SS Benalbanach (1946)
|Name:||Empire Athelstan (1946-47)
Dragon Castle (1969-75)
|Owner:||Ministry of Transport (1946-47)
Ben Line Steamers (1947-65)
Ministry of Transport (1965-69)
Board of Trade (1969)
Mercur Shipping Enterprise, Panama (1969-75)
Cuatebol Shipping SA, Panama (1975)
|Operator:||Owner operated except:-
P Henderson & Co (1946)
Alfred Holt & Co (1946-47)
British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd (1965-68)
|Port of registry:|| Newcastle (1946-47)
|Builder:||Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, Barrow in Furness|
|Launched:||15 January 1946|
|Identification:||Official Number 169213 (1946-69)
Code letters GKJD (1946-47)
IMO number: 5040689
|Fate:||Scrapped December 1975|
|Length:||451 ft (137.46 m)|
|Beam:||66 ft 7 in (20.29 m)|
|Depth:||31 ft (9.45 m)|
|Propulsion:||2 x steam turbines (Metropolitan Vickers) 800 hp (600 kW), double reduction geared, driving one screw|
|Speed:||15 knots (28 km/h)|
|Notes:||Lifting capacity: 2 x 120 ton derricks|
Benalbanach was a 7,803 ton heavy lift cargo ship which was built in 1946 as Empire Athelstan. In 1947 she was sold and renamed Benalbanach. Further name changes were Camelot in 1965 and Dragon Castle in 1969. She was scrapped in 1975.
Empire Athelstan was the first postwar merchant ship built by Vickers-Armstrongs at Barrow in Furness. She was yard number 94, launched on 15 January 1946 and completed in June 1946. She was built for the Ministry of Transport and initially managed by P Hendersonn & Co, and then by Alfred Holt & Co. In April 1947, Empire Athelstan was put up for sale by tender, at a minimum purchase price of £340,000, with delivery after 31 May and before 31 August 1947.
Empire Athelstan was powered by two Metropolitan-Vickers steam turbines, double reduction geared to one screw. She could achieve 15 knots (28 km/h). She had two derricks with a lifting capacity of 120 tons.
In 1947,Empire Athelstan was sold to E G Thompson (Shipping) Ltd, Leith, who traded as Ben Line Steamers Ltd. She was renamed Benalbanach, the second of five Ben Line ships to bear that name. In 1949, Benalbanach transported military supplies to Malaya and Hong Kong, the latter as defence against incursions from mainland China then involved in a Civil War. She served with Ben Line until 1963 when she was laid up at Hartlepool. In 1965 she was sold to the Ministry of Transport and renamed Camelot.
Camelot was placed under the management of the British India Steam Navigation Co Ltd. In February 1968 she was laid up in the River Fal. In 1969, ownership of Camelot passed to the Sea Transport Branch of the Board of Trade. Later that year, she was sold to Mercur Shipping Enterprise, Panama and renamed Dragon Castle.
Dragon Castle was operated by Mercur for six years. In 1975, she was sold to Cuatebol Shipping S.A., Panama, operating under the management of Societa Italia Gestioni, Italy. Later that year, she was sold to Brodospas for scrap, arriving at Split, Yugoslavia on 5 December 1975.
Official number and code letters
Official Numbers were a forerunner to IMO Numbers.
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- ""5040689"" (subscription required). Miramar Ship Index. R.B. Haworth. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
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- "Public Notices" The Times (London). Monday, 21 April 1947. Issue 50740, col D, p. 10.
- "The LSL Class". Merchant Navy Officers. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
- "Ben Liners". Teesships. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
- "Ben Line / William Thomson & Co.". The Ships List. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
- "The Green Howards at Singaport" The Times (London). Wednesday, 17 August 1949. Issue 51462, col E, p. 3.
- The Empire Ships. London, New York, Hamburg, Hong Kong: Lloyd's of London Press. 1990. pp. p192. ISBN 1-85044-275-4.
- "LLOYD'S REGISTER, STEAMERS & MOTORSHIPS". Plimsoll Ship Data. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
- Photo of Benalbanach