51 m (385.5 ft)[3]
Beam: 19.08 m (62.6 ft)
Draught: 4.06 m (13.3 ft)
Installed power: 2 x 12-cylinder, four-stroke J & K Smit-MAN RBL6612 and 2 x six-cylinder units of 11,540 bhp at 275 rpm
Propulsion: twin-screw
Speed: 20 kn (23 mph)
Capacity: 1,200 passengers; 120 cars

MV Free Enterprise III was a Ro-Pax vessel built in 1966 as a cross-channel ferry, operated by Townsend Thoresen mainly on the Calais and Zeebrugge routes from Dover. She was sold to Egyptian owners in 1986 and wrecked in the Red Sea in 2004.


Townsend Brothers[edit]

Free Enterprise III was built in 1966 by I.C.H. Holland, Werf Gusto Yard, Schiedam, Netherlands, for Townsend Brothers Ferries.[4] In 1968, the company became European Ferries, continuing to operate services as Townsend Thoresen.[5]

Isle of Man Steam Packet Company[edit]

In 1984, Free Enterprise III was sold to Maltese owners, Mira Shipping Line, Valletta, and renamed Tamira. She returned to UK waters later the same year when she was purchased by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Renamed Mona's Isle, the sixth vessel in the company's history to bear the name, she entered service following alterations which saw additional accommodation added. Her service life saw her plying on the company's main Douglas - Heysham schedule with her service commencing in April 1985.[4] However her short-comings were quickly identified. Numerous problems persisted, not least in docking the vessel which required the services of the Laxey Towing Company. Her time in Steam Packet service was brief and the Mona's Isle was laid up in October 1985.

Sadaka Shipping[edit]

She was sold again in April 1986, to Egyptian owners, Sadaka Shipping, who renamed her Al Fahad. She served in Saudi Arabia for another twelve years. Suffering engine problems in June 2004,[6] she anchored in the Red Sea and was subsequently abandoned as a wreck 35km south of Jeddah.[7][8]


Free Enterprise III operated on the Dover-Calais service, adding Dover-Zeebrugge from 1967. During the summer of 1974, she spent time on the Cairnryan-Larne route. In summer 1981, Free Enterprise III operated between Portsmouth and Cherbourg.[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "M/S Free Enterprise III" (in Swedish). Fakta om Fartyg. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Free Enterprise III". Shipspotting. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  3. ^ "Al Fahad". The ferry site. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b c "Free Enterprise III - Tamira - Mona's Isle - Al Fahad". Simplon Postcards. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  5. ^ "Chapter 4 European Ferries Group PLC" (PDF). Competition Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 January 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  6. ^ "Mystery Ship". Maritime Research of Uddevalla. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Al Fahad". Shipspotting. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  8. ^ "Al Fahad ship wreckage site". Retrieved 2017-02-15.


  • Cowsill, Miles; Hendy, John (2001). The Townsend eight. Ramsey, Isle of Man: Ferry Publications. ISBN 187194760X.

External links[edit]