Local Shipping – ZAMTUGS.

In the middle 1980’s the Zammit Group of Companies, who pioneered inland ferry services before the establishment of Gozo Channel Co Ltd, ventured into towage though for a short period, purchasing and operating 5 tugs which their names started with ZAMTUG followed by a roman number.


Built in 1957 at NV Scheepswerf v/h Jonker & Stans, Hendrik Ido Ambacht, Holland (yard no 279) and launched on 2nd May 1957 delivered as FRIESLAND while on 2nd August 1957 she was delivered to Bureau Wijsmuller NV, Ijmuiden, Holland and on 11th December 1963 she was renamed as CYCLOOP. In 1986 she was sold to Mira Towage Ltd, Malta and was renamed ZAMTUG.

In 1988 she was sold again.


Built in 1966 by James Lamont & Co Ltd, Port Glasgow, Scotland ( yard no 404 ) and delivered as B.C. LAMEY to J.H.Lamey Ltd, Liverpool, England on 2nd June 1966.

In 1968 she was taken over by Alexandra Towing Co Ltd, Liverpool, England and on 10th September 1970 she was renamed SALTHOUSE.

In 1984 she was sold to John McLoughlin & Son (Shipping) Ltd, Larne, Northern Ireland, UK and renamed DAVID F. On the 16th June 1985 whilst on a voyage charter to the Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners towing the 1969 built JUPITER II her tow line snapped and sank in Ross’s Bay, River Foyle. on 6th July 1985 she
was raised by PR Eurosalve Ltd, Folkestone and laid up at Londonderry pending repair and later sold for demolition at Milford Haven. In 1985 she was sold to M & M Maintugs Ltd, Exeter, England with intended name as XENIA M. In 1986 she was mortgaged to Salvatore Bezzina & Sons Ltd, Malta  and in 1987 she was sold to Mira Towage Ltd, Malta and renamed ZAMTUG II.

From 11th June 1986 to 14th May 1989 she was chartered to Tug Malta Ltd. Below seen assisting a newbuilt Russian timber carrier KAPITAN PRIMAK at Malta Shipbuilding Co Ltd with the old MARI ( Former CAMBRIAN).

On 2nd October 1991 she was sold to Minto Ballerini, Ravenna, Italy and renamed MEDUSA I.


In 1976 her hull was built by Imai Seisakusho KK, Iwagi at Japan as yard no 156 and completed by Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Co Ltd as yard number S 070 and delivered as F 31in June 1976 to Jubail Harbour Construction. In 1981 she was sold to Bos & Kalis Baggermij NV, Sliedrecht, Holland and renamed SYPESTEYN homeported at Panama. In 1984 she was sold to Sealift GmbH, Germany and renamed SEALIFT 23. In 1988 she was sold to Mira Towage Ltd, Malta and renamed ZAMTUG III.

In 1989 she was sold again.


In March 1977 she was launched by Georg Eide’s Sonner A/S, Hoylandsbygd, Norway as yard no 103 and delivered as KARL OSKAR in June 1977 to Wiren’s Rederei AB, Sweden. On the 15th November 1977 she was sold to Bagger and Bugsier Company of East Germany and renamed STURMVOGEL. On the 30th December 1981 she was acquired by the Arned Company of Vlaardingen, Holland and renamed her as TRIUMPH.

On the 14th December 1983 she was acquired by the Petersen and Alpers Company of Hamburg, Germany and renamed HANSEAT. In 1989 she was sold to Mira Towage Ltd, Malta and renamed ZAMTUG IV. Her berth at that time was at Haywharf, Marsamxett Harbour.

In 1990 she was sold to Canadian interests.


In 1976 she was delivered as ASIATIC VIRTUE to Asiatic Navigation Ltd, Singapore by Sea Services Pte, Singapore. In 1981 she was sold to Gray Mackenzie & Co Ltd, London, England for towage services at Bahrain and renamed GRAY SEAL. Later that year she was sold again to Euronavigation Inc, Liberia with VCT flag homeported at Kingstown and renamed as RED SPARROW. In 1989 she was sold to Mira Towage Ltd, Malta and renamed ZAMTUG V.

In 1991 she was sold to local company Sea Services Ltd.

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 – Saturday 21st March, 2020