Monday, 30 August 2010


Also seen in Ayr Harbour was the former Russian coaster VALENTIN PIKUL, built in 1994 by the Volgograd Shipyard as one of their 'Project 16920' ships designed for river and sea-going duties. Originally named BALTIYSKIY-203, she is now operated by a Belgian firm although still mainting Russian connections, and she flies the Maltese ensign like many ex-Soviet ships. At 89.5 metres in length, she has a deadweight of 2,917 tonnes and was carrying a cargo of fertiliser from Sfax in North Africa, part of which she had already discharged at Newport in South Wales. This ship attained notoriety in December 1997 when she collided with, and sank, another coaster in the Skagerrak.