One of the dredgers that used to operate in the Maltese Islands was the 1952 built grab dredger ANADRIAN. The Crown Agents for the colonies ordered a dredger for the Maltese Government in 1950 from the firm Ferguson Brothers Ltd of Port Glasgow. She was laid in 1951 and launched on the 8th May of 1952. The cost of £80,000 was made good by a grant from the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund. The name ANADRIAN is a combination of ANNA and ADRIAN , the children of the late Hon. Dr Thomas Caruana Demajo, then Minister for Industry and Commerce.
ANADRIAN left Port Glasgow on the 7th July of 1952 with 12 crew , reaching Ceuta, Spain on the 15th July bound to Malta entering Grand Harbour on Monday 21st July 1952. She was blessed by the Canon Ascolese, Curate of Ta’ Liesse Church, starting dredging works on the 21st March 1953 where she spent the rest of her life working in Maltese waters of which she was used extensively for clearing WWII debris and bomb material from the ports and coast of Malta.
Her last dredging project was during the construction of the Malta Freeport at Kalafrana and afterwards her hull was beyond repair and no longer seaworthy and after 36 years of service the dredger was decommissioned.
There were a number of people involved in the setting up of the Maritime Museum and the Port Authorities authorised the Malta Maritime Museum who felt that the engine should be preserved. The vessel was bought by Cassar Ship Repair Yard in Marsa.
Cassar Ship Repair assisted with the dismantling of the parts destined for the museum with assistance from Enemalta Corporation . In fact the only triple expansion steam engine still in working condition on the island of Malta is now the centre of attraction in the former mill room of the Maritime Museum in Vittoriosa.
During the 90’s she was scuttled off St. George’s Point, St. Julian’s.
Photos by Capt. Lawrence Dalli. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos – www.maltashipphotos.com
Published – Monday 9th March, 2020