This 1931-built ship has been beached in the sands of Le Barcares, on the Mediterranean coast of France, serving as part of a resort, spa and nightclub since June of 1967. She was originally Adelaide Steamship Company’s MOONTA for Australian coastal service, with accommodation for 140 berthed passengers. A product of the Burmeister and Wain shipyard at Copenhagen, Denmark, she was powered by B&W diesels which drove a single screw at 13 knots. MOONTA's weekly Adelaide-based itinerary served Port Lincoln, Port Germein, Port Pine, Port Augusta, and Port Hughes. She remained in this service throughout the war, until being withdrawn in 1955.
For six months, she replaced the ferry TAROONA on the Melbourne to Launceston run while the other ship underwent repairs. Later that year, MOONTA was sold to Hellenic Mediterranean Lines and renamed LYDIA for Marseilles to Egypt via Italy and Greece service. The 298 by 44 foot, 2,696 gt liner was refitted at Piraeus to carry 460 passengers in cabins, dormitories, and on deck. In 1966, she was laid up at Piraeus, and the following year, sold to Soc. d’Economie Mixte d’Etudes et d’Amenagement des Pyrenees Orientales. After her engines and screw were removed at Marseilles, LYDIA was towed to Le Barcares. A special basin was cut into the sands were the ship was berthed, then filled in, making her a permanent fixture at the Mediterranean resort.
By dda @ 2007-07-27 14:18:41