Iron Sirius

Posted: 19 July, 2009 by SeaBart in special
Tags: ,

Iron Sirius

IMO : 6706670

Build :1967 by Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries, Aioi in Japan, nr 671 as Sigsilver

When launched in 1967 this was the largest dry bulk carrier in the whole wide world, having 11 holds and measuring a length overall of 250.1 m, a beam of 41.0 m and capable of a speed of 14.5 knots with a DWT of 107,477 tons. In today’s world she would just be one of the smaller Capesize bulkers crossing the world’s oceans. The reason she is featured here is the accommodation block: somebody decided that a large vessel like this doesn’t necessarily need a large accommodation…nor bridgewings from where you actually can see the outer side of the vessel. resulting in a very odd / strange looking thing. Because of these missing bridgewings she was nicknamed the “Thalidomide Ship”.

The funnel is almost bigger than the accommodation in front of it!!

In the 19 years she sailed the 7 seas she carried 10,880,908 tonnes of iron ore and 508,316 tonnes of coal. And finally she was broken up in Shanghai in 1886.

Inspiration, pictures & information came from one of Piet Sinke Maritime Newsclippings, and a bit of the internet.



  1. Scott says:

    I sailed on this old girl as a BHP Engineering cadet in 1985. Had the best time! An interesting fact is that as well as being the largest bulk carrier of the day it was also the worlds first UMS engine room. Like most things on this old girl, that didn’t work and we did watches, but that was good experience. The ship was indeed known as the Iron Thalidomide, but she was also known as the Iron Bastille, because it was the place all the non conforming and naughty mariners were put whilst everyone else in the fleet got newer vessels… and yes, I got there by way of misdemeanour! ‘Ring Bolting’ to be exact, but that’s a reference only maritimers can decipher. I clearly remember walking into the officers mess (they had them back then) on my first day to see a huge lump of a guy sitting at one of the tables, as a skinny kid I sheepishly asked him if there was somewhere I should sit as a cadet (meaning where can I not sit). He looked me up and down and said Engine or Deck? “Engine” I muttered meekly…”then you can sit any F@#king where you want” he said. That was my intro to the Chief Engineer!

  2. PJ Han says:

    I understand your reference to Thalidomide, but you might want to rethink it in this context.
    It’s pretty insensitive to make a joking reference to shortened limbs of malformed children, to ridicule the appearance of a ship.

  3. SeaBart says:

    Why would I need to rethink that?
    I didn’t come up with that name, somebody did that in the time the ship was still sailing the 7 seas.

  4. Graeme Dudgeon says:

    I finished the vessel up in Mitsushima, Japan, sailing on her for over 12 months as Chief Engineer.
    A crew from Hong Kong sailed the ship from Japan to Shanghai and the breakers.

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