Ordered by Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (French Line) and keel laid for that company. Sold on stocks to Maritime Financing Corp. (H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza Group, Lugano), Panama.
The FAVORITA, a reefer ship, with the typical superstructures common in the 1950s and 1960s amidships and equipped with her own cargo gear, was originally laid down for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (French Line). During her construction at the France-Gironde shipyard in Dunkirk, she was sold to the Maritime Financing Corporation, Monrovia, part of the H. H. Thyssen-Bornemisza group in Lugano. The FAVORITA was launched on 30.04.1969. The ship was named after the well-known Villa Favorita in Lugano-Castagnola, which belonged to Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza at the time.
On 08.12.1969, the FAVORITA was handed over to the owner, the Maritime Financing Corp. Panama, and placed under the flag of Liberia, home port Monrovia (official number: 3350, call sign: 5LIO). The management was taken over by Suisse-Outremer Bereederungs- und Befrachtungs AG, Zurich, which changed its name to Suisse-Outremer Reederei AG, Zurich, in April 1978. Under a time charter with the French Cie. General Transatlantique, the FAVORITA sailed from the shipyard to Aarhus, Denmark, then via Hamburg and Antwerp to the Caribbean. During this time, the refrigerated ship was used worldwide to transport fruit (mainly bananas) until the 20.09.1979 when the vessel came off hire from Transatlantique in the port of Hamburg. During the on-hire period with Transatlantique the ship mainly sailed from the West Indies and Ecuador to Northern and Southern Europe, but also to the Far East, such as Japan and once to Shatt al-Arab, Korramshahr and Abadan in Iran.
During a routine docking in Hamburg on 26.09.1979, the ship was transferred within the Thyssen-Bornemisza Group to St. Gotthard Schiffahrts AG, Chur, and placed under the Swiss flag. The Italian name of Basel, "Basilea", was chosen for the designation of the home port (register no. 108, call sign: HBFL). Under Liberia and the Swiss flag, the majority of the FAVORITA's crew were Swiss, with the remaining people coming from Ecuador and Central America, and later from West Africa.
On 03.10.1979, the FAVORITA went on time charter with Chargeurs Réunis, again a French shipping company. The Chargeurs Réunis, well known in West Africa, was generally called the "Cognac Line" by the seafarers; its funnel mark with the three stars on a white background resembled the neck of a bottle of a well-known brand of cognac. Now the FAVORITA was deployed in the West Africa trade, to Abidjan, on the Ivory Coast. Here bananas, pineapples and coconuts (in crates) were loaded in the refrigerated holds. But there were also times when bananas were transported well covered on deck to Dakar, or coconuts in jute sacks on deck to Marseille. From time to time, they went north, to Antwerp, Dieppe and Nantes. On the return voyages, general cargo and various foodstuffs such as potatoes, vegetables, grapes, dairy products, citrus fruits were loaded in Marseille, Spain (Alicante, Almeria, Malaga) and Casablanca, and fish from Dakar to Abidjan. As the ship was chartered for 20 knots, the voyage time from Abidjan to Dakar was about 3 days and to Marseille about 8 days.
In December 1980 the ship had to call at Tenerife as a port of refuge to disembark ashore the 4th engineer who had attempted suicide.
The FAVORITA was also notorious among some people for the strong vibrations on the bridge, although this is a very subjective feeling and not everybody confirmed this. It is said that there were watch officers who wrote the logbook in the cabin in order to avoid the reputation of having an alcoholic's handwriting (this is not easy to get rid of).
On 16.03.1982, the crew of the FAVORITA, under the command of Captain Bernhard Wissmer, rescued 15 men and the ship's dog "Leica" from the Spanish trawler RIBERA DEL ORBIGO (246 / 62) from Vigo, which had sunk between the Canary Islands and Cabo Bojador after water had entered the engine room. The trawler came from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where it had previously been overhauled.
St. Gotthard Schiffahrts AG sold the FAVORITA on 13.07.1983 in Marseille to the state-owned shipping company SITRAM (Société Ivorienne de Transports Maritime) Abidjan. On the occasion of this change of hands, the ship was renamed ONO and registered in Abidjan under the flag of Ivory Coast (official no. AN1003, call sign: TUMI). In her 13 ½ years with Suisse-Outremer, the FAVORITA made a total of 163 voyages, corresponding to an average voyage duration of one month. During this time, she was also repeatedly sailing with various sub-charters, such as Salen Reefer Services Stockholm, Noboa Guayaquil, NYK Nippon Yushen Kaisha Japan, SITRAM Abidjan.
On 08.03.1985, the ONO collided off the coast of Mauritania with the Romanian fish factory stern trawler POSTAVARUL (3'971/84) at position 19° 57' N / 017° 25' W, which subsequently sank. The accident claimed two lives on the trawler.
After the ship caught fire in the engine room on 12.07.1985 on a voyage from Dakar to Alicante with a cargo of bananas and pineapples shortly before Gibraltar, at position 34° 51' N / 007° 06' W, she was towed to the port of Cadiz the following day with severe fire damage. On the occasion of the inspection in the port, three inspectors died of CO2 poisoning on 15.07.1985 when they tried to measure the temperature in a hold. The deadly gas had been produced by the ripening process of the loaded fruit.
Eventually, the ship and cargo were declared a total loss and the wreck of the ONO was sold to a Spanish demolition company. On 28.10.1985 she was towed to Algeciras for scrapping at Hierros Novoa.
MB / HPS / JTA - May 202