M.S. Cheeta

Ship details: The Cheeta was a 107 BRT German stone fishing boat registered in Panama and owned by the advertising agency which was registered in Liechtenstein.

During the night of 17th/18th July 1958 the Cheeta lost her anchor, drifted towards the Swedish coast, and ran aground just outside Malmö. During the storm she lost her aerial mast and damage was caused to the transmitting equipment. Panama withdraw registration on 29th August 1958. In Juli 1961 the Cheeta left for Kristiansand (Norway) to undergo repairs. Mike Leonard reports that the vessel was leased to a Norwegian shipping company only for a few months. It used as a working vessel to transport cargoes of scrap iron between various Scandinavian ports.

During a gale on 12th February 1962 the Cheeta put out a distress call, and a tug was sent to assist the ship to the Langlinie Quay, Copenhagen. Here the Cheeta was met by Police and detained. The Cheeta had still been stateless, although she claimed to be registered in Honduras. The vessel was then sold to Mrs. Britt Wadner.

The vessel was presumed to having been taken in tow by a tug on 9th January 1963 after drifting in pack ice to the north east of the Island of Saltholm. The Cheeta finally arrived safely at the Malmö Yacht Club harbour, Limhamn.

During a storm on 17th September 1964 the Cheeta went adrift and ran aground near Malmö, holed below the waterline. At Noon on 19th September the ship was refloated and towed into Malmö for repairs. During the evening of 7th October 1964 the Cheeta sank at Quay No. 11 in Malmö harbour. This was done on purpose, to claim some insurance money. However all valuable equipment, such as generator and transmitter, was taken off the ship first. I have a short Super8 film showing this activity. As the ship sank in the harbour, where the water was not very deep, it had to be removed. I remember that there was a writing on the quay, for many years, that “Cheeta sank here on xxx 1964”. After salvage it was taken to Persöner in Ystad. Persöner was a well known scrap yard, where many ships were scrapped – and so was the Cheeta. [Information by Per Alarud]

Offshore radio station: Radio Mercur (for Denmark) from 11th July 1958 to 12th February 1962, Skånes Radio Mercur (for Sweden) from 14th December 1958 to 5th March 1962, Radio Syd from 6th March 1962 to 17th September 1964

Location: International waters in the northern area between Copenhagen and Landskrona, south of Tycho Brahe’s Island of Ven, later at the southern location between Copenhagen and Malmö. In autumn 1961 the Cheeta anchored in the Stora Bält/Elefantgrunden between Fyns Hoved, Funen and Reerso, Zeeland (Denmark). In November 1961, the vessel changed again to a position off Copenhagen. In February 1962, it was anchored off Malmö (Sweden).

unknown photographer