MV Doulos Phos

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MV Doulos Phos passes the Statue of Liberty on her maiden voyage as the SS Medina.
Name: 1914-1948: SS Medina
1948-1953: SS Roma
1953-1977: MS Franca C
1977-2010: MV Doulos
2010-Present: MV Doulos Phos
Operator: 1914-1948: Mallory Steamship Company
1948-1953: Cia Naviera San Miguel SA
1953-1977: Costa Line
1977-2010: Gute Bücher für Alle
2010-Present: BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd
Ordered: August 28, 1913
Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company
Yard number: NNS Hull #176
Launched: August 22, 1914
In service: 1914
Out of service: 2009
Nickname: (As SS Medina) The ship ahead of her time
Status: To become floating restaurant in Singapore.
Notes: Her name means "Servant Light" in Greek.
General characteristics
Tonnage: 5,426 GT (1914)
6,549 GT (1984)
6,822 GT (1960)
Displacement: 6,818 GRT
Length: 410 feet
Beam: 54 feet
Height: 54 feet
Draught: 18.2 feet
Propulsion: Diesel engines
Speed: 15 knots
Capacity: 414
Crew: 350

The MV Doulos Phos was the world's oldest active ocean-faring passenger ship. She is now owned by Mr. Eric Saw, Director and Chief Executive of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore[1]. She was previously owned by the German charity Gute Bücher für Alle (English: Good Books for All), and was used as a floating bookshop. The ship has previously been known as the SS Medina, the SS Roma, and the MV Franca C. The Doulos Ministry ended at the end of 2009 in Singapore, with the ship being handed over to its new owners on March 18th 2010.


The Medina was built in 1914 by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company for the Mallory Steamship Company of the United States. She was a freighter serving the Atlantic; during World War II she served with the United States Coast Guard.

The Panamanian company Naviera San Miguel SA acquired the Medina in 1948; they renamed the ship the Roma, and converted her into a passenger ship with cabins for 287 people, and dormitories for an additional 694 people.

In 1952 Naviera San Miguel resold the Roma to Linea Costa, an Italian company. At this time the SS Roma, a steamship, was converted into a motor vessel and renamed the MV Franca C. She carried passengers between Italy and Argentina. In 1959, the Franca C was adapted into a cruise liner, principally cruising the Mediterranean.

File:MV Doulos 2004 at Southampton.jpg
The Doulos at Southampton, England in 2004.

In 1977, Gute Bücher für Alle acquired the Franca C, and renamed her the Doulos (Greek for servant). Her first director was George Miley (1977-1978) followed by Dale Rhoton (1978-1981). Under Gute Bücher für Alle ownership, she was manned by a volunteer crew and made sea port visits worldwide.

On August 11th, 1991, during the final night of the MV Doulos' stop in the southern Philippine port of Zamboanga City, two of her foreign crewmembers were killed when a grenade thrown by the Abu Sayyaf members[2] exploded on stage during a performance by its Christian missionaries.[3] Four locals were killed[4] and 32 others were injured, including several crew members of the missionary ship.[3]

The MV Doulos held the biggest floating library in the world. Normally there were somewhere between 3000 to 5000 books on the shelves and half a million in the hold.[citation needed]

She made her last world tour in 2009 with a planned de-commissioning in 2010 before the SOLAS regulations were to be introduced.

However, a survey conducted by the ship's classification society RINA found that there were numerous significant problems and works with the ship's machinery, structure, and systems that would need to have been completed by December 31, 2009 in order for the ship's certificates to be re-issued and the ship to continue sailing. Because the shipyard servicing the Doulos would not accept the ship for repairs until September 2010 and the cost of the work would be a total in excess of 10 million euros, and the limited ministry that the MV Doulos would have after the repairs, OM decided to end Doulos Ministry at the end of 2009, instead of 2010 as originally planned.[5]

On March 18, 2010, Doulos was handed over to her new owner, Mr Eric Shaw, Director and Chief Executive of BizNaz Resources International Pte Ltd in Singapore. [6] The new owners plan on preserving the historic ship. She will be renamed Doulos Phos, or Servant Light, in this process.[7]

See also


Further reading

  • Elaine Rhoton. (1997) The Doulos Story. Carlisle: OM Publishing ISBN 1850782695

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
[[Commons: Category:MV Doulos Phos

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