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SONTAY

SONTAY

The BAYERN was a 8917 gross ton ship, length 466ft x beam 58ft, one funnel, four masts, single screw, speed 13 knots. Accommodation for 16-cabin and 750-3rd class passengers. Built by Bremer Vulkan, Vegesack, she was launched for the Hamburg America Line on 2nd Jun.1921. Her maiden voyage from Hamburg to New York started on 13th Sep.1921 and her last on this route started on 8th Dec.1923. Later used on the Far East service. Sold to Messageries Maritimes, Marseilles on 8th Dec.1936 and renamed SONTAY, she was managed by the Union Castle Mail SS Co from 1940-1945 and then returned to her owners. Sold to Panamanian owners in 1955 and renamed SUNLOCK, she was scrapped in Japan in 1959. (Source: theshipslist.com). Remark: The date of 6th December 1936 cannot be correct, since the Sontay departed from Rotterdam to Shanghai via London and Algiers in February 1936.

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She continued to carry a large passenger complement while operated by MM: "passagers: 20 premières, 25 secondes, 60 troisièmes, 944 rationnaires" so would qualify as passenger liner?
 

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I have posted the following on Shipping History recently:
"IMO definitions
I'm about to post a photo of a "cargo ship" with accommodation for 26 passengers. Passenger ships are usually defined as a ship carrying more than 12 passengers (see http://www.imo.org/en/ourwork/safety...ngerships.aspx). Do we agree on this definition? Should I put the photo into the passenger ships category?"

Malcolm G answered as follows and John Rogers agreed:
"I would suggest that it depends on the primary function of the ship rather than a tight definition for purposes of safety.
If it is primarily a cargo ship carrying any passengers then - cargo ship.
If it is primarily engaged carrying passengers but also transports cargo then - passenger ship.
That is my simplistic, logical approach. - I might be wrong."

I'm inclined to agree with this view and I also take the 'look and feel' of a ship into account. Sontay looks like a cargo ship and I wonder where the hundreds of passengers were stowed away.

Let other readers express their opinion too.
 

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Remark: The date of 6th December 1936 cannot be correct, since the Sontay departed from Rotterdam to Shanghai via London and Algiers in February 1936.
According to Kludas she was sold to MM and renamed SONTAY on 16 January 1936.

Rgds, Manfred
 

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Hi Gijsha. Yes ,safety regulations kick in at >12 pass. I think 'primary function' tricky since many ships historically dual function, even convertible (colonial trades, deck passengers etc) I do think actual specification (accommodation etc) and actual employment by owners counts for something. 'Look and feel' seems a bit subjective. Another photo of "Sontay " here: https://onsvietnam.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/sontayb8.jpg
She clearly has a lot of superstructure, and tween deck space with ports. Also why would a 'cargo ship' be fitted with sixteen lifeboats? Be interesting to hear other views.
Regards
 

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Originally posted to passenger ships category, then moved to cargo. I'll move the photo back.
 

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"she was managed by the Union Castle Mail SS Co from 1940-1945"
After June 1940 the SONTAY travelled for Vichy France. Coming back from Saigon (departure 02.12.1940) she was underway from Tamatave to Dakar when she was stopped by the British cruiser ENTERPRISE in 26.01.41. Brought to Durban she was seized in February 1941 and then managed by Union Castle.
 

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I remember seeing her en-route to Indo-China with French Union Forces, somewhere between Suez and Singapore in the late Forties.
 

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