The former St Columba was sold by Hellenic Seaways to Namma Shipping Lines on 2nd February 2007. The ship left Greece for the last time on 24th April 2007.
Through direct cross-marketing with sister-company Mawaddah International for Hotel and Umrah Services, Namma Shipping Lines provides passenger ship service between the Red Sea fronts of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The ship commenced operations on short distances such as Dhiba - Safaga and Jeddah –Portsudan. Most of 2010 was spent in lay up at Suez but a return to service was made late in that year.
Since 2011 operation of the ship appeared to have been somewhat erratic and in January 2014 she was seen at anchor off Suez looking the worse for wear.
The Masarrah seen at anchor off Suez in January 2014. © Bob Scott.
Eventually, in October 2021, came the inevitable news that the former St Columba had been sold for scrap.
Masarrah sailed from Safaga, where she had been laid up for some time, on 2nd November for Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, arriving there next day at 22.01 local time.
By the evening of 17th November the ship was underway to Khawrfakkan, United Arab Emirates, for delivery to her new Owners, a distance of 2726 nautical miles.
On 21st November, with a couple of strokes of a sailor's brush, Masarrah was renamed Asarrah for her final voyage, her fate awaiting her on the beaches of Gadani, Pakistan. Gadani is the location where her one time Holyhead fleetmate Avalon was broken up in 1981.
The ship was off the coast of Pakistan by 28th November. On 2nd December 2021 Asarrah was beached at Gadani Plot 69. Breaking commenced immediately.
ST COLUMBA, Finished with engines. RIP.
Photo: Gadani Shipbreakers.