Rotherwick Castle

ROTHERWICK CASTLE was built in 1959 by Greenock Dockyard Co at Greenock with a tonnage of 9659grt, a length of 519ft 9in, a beam of 66ft 1in and a service speed of 16 knots.

One of two 'R' class reefers, much of her career with British & Commonwealth was managed by the Clan Line's, Cayzer, Irvine & Co. of London.

In 1975 she was sold to Sea Fortune Shipping Co. of Monrovia and renamed Sea Fortune and in 1980 became the Silver Bays owned by Barbridge Shipping Ltd of Liberia.

She was sold again in 1981 to Jersey Shipping Ltd of Panama with Wallem Ship Management as managers and was finally sold in 1983 to Mickle Shipping Ltd of Panama and broken up at Chittagong.

From CNI

My first ship as Second Officer, I always thought I was a bit lucky to get a reasonably new ship just after promotion. The voyage was a 9 month double header.

From Thyge Enevoldson - then 2nd Officer Rotherwick Castle

On passage on Rotherwick Castle through the Straits of Gibraltar, the Master Charlie Lorains had taken over the morning watch. At about 0700 the Chief Steward reported to the bridge that he had just witnessed a car sinking very close to the ship.

Initially treating this with disbelief it was only when the bosun came to the bridge with the same report that he accepted the fact. As 2nd Mate I was still asleep at this time but was awakened to report to the bridge. If I remember correctly it was about 15 minutes later that a man was seen in the water initially sighted by the Chief Steward from the main deck.

After hoving-to close by I was ordered get together a crew and to take the starboard side pulling (not the motor) lifeboat to rescue the man from the water. This was achieved with some difficulty in the existing conditions. With the man on board and who only spoke little English the Rotherwick Castle diverted into Gibraltar to land the man. Apparently he had been driving his amphibious car across the straits and he did say that he had tooted his horn and flashed his headlights but was not seen from the approaching ship.

Coincidently there was a Soviet ship in Gibraltar from which one of the crew was missing believed to have defected. Because of this Rotherwick Castle was delayed in Gibraltar for several hours until the rescued man was positively identified as being not the defector

At the subsequent enquiry the car owner was asked about his observance, or lack thereof, of the Rules of The Road. In his defence he stated that he "flashed his lights" and "tooted his horn".

The Rotherwick Castle was cleared of all blame!

As Sea Fortune but still in Union-Castle colours

The Amphicar Incident - November 1965

Murder at Sea - 1974

Life after Union-Castle

Launched by Lady Rotherwick

She was the first Union-Castle vessel to be built at Greenock Dockyard

As Sea Fortune

Sad and Neglected

Launch - August 1959    &    Maiden Voyage - May 1960

Rotherwick Castle

Left Southampton

25th May

For Cape Town


A T Underdown

Chief Officer

C Kelso

2nd Officer

J Currie

3rd Officer

N Creaser

Radio Officer

D Evans


A West


J Smith

Chief Engineer

H Stuart

2nd Engineer

J Wilson

Int 2nd Engineer

J Thomas

Jnr 2nd Engineer

L Block

Snr 3rd Engineer

G Bowman

Int 3rd Engineer

W Urwin

Jnr 3rd Engineer

M Desbrosses

Ch Fridge Engineer

J Ringshaw

2nd Fridge Engineer

J Aitken

3rd Fridge Engineer

R Saadien

1st Electrician

J Brice


W Murphy

Puser Chief Steward

W Divers

Neither of these vehicles is the one involved and are just here for illustration

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