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Farewell Pontus

Photographs  John H. Luxton 2006

PONTUS is seen departing from the Mersey towed by a Norwegian tug - bound for Norway on Wednesday evening - April 20, 2006.

Brought to the Mersey in 2000 as Sea Containers' answer to the problems of developing the Liverpool Sea Terminal PONTUS had previously served Sea Co subsidiary Silja Line as a floating terminal and link-span facility. Original published plans showed Pontus secured at the north end of Prince's Stage - stern on against the present pilot berth.

Given the currents which flow on the Mersey many thought such a position impractical and it was not surprising that after a some modifications during summer 2000 she was berthed alongside the southern most section of the Prince's Landing Stage though she was removed for occasional maintenance.

Following the decision to close the Isle of Man Steam Packet Liverpool - Dublin service she was consigned to a lay-up berth in Sandon Basin late in 2004. Shortly after her removal the section of stage to which she had been attached sank!

She never did realise her full potential on Merseyside - passenger use being restricted to early arriving car passengers and Blue Riband Club members, though her office accommodation was also used, no use was ever found for her arrival / departure hall.

Following her removal from the stage it was rumoured locally on Merseyside that a Chinese Restaurateur had considered buying her for use as a floating Restaurant in the South Docks - the only problem her wide beam prevented access via Brunswick Lock - which following rebuilding to serve the Marina is only capable of handling small vessels.


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