Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
The twin screw motor vessel MOMBASA was one of two built by the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb for the Mombasa - Mtwara service via Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam - Kilwa and Lindi her sister ship was the MTWARA Ship No 393. The round trip took ten days and she carried Sir Edward Twining Governor of Tangyanika on her inaugural voyage to Mtwara the first commercial ship to visit the recently completed deep-water wharf arriving on the 15th of September 1953. She carried 8 first class passengers, 16 second class passengers and 250 deck passengers, and she also had a refrigerated capacity of 2,000 sq ft.
She worked up and down the coast of east Africa for the british India Steam Navigation Co, Ltd. BI Lines as it was known was in fact a subsidairy company of P & O who had taken over the company in the 1920s, and the famous company continued with its original name operating as a seperate company.After ten years with BI, in which she had carried over 200,000 passengers and more than a quarter million tons of cargo, she was withdrawn from service and laid up at Port Reitz, Mombasa before finally being sold to Crescent Shipping Lines of Karachi, becoming Kareem on the 18th of October 1961. She was broken up in Karachi in 1968 with the ship's bell being presented to her last British India Captain.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.