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 Fjord with Ice Maiden I
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A semi-submersible is a ship or barge which can be lowered below a another ship to lift it clear of the water. They are often converted oil-tankers. A semi-submergible barge Eide Barge 33 was used to bring the dredger for the Second Tyne Tunnel and another, the self-powered, Enterprise, to take it away. Similarly a former tanker OSPREY was used to take the cranes from Swan Hunter shipyard to their new owners in India.
Photos of these may be seen in the (previous) Second Tunnel section and Osprey (in Shipyards section).


Semi-submersible FJORD carrying  ICE MAIDEN I - formerly the MV Paardeberg, a 14,000- tonne Russian Class AAA icebreaker/tank carrier. It was brought to the river to be converted to a floating accommodation facility for the North Sea oil industry. The finance fell through and after a long period standing idle it was dismantled in the dry dock at the former Neptune Yard at Walker in 2014.

Ice Maiden waits

Waiting outside the piers - May 24th 2008

 Fjord with Ice Maiden 1

Ice Maiden

Three tugs manoeuvre the long vessel on its way up river.

Originally commissioned by the Russian navy the vessel first entered service as a roll-on, roll-off tank carrier with ice breaker capability in 1991.This trip up river was only to unload containers from Fjord, she was meant to return to the sea anchorage to unload Ice Maiden, but...

Ice Maiden returns

....due to the shallowness of the river and the bad weather off the mouth of the river at the time, Fjord had to sail to Rotterdam to 'float off' Ice Maiden 1, seen here returning through the mist - 2nd June 2008

Ice Maiden returns

With Svitzer tugs at the Groyne - inward bound to A & P Tyne - 2nd June 2008

She was to be converted at A & P Tyne at Hebburn into the only single hull accommodation vessel to be built in 25 years. However, the owners went into liquidation and the vessel remained at A & P Tyne - March 2009

Ice Maiden 2009

Forlorn and unwanted - Ice Maiden is moored at the former Neptune Yard at Walker - May 2009

Ice Maiden in dock

The final outcome - in dock prior to scrapping 2013 (photo by Mike Newby)

Ice Maiden almost gone.

Almost there - January 2014