Ice Maiden I (updated)

Posted: 29 July, 2009 by SeaBart in ugly
Tags: , , ,

Ice Maiden I

IMO : 9056894

Build : 1992 by Kherson Shipyard, Kherson in Ukraine, nr 6002 as Yuvent

This, uhm…apparently derelict hull you see on the pics above is actually a high-tech vessel to be, somewhere in the future. No, it’s true….believe me please! This used to be the proud vessel Paardeberg, a Souh African icebreaker delivering goods & other stuff to the Antarctic but then she got bought by an Aberdeen company with big plans. They had her gutted in the U.S. of A and then transported on a heavy lift vessel to the Netherlands, towed to Aberdeen in the U.K. and then….that same company went bust.

Here is the hull on the heavy lift ship “Fjord” (about which I’ll write something at a later time).

And this is how she looked in a former lifetime:

Apparently she is now bought by another company and they plan to complete her and actually get on with it. Maybe somebody has more information for us?

I’m sure that she’ll be back here when she is finished because, according to the plans this is how she is going to look:

AAAAHW, shock, horror, scream, panic!……..too much for me….I think I might go hide under my blanket with my little teddybear…..where is my little teddybear???

Update (29-07-2009)

I received some information, at last……..

All the above isn’t going to happen…..nobody is interested in the hull and she will be scrapped. I have no idea when or where they will do that but considering the plans they had for her it’s nothing but the best for the whole wide world who otherwise had to witness the above monstrosity.

So the above are the last pictures of an ugly ship that was never meant to be.

As a last encore a brochure with the premature specs: Ice Maiden Specification Brochure

Thank God!

  1. fooman2008 says:

    what are they going to build that forward superstructure out of, Balsa wood? they would have to put some nice heavy engines down low and aft to counteract the sail effect, and the weight….I would just make sure the bottom is well painted in any kind of seastate. Better yet camouflage it so you can’t see what should be a pretty hull with an apartment building on top of it.

  2. seabart says:

    (un)fortunately we will never see what she would have looked like in real life as she is about to be scrapped, if she isn’t already.

  3. ZTRY says:

    Unfortunately I had the “privilege” of decomissioning her as SAS OUTENIQUA. Maybe not pretty but in the harsh conditions of the Southern Ocean you did not want to be on anything else. With her size and configuration you could tackle the worst seas in the world and ultimately that is what it is about. Being alive at the other end.

  4. seabart says:

    in her old days as SAS Outeniqua or Paardeberg she wasn’t that bad looking. It was only after the big shipping moguls got their hands on her she was going to be ugly as you can see in the renderings. It wasn’t meant to be and that’s a shame as a good vessel is now going to be scrapped.

  5. gmd says:

    I served on this vessel in 2001. We left the port of Durban on 9/11 2001, the very day the tragic world trade center disaster happened. I remember leaving the port and watching the plains crash into the buildings, as we moved away from land, the signal faded and the tv just showed static noise. It was an uncertain ten days at sea as we sailed towards Australia, and then we were notified that we were turning around and heading home. We made a detour and exercised with the French Navy at Reunion island, where I set foot on dry land again for the first time in 26 days.

    I will never forget this massive smelly bucket with it’s Russian instruction manuals, and markings on the bulkheads, but it was an awesome ship to be out on the open sea with. It is a pity that it ended up all dismantled and scrapped. My roommate at the time told me later that the engine on that ship was beyond repair, and needed to be replaced. I guess it was just inevitable that it would end up at the bottom of the ocean.

    If anyone knows whether the hull was dismantled or scuttled, please let us know…

  6. gmd says:

    correction – not 26 days at sea – 16 days… my math is pathetic…

  7. Trident says:

    Sadly, I was involved with the whole sorry tale of the attempted conversion to a Flotel for the offshore oil and gas industry. The management of the project was hopelessly overwhelmed by the enormity of what they had taken on, but managed to keep the financiers happy for a while. When the truth regarding the costs and delays and other ‘goings on’ finally came out, the backlash was immediate. Administrators moved in on the company and that was it!

    I believe the hull was sold to a local scrap merchant on the Tyne. Not sure how the scrapping will, or is, being done, as the hull was full of asbestos insulation.

    As for the engine – it was intended to make it run again, but frankly, the whole idea of keeping any of the old Russian equipment (the engine was a Russian B & W derivative) was MAD!

  8. Rocket says:

    we were cruising down the causeway in Mobile, AL and found one of the survival boats from this ship beached in a small cove. just got to researching her, sad story… such a waste

  9. I N Dyson says:

    On 1st July 2010, I saw this ship in what looked like exactly that cut-down condition, as shown here in all but one of the real photographs (the odd one out showing it as designed originally): It was floating on the Tyne by, & tied to, a quay somewhere @ or near Wallsend; as I sailed past it, firstly on my way downriver, & then on my way back upriver…

    To me, & in the context of its function as designed originally, its hull looked elegant enough. Indeed, the proposal to convert it, by putting that accom block atop it in lieu of its original one, looks obscene to me – Tho frankly, I find many modern cruise liners just as ugly as that; while my prize for ugliest ship type so far, must go to the car carrier…

    Anyway, as soon as I saw this ship, I realised that it must have been an icebreaker: What with its over-riding bow stem; but it’s fascinating to learn more about its history here – So, many thanks for that guys!

  10. MobileAlabama says:

    I am really interested if anybody has got any history about the vessel. I worked on the Vessel and was really disappointed by the Vessel ended.
    Has anyone got any update?

  11. David says:

    I know her history well.

  12. david says:

    i ended up working on the ice maiden for ten weeks in the boat yard in alabama,
    i would just like to say that the conversion might have been sucessfull with the proper people in charge,YOU CANT BUILD SHIPS USING PLUMBERS,PLUMBERS MATES,CARPET FITTERS, BROTHER IN LAWS AND FRIENDS ALL I COULD SEE DOWN THERE WAS PEOPLE LINING THERE OWN POCKETS (JOKE JOB)

  13. Luke says:

    I lived in Simonstown where this ship was based as SAS Outeniqua, I find it quite sad that it has ended up like this, but I guess there are lots of stories like this about ships. I found her on google maps, which is astounding to me. I moved to the UK, so I sort of feel like the ‘Outies’ has followed me.,-1.523237&spn=0.010711,0.038581&t=h&z=15
    Keep zooming in, you can’t miss her with the heli pad on the wavey back and the big open storage bays. Sad tale though.

  14. David says:

    As the one who designed the upgrade, it is disappointing to here comments from people who are clearly unaware of the background, scale of the vessel and her future capabilities.

    It is true that the wrong people were tasked with the construction, it is also true that the designers who were well aware of the timescales required to deal with the project could not deliver a single drawing in the required time to allow a very good shipyard in Mobile to even cut it’s first piece of steel.

    It should be noted that every component required to build the ship had been purchsed and was ready for delivery within 3 months of the ship purchase!! Design drawings were the major issue of the demise of the project and yes, overpsend but anyone who has ever been involved in a shipbuilding project will be well aware of overspend.

    With regards to the vessel being riddled with Asbestos, there is such a thing as a “Green Passport”, but suffice to say the only area which had not been cleared of asbestos was the main engine room and that was actually not required to be cleared, contrary to popular belief.

    The design is still here with me and the concept still a requirement as we go further into the arctic for Gas/Oil.

  15. Goose says:

    I worked in Glasgow on the project from Jan – March 2007, and although keen to learn about naval architecture, was never given any training by the boss at that time. i was just asked to source bridge windows, which i did, and spent the rest of the time pottering on hull drawings i wasnt fully trained on. It did appear to be a shambles, the big bosses would come in and look at people like they were something you trod in on the street…it couldve been so good.

  16. ZTRY says:

    Ditto David. Actually it’s a pity that the job wasn’t finished as she was a ship with a lot of life left. She left the SAN in an excellent condition. As to the whole asbestos “riddle” a survey was done whilst she was in the SAN and a lot of “asbestos” was found not to be with the exception of some lagging in the engine room. Suspect it became an “easy” excuse for some of the detractors. Ugly or not she would have made an imposing sight at sea and it would have been a pleasure to “bump” into her. A lot of happy Southern Ocean memories mixed with lots of sadness when I had to decommission her as a SAN vessel on 30 Jul 2004. At that stage she was ironically in probably in the best condition she had ever been in.

  17. kevin trevaskis says:

    wow. What memories. I was a member of her first crew in the SAN. Infact I was tasked with the job of plugging in the shore phone, thus being the first in the SAN to board her. She sailed to Simonstown crewed by Unicorn staff as well as a few Ukrainians whos job it was to teach us saffas how to sail her! The key to this task was translating the manuals and signage from Russian to English. She also arrived with a dog on board aptly named Juvent. juvent was adopted by our wonderful chief Warrant Minnaar. As we soon learnt this was no ordinary merchant ship. The Juvent was kitted for war under the skin. Some of the capabilities were a chemical and biological cleansing station, reinforced focsal deck to take armaments, full capability to seal off and sail her without ever going on deck. There was a tunnel running along the port side connecting the bridge to the engine room. Recreationally she was fitted with a gym, sauna, swimming pool and basket ball court, all below decks! Luxury for us sailors! And to top it off she had an elevator accessing all 11 decks. The other reason we loved her was the officer cabins were 2 birth, all with on suite bathrooms. Compared to the long serving Tafelberg we all believed we were on a luxury cruise ship. Cruise we did. Our captain was a deep sea fishing nut and known only to the crew (who could keep a secret) our cpt set sail for mount vema for sea trials. Mnt vema strangely just happened to be the best yellow tail breeding area in the atlantic! Once the entire crew had all hooked dozens of yellow tail, the cpt declared her sea worthy and we returned to simonstown for the commisioning parade. The Outeniqua was a fine ship with an over used ward room. As the junior officer on board it was my duty to run the chits in the ward room. I did so with great enthusiasm and made very sure no officer on board ever had to drink alone.
    If anyone would like to pick my brain any further on her first year in service contact me at

  18. Tom Lowrie says:

    The ship that you refer to was actually bought from the Ukraine and named the SAS OUTENIQUA. She was sold to two wine farmers from Paarl in the Western Cape to be used as a cable recovery vessel for derelict under sea telephone cables. The SAS OUTENIQUA replaced the SAS TAFELBERG, which was scrapped due to old age.I was very priviledged to serve on board the Outeniqua for 10 years, and managed to do 9 trips to the Sanae Base in the Antarctica, plus numerous trips on the African coast, as well as an aborted trip to Australia. This was’nt too bad as we were diverted to La Reunion island for some R&R as compensation. We also did the first food run to Dar Es Salaam from Durban, after which we visited Zanzibar and Mombasa, before returning to Simon’s Town.

  19. Tom Lowrie says:

    A correction to GMD’s collection. The SAS OUTENIQUA sailed from Port Elizabeth for Australia. We docked there to take on fresh warer. We were allocated a berth at the coaling jetty for the overnight stay, with no shore leave. Members of the crew who had musical instruments on board had the crew singing and enjoying themselves till the early hours, with members on the adjacent beach joining in . We did manage to sail at 08:00 the next morning.

  20. Richard Evans says:

    As a member of the SA Navy I joined the then “MV Juvent” the day she arrived in Simonstown as the Chief Marine Electrician. I was priviledged to serve onboard her for 6 years as SAS Outeniqua(Pennant No: A302 “The Biggest and the Best”) and sailed to the Indian Ocean Islands, right around Africa, through the Suez Canal into the Med through the Bospherous, into the Black Sea, back into the Med, through the Straits of Gibralter into the Atlantic and safely back to Simonstown.
    I was also priviledged to sail to Antarctica on 5 occassions, sailing through some of the most horrendous sea conditions the Southern Ocean can produce.
    As ugly as she looked, she handled those sea states with the greatest of ease and broke through 1,5m thick ice like a knife through butter, paving the way for the MV SA Agulas to follow. On one trip the Agulas got stuck in some very thick ice and”Outies” sailed around her breaking up the pack ice, allowing her to get free.
    For interest sake the dog “AB Juvent” was drafted ashore when the Coxwain (the late)WO1 D.J. “Dicky”Minnaar left the ship for a shore posting. 18 months after leaving the ship AB Juvent passed away and was given a military burial at sea off the coast of Simonstown.

  21. Chris Moolman says:

    Amazing how what one perceives as ugly can decorate a prime spot on another person’s wall… SAS Outeniqua has an honoured spot on the wall in my house… proud to have served on her… and a great ship in my humble opinion.

  22. Oleg Zavodchenkov says:

    “Build : 1992 by Kherson Shipyard, Kherson in Ukraine, nr 6002 as Yuvent” – it is not correct. It was built as Aleksander Sledzuk by the order of Murmansk Shipping Company. Then USSR was destroyed and Murmansk Shipping Company refused a deal. The mv was bought by some Moscow businessman and then resold to SAR Navy as Juvent ( excuse my english). I am a former engineer of the first crew. I spent onboard one and half year since Kherson Shipyard till Galveston, Houston where South African crew where arrived in. ” I will never forget this massive smelly bucket with it’s Russian instruction manuals,… ” – funny, but true. Anyway I left part of me on her.

  23. Jason King says:

    Amazing, I travelled from Newcastle UK to Cape Town SA to carry out a type 1 Asbestos Survey on the Ice Maiden prior to commencement of re-fit in Mobile Alabama USA. 4 weeks of crawling around this ship meant I soon got to know every nook & cranny. Sad to see the ship never made its grand plans.

    Ironic it’s now sitting in Newcastle UK and I’ve emigrated to Australia.

  24. Mike Newby says:

    After being here on the Tyne for years the ‘Ice Maiden 1’ as we know her will probably be finally scrapped very soon here on the Tyne at Wallsend.

    A sad end to a once nice looking ship!

  25. SeaBart says:

    I assumed she was already scrapped. very surprised to hear she’s still around. Any chance for some pictures?

  26. hoss the digger driver says:

    well chaps I can inform you all that today I pulled this ship in to the old Neptune yard dry dock with my 47 tonne excavator and as of Monday morning she will chopped up for scrap

  27. Mike Newby says:

    Have pictures of her final resting place to be scrapped, but where/how do I upload them??

  28. SeaBart says:

    Hello Mike, thanks for that!
    You can always send them to me: seabart(at)

  29. Mike Newby says:

    I have sent them to http://WWW.UGLYSHIPS.COM [], hope you get them


  30. SeaBart says:

    Didn’t receive anything yet.

    Don’t think the emailadress you send it to is suitable for that, only suitable for text-replies to the comments on here.

    please try this one again:

  31. Charl Coetzee says:

    Any confirmation on whether Ice Maiden was finally scrapped. I was her last OC whilst she was in service in the SA Navy.

  32. mike newby says:

    Yes the Ice Maiden was finally scrapped last year here on the Tyne

  33. Bruce butterworth says:

    Bruce Butterworth
    I was the first Wo mech ships aboard her WO “Dicky”Minnaar were flown out to meet her at sea before she come into Simon’s town On our trip to the Ukraine a couple of WO and myself were responsible for doing the first engineering change aboard her and that was to enlarge the ward room

  34. Jake McEuen says:

    Someone in an above post asked where the rendering video of the ship as she would have looked if the project were completed. It was produced by a company in Mobile, AL but I don’t remember the name of the company.

    I was hired to document the tear down and reconstruction of this ship in Mobile, AL. I worked on an almost daily basis for over a year.

    I still have lots of pictures and video tape in my files.

    As far as I know, almost none of my work has ever been shown in public.

    I don’t know the story of the end of the project. I was getting ready to leave from my home for the 23 mile trip to the shipyard the I unexpectedly received a call from the Aberdeen, UK office and was told I was being released from my duties just before the project ended in Mobile. In other words, I was the first to go from the original US project hire. I suspected something was amiss but not told anything. “You are being released from your duties aboard Ice Maiden I as soon as you can pack your gear and leave. Speak to no-one about this.”

    About a year following the shutdown I was boarding a plane for home in Texas where I was documenting the construction of an oil platform. I ran into a manager of the company that was in charge of building the crew compartments aboard Ice Maiden l. He was friendly but sort of vague when I brought up the subject of the “Ice Madden I” and why the project was not completed.

    About five years ago, I was cleaning out some of the numbers on my cell phone and ran across the name and number of one of the one of the project managers. Just for the hell of it, I called and he acted like he never knew me. Said he didn’t remember me! Strange… because he and I worked together and ate dinner at a cafe just off the Mobile Shipyard grounds on an almost daily basis for over a year.

    I have heard rumors but I guess we will never know exactly why the project was shut down.

    Sad story because the old ship and new project had such grand possibilities.

  35. Mike Newby says:

    Hi Jake
    The Ice Maiden II as we knew her (ex MV Paardeberg) was brought to the Tyne on the semi submersible ‘Fjord’ in June 2008, it was intended to convert her into what we call a ‘Flotel’ an accommodation vessel for the offshore construction workers but the estimated costs were were way out and the consortium went into liquidation before any serious work started.
    The Ice Maiden was in the Tyne for many years plus ‘I think’ asbestos was found on her and moved from mooring to mooring and was finally scrapped in the Tyne in 2014
    Regards Mike

  36. Jake McEuen says:

    I have finally retired from producing film in the marine industry. To while away the time, I have dabbled in Youtube and found it to be a platform that garners a huge audience for all manner of subjects.

    I am seriously considering using some of my images and video to work up a history of the old girl whose parts have been turned into cars, trucks and train track around the world.

    I only have concerns about any copy-writing infringements that might occur. If I release the material on a gratis basis (noncommercial) and publish it without making any money on the project, I can see no basis for any interference from anyone who might want to claim ownership of any material I use that only I produced. If you wish to submit material for use on the project, I will give credit where credit is due.

    Anyone who has additional photos / video that are not copy-rite protected, please forward them to me at my email address.

    Jake McEuen

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