The ferry on which the filming took place was originally built in 1966 by the ship building company A.s Storviks Mekanike Verksted (in yard 25) of Kristiansund, Norway (Sterkoder Mekanike Verksted, formed in Kristiansund Norway in the 19th century as an engine builder and ship repairers, acquired Storviks Mekanike Verksted in 1982. They were taken over by the Umoe Group in 1991 and discontinued ship building in 2003). [1]

The ship was originally named Tungenes, registry number 1366. She was 618 Brt (British registered tonnage) 250 Dwt (Deadweight tonnage), 56.78m long with a breadth of 10.52m. She was fitted with two 8 cylinder, 4T Normo DM (Bergen MV) diesel engines each of 1040bhp.

In April 1966 she was delivered to the Norwegian shipping company Det Stavangerske Dampskibsselskap A.s where she operated between Stavanger, Kopervik & Haugesund until 1974.

In 1974 she was sold to the shipping company Skallagrímur hf of Akranes, Iceland and was renamed Akraborg. She operated as a car ferry between Akranes and Reykjavík until September 1984 when she was sold for the need of a bigger ferry. The ship that replaced Akraborg took the same name and remained in service until 1998 when it was no longer required due to the opening of the Hvalfjörður Tunnel (Hvalfjarðargöng). This tunnel, part of Iceland’s Route 1 ring road is 5,770m long reaching a depth of 165m below sea level. It opened on 11th July 1998 and the journey to pass the fjord now takes 7 minutes. In the summer of 1998 the Icelandic Government donated the ship, renaming it Sæbjörg, to the Icelandic Maritime Safety and Survival Training Centre, or ICE-SAR (Slysavarnafélagið Landsbjörg). The school ship features a fully equipped training facility onboard, both for academic and vocational training. [2]

The shipping company that purchased the original Akraborg in September 1984 was Baltic Shipping & Trading S.A Panama with registered offices in Eckernförde, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. She was renamed Sunflower and operated between Eckernförde and Sønderborg.

In September 1989 she was sold to Ferry Gomera S.A, San Sebastian de La Gomera, Spain. She was renamed Betancuria and operated as the ferry between Tenerife and La Gomera.

In 1995 she was sold to Jewel Line Marine, Inc. Panama and renamed Ciudad De Melilla.

In 1996 she was sold to Naviera Bolouda Fos SL, Panama and renamed Elisa B. On 8th February 1998 she arrived at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria under tow following a fire that had broken out on board ship. In April that year she was sold to a Spanish ship-breaker in Cádiz and was transported from Las Palmas to Cádiz, Spain on 29th April 1998. Records [3] show that on 3rd May 1998 the ship sank in position 32°42’6″N 07°58’5″W.

These co-ordinates relate to The Al Massira Dam, which is 70 km south of Settat on the Oum Er-Rbia River in Settat Province, Morocco. It is possible these co-ordinates are slightly wrong as information from wrecksite.eu [4] places the wreck just to the north of Casablanca off the coast of Morocco.

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Images © BBC Scotland, © Emil Páll.

1. Ship Photos (2014), Sterkoder Mekaniske Verksted [online]. URL [Accessed Nov. 13th 2014]

2. ICE-SAR (2014), Sæbjörg [online]. URL [Accessed Nov. 13th 2014]

3. Faktaomfartyg (2011), MS Tungenes [online]. URL [Accessed Nov. 13th 2014]

4. Wrecksite.eu (2014), Akraborg MV (1974-1984) Elisa B. MV [online]. URL [Accessed Dec. 28th 2014]