MV Bellubera

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History
Name: Bellubera
Operator: Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company
Port of registry: Sydney
Route: Manly
Builder: Mort's Dock
Launched: 26 April 1910
Out of service: 29 November 1973
Identification: IMO number5040043
Fate: Scuttled 1 August 1980
General characteristics
Tonnage: 499 tonnes
Length: 63 metres
Beam: 9.75 metres
Decks: 2

Bellubera was a ferry operated by the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company on the Manly service from 1910 until 1973.

History

Bellubera in original configuration

Bellubera was built by Mort's Dock, Woolwich, New South Wales, Australia, for the Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company. Launched in 1910, she was the third of six Binngarra-type vessels. Due to many misfortunes, she was nicknamed the Hoodoo Ship. She collided with at least four vessels, sinking two of them, seven people died through direct association with the ferry and at least seven people fell or jumped off the ferry.[1] In one incident, on 2 April 1914, she collided with the steam tug Kate off Dobroyd Head, New South Wales, sinking Kate and capsizing the lighter Kate was towing; Bellubera rescued Kate′s four-man crew.

Bellubera had two major conversions done, the first when her open-top upper deck was enclosed and her single funnel replaced by two, the second funnel being a dummy mounted merely for appearance. In 1936, her original steam engines were replaced by Harland & Wolff diesel engines. On 16 November 1936, fire broke out aboard Beelubera while she was moored at the Kurraba Point depot while workmen were repairing a steel plate on the roof of the upper deck. Molten metal and sparks set alight the leather seats in the saloon and within five minutes the entire ship was ablaze. Four men were trapped below decks, with one dying that night in hospital and a second a few days later. Another suffered leg burns and spent 21 months in hospital.[1][2][3]

Bellubera was rebuilt at the Cockatoo Island Dockyard. In 1954 she was taken to the State Dockyard where it was partially replated, repainted, and re-engined with English Electric engines. She was taken out of service on 29 November 1973.[1][2]

She was sold to a company named Trouble Shooter, so certain equipment could be stripped and installed into the ex-Royal Australian Navy Ton-class minesweeper HMAS Gull. Bellubera′s English Electric diesels were removed and returned to the Public Transport Commission to help keep the Baragoola and North Head in service. Bellubera was scuttled off Long Reef on 1 August 1980 and today rests on her side in two pieces in 45 metres (148 feet) of water.[1][2]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Bellubera Ferries of Sydney
  2. ^ a b c Mead, Tom (1988). Manly Ferries of Sydney Harbour. Brookvale: Child & Associates. p. 164. ISBN 0 86777 091 0.
  3. ^ Manly Ferry Fire Sydney Morning Herald 9 December 1936
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