Al Salam Petrarca 90

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The "Petrarca" in 1970 at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The “Petrarca” in 1970

The AL Salam Petrarca 90 began life as the 6,909 GRT Poeta class Roll On/Roll Off PAX-ferry Petrarca built at Cant. Nav. del Tirreno e Riuniti, Palermo, Italy (Yard No. 250) for Tirrenia di Navigazione S.p.A, Palermo, Italy. She was launched 1n December 1970 delivered the following year with a length of 131 meters meters, beam of 20 meters, and draught of 5.58 meters. Propulsion was provided by twin 9-cylinder B609S Fiat diesel engineswith a combined output of 12,354 HP to two shafts for a speed of 22 knots.

The ship was designed to carry up to 1100 passengers and had 506 berths(beds). She could also carry up to 250 automobiles as well.

The Petrarca provided service between Italy and Tunisia from June 1971, with one overhaul period in 1985, until being modified in 1991 at La Spezia, Genoa, Italy. Passenger carrying capacity was increased to 1396, berthing (cabins) was increased to 917 or 921, and automobile carrying capacity was increased to 370. This included the addition of 195 first-class cabins and 90 second-class cabins. These modifications increased the overall tonnage of the ship to 11,799 GRT and increased her draft by almost half a meter to 5.9 meters and beam by approximately 3 meters. When the modifications/upgrades were completed, the ship had had an additional 3 decks added to her superstructure and side sponsons installed
The "Petrarca" in 1971 at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The “Petrarca” in 1971

The Petrarca continued providing service on the Genoa-Tunisia route until 1997 when the ship was laid up.

The ship was sold in 1999 to the AL Salam Shipping Co., Suez, Egypt, for Red Sea service, renamed Al Salam Petrarca 90, and registered with United Pacific Nav., Inc., Panama (Panamanian Flag). On 22 June 2002, the Al Salam Petrarca 90 departed Dubah, KSA when a fire broke out onboard the ship shortly afterwards. The ship was able to evacuate the passengers before the ship sank. 1 reported casualty and 10 injured in the incident.

The "Al Salam Petrarca 90" (Notice the additional upper decks and sponsons at the waterline) at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The “Al Salam Petrarca 90” (Notice the additional upper decks and sponsons at the waterline)

In 2006 the ship was salvaged and sold as scrap to an undisclosed buyer (possibly India or Pakistan). Reports dated 17 July indicate that 7650 tons of metal were recovered and sold at $315 USD per ton.
The "Al Salam Petrarca 90" (Notice the additional upper decks and sponsons at the waterline) at The Red Sea Wreck Project

The “Al Salam Petrarca 90” (Notice the additional upper decks and sponsons at the waterline)

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Lee has been in the marketing industry for the last 15 years and now specializes in teaching marketing techniques to people in the scuba diving industry. He is founder of Dive Media Solutions which, in addition to providing complete marketing, media, communications and IT solutions exclusively for the scuba diving industry, also produces The Scuba News. You can connect with Lee via Twitter by following @DiveMedia

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