Diesel Tug VERNICOS IRINI (Ex-USAT-755)
Vernicos Irini on sea trials opposite the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, 2006
Class: ST Army Tug
Length: 86 feet
This ST ('small tug') class diesel tug was designed and built under the direction of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps to assist with the port handling of the huge Allied merchant fleet during WWII. Its original designation - U.S. ARMY ST-755 - is still visible at the bow. After the war, ST-755 was one of more than 100 surplus vessels donated to Greece, most of them 'Liberty' dry cargo vessels.
The government in turn offered the merchant vessels to the Greek shipping community on generous financial terms to help restart activities after the wartime devastation of their fleet.
ST-755 was acquired by the 'Nicolas E. Vernicos Shipping Co.' of Piraeus and renamed the Vernicos Irini. She provided more than 50 years of towage and salvage services, before being finally laid up in Salonika in 2000.
In 2002, she was offered to the Rahmi M. Koç Museum by Nicolas A. Vernicos and after being towed to Turkey and undergoing cosmetic restoration at RMK Marine in Tuzla, went on display in October 2003. She was subsequently returned to Tuzla in 2006 for major repairs including recommissioning the Clark engine, and is now on the Turkish register in fully seaworthy condition.
Engine room of Vernicos Irini showing the 6-cylinder Clark diesel
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