Le Rif arrives at Malaga for dry docking
Recent reports that Le Rif (ex Stena Galloway, Galloway Princess) had been sold for scrap appear to have been untrue, as the former North Channel favourite arrived in Malaga on Saturday for a dry docking. The ship (including 4 crew and a Captain appointed for the trip) was towed from Tangier in Morocco where she had been abandoned in 2013, though she had been moved to a different berth in the port since then. Initially the Harland and Wolff built ship will undergo an assessment of her condition taking around 10 days and involving 14 people. A budget of around €2.5m has been set aside for the overhaul and refurbishment, which will involve significant technical work and is expected to take around 2 months. The work will be undertaken at Cernaval's Mario Lopez shipyard in Malaga.
Le Rif had been laid up following a major technical failure prior to her last owner, IMTC, declaring bankruptcy in 2013. She was sold to a concern going by the name DWLM for 9 million Moroccan Dirhams (approx €830,000), having been abandoned by her former owners. She become the property of the port of Tangier following a protracted legal process who sold her in order to recoup some of the money they were owed. It is not yet known which operator plans to operate Le Rif, or indeed what area she will operate in. However the use of a Spanish yard suggests that she may well operate in the Mediterranean again. Built in 1980, Galloway Princess was the first of a series of 4 ships built by Harland and Wolff for then British Rail owned Sealink. Another of the series, Ibn Batouta (ex Stena Antrim, St Christoper), is also said to be undergoing refurbishment for further service having also been abandoned for some time. However, little has been heard about her since she was towed from Algercias to Albania last August. The other remaining members of the series Bari (ex Stena Cambria, St Anselm) and Port Link (ex Stena Caledonia, St David) remain in service in the Mediterranean and Indonesia respectively.
Click here for a photo of Le Rif under tow in Malaga (external link)
EDIT: It has been reported by some sources that DWLM is a new company (Detroit World Logistics Maritime) which intends to operate Le Rif between Spain and Morocco again.
Image credit: Stena Galloway at sea in Stena Line colours. Copyright © Scott Mackey.