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Name: MS Skaubryn
Operator: Skaugen Line
Port of registry: Oslo
Builder: Oresundsvarvet Shipbuilding Co., Norway
Launched: 7 October 1950
Maiden voyage: 23 May 1951
Homeport: Oslo
Fate: Sank after fire, 6 April 1958
General characteristics [1]
Type: Passenger liner
Tonnage: 9,786 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 458 ft (140 m)
Beam: 57 ft (17 m)
Propulsion: Götaverken diesel engines, 1 shaft
Speed: 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph)
Capacity: 16 first class and 1,205 tourist class passengers

MS Skaubryn was a Norwegian passenger ship launched in 1950, which sailed between Europe and Australia. She sank in the Indian Ocean in April 1958, after a fire.

Construction and design

Owned by Isak Skaugen, Skaubryn was first intended to be a shelter deck cargo ship for one of his companies, Eikland. She was built by the Oresundsvarvet Shipbuilding Company in Norway and launched on October 7, 1950. Whilst being fitted out, Skaugen decided to have her completed as an emigrant liner, and she was transferred to the Howaldtswerke shipyard for completion as a passenger liner. When completed she offered tourist class accommodation for 1,205 passengers, as well as eight twin-bedded cabins accommodating 16 first class passengers on the bridge deck.[1]

Service history

Skaubryn's main service was from European ports to Sydney, Australia, though she also made a number of sailings to Canada. She was chartered several times, once by the French Government in the mid-1950's to bring troops back from Vietnam. Skaubryn was one of the very last vessels to pass through the Suez Canal immediately before its closure due to the Suez Crisis of 1956. In late September 1956 the Dutch Government used her for a single voyage from Rotterdam to Halifax and New York. That same year and in early 1957, she was chartered by the British Government to transport troops from Singapore to the UK. The Greek Line chartered her later in 1957 for four round trips from Europe and the UK to Quebec, after which she returned on the Australian emigrant service again.[1]


On March 14, 1958, Skaubryn departed Bremerhaven with 1,288 passengers on board. On March 31, whilst in the Indian Ocean a fire broke out which quickly spread, though all the passengers safely evacuated the ship in her lifeboats. One passenger died due to a heart attack whilst still in a lifeboat. Thankfully the seas were calm. The first ship to come to her rescue was the Ellerman Lines cargo liner SS City of Sydney. All passengers were transferred to the City of Sydney, although she could not provide accommodation. The following day, the Lloyd Triestino passenger liner SS Roma arrived and all passengers were transferred to her.[1]

The fire on the Skaubryn caused great damage to her forward and central superstructure, whilst her stern remained untouched. An attempt was made to tow her to Aden, first by HMS Loch Fada, then by the Dutch Tug Cycloop, however, Skaubryn slowly took on water and she eventually sank on April 6, 1958.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "MS Skaubryn". Retrieved 15 March 2010.