Completed (several months late) in late 1974 for Sealink's traditional two-class service between Harwich and the Hook of Holland, the St Edmund acted as consort to the earlier St George (as the two UK contributions to the British/Dutch joint service). The ship was built at Cammell Laird at Birkenhead and was notable for her especially impressive interiors, especially in first class. Her reign on the Hook route was not to be long however and in May 1982 the ship was one of various British merchant ships to be chartered by the UK Government for use in the Falkland Islands Task Force. The ship was despatched to Portsmouthfor a quick 8 day refit,emerging with a helicopter pad aft in place of her main mast. The St Edmund was never to return to service with Sealink: the war actually concluded the day before the ship arrived in the islands and she was employed repatriating defeated Argentinian troops back home and latterly as an accommodation ship in Port Stanley. .

In February 1983 the ship returned to the UK but was promptly purchased by the Ministry of Defence for more service in the South Atlantic as HMS
Keren. This work lasted more than two years, but in July 1985 she returned to the UK and was laid up near Portsmouth for sale. Subsequently purchased by Cenargo, she adopted the name Scirocco and was made available for charter work - including periods with Tirennia, Trasmed, Comanav and Cotunav. A longer-term charter opportunity arose in early 1989 and the ship was despatched back to UK waters to become the Rozel, new flagship of British Channel Island Ferries, replacing their pioneer ship Corbiere. This charter lasted for three years until early 1992 but BCIF were unable to agree terms for a further extension, and the ship was returned to her owners, resuming the name Scirocco. Subsequent charter work with Comanav and Cotunav again followed, but the former St Edmund finally settled down on her owners Ferrimaroc service between Nador and Almeria. This work lasted until early 2004 when she was sold to the Egyptian El Salem organisation. However she was chartered back for Summer 2004 to work for her former charterers Comanav as the Santa Catherine I where she served their Nador-Almeria route in direct competition with her previous operators.
ST EDMUND
ABOVE: St Edmund approaching Harwich in her early years, in full Sealink livery.
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e-mail: matt@hhvferry.com
ABOVE: Scirocco in the mid/late 1980s in an all white livery.
ABOVE: HMS Keren laid up in Portsmouth harbour in September 1985. The ship is still in essentially the old Sealink livery, albeit without the trading name on her hull and with a plain buff, black-topped funnel.
ABOVE: As British Channel Island Ferries' Rozel in 1990. As can be seen, the ship never regained the mainmast which was removed to make way for a helicopter pad on the initial 8-day refit in Portsmouth prior to sailing for the Falklands in 1982.
ABOVE: Ferrimaroc's Scirocco in the early 2000s.
ABOVE: Another view of the Keren.