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The 'Scillonian' launches

RMV Scillonian Ferry III launches

News 1977 1 mins Silent

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


The RMV Scillonian III passenger ferry launches from the Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon. Christened by H.R.H Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall on 17 May 1977 the ship made its first trip two days later from Bideford to St Mary’s. The Scillonian III is run by the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company, based in Penzance.

Due to the strong currents around Land's End and the Isles of Scilly, the Scillonian was nicknamed ‘The big white stomach pump’ or ‘vomit vessel’. It has been fitted with a flume antiroll stabiliser, which allows the vessel to navigate the shallow waters and take on the strong currents. The Scillonian Ferry III is only in operation for eight months of the year. The vessel has been featured in the BBC series ‘An Island Parish’ .