On Saturday 16th November 2002 'Bonga' became the largest vessel ever to sail up the Tyne.
The Bonga is the size of three football pitches and weighs 300,000 tonnes.
 She is 300 metres long, 75 metres wide and the height of a 12-storey building.

Outside piers

After several delays because of the weather she is seen here waiting outside the piers for dawn to break


Safely through the narrows and past the notorious black middens (rocks)
Too long to turn round safely - Bonga is towed backwards upstream.

Bonga at AMEC

Work on the superstructure almost complete at the AMEC yard at Howdon.


Returning to sea after the new superstructure was added

Flare tower

The flare tower dwarfs the big sea-going tugs

B4 & after

On Sunday 19th October 2003 she left the Tyne for Nigeria
carrying 22,000 tonnes more superstructure than when she arrived.


"One for sorrow two for joy" - Magpies steal the show - as usual.

Bonga, dwarfing the South light at dusk finally leaves The Tyne.
It now (2017) produces 225,000 barrels of oil per day off the coast of Nigeria.
 In June 2008 production ceased for a time when she was boarded by Nigerian dissidents. 
She was also involved in a major oil-spill in 2011