Serviços de Transportes Marítimos in Portuguese Timor

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The O Arbiru , the largest STM ship in Portuguese Timor

The Serviços de Transportes Marítimos ( German  Sea Transport Service , STM) in Portuguese Timor was responsible for civilian sea transport in the Portuguese Timor colony . It existed from 1963 until the collapse of Portuguese rule in 1975. The STM was subordinate to the colonial government in Dili . From October 1973, the local naval commander Kapitänleutnant José Luís Leiria Pinto was the head of the local STM office. The official shipowner was the Portuguese Overseas Ministry (Ministério do Ultramar) .


The Loes in Atabae (1970)

With Decree 45083 of the Portuguese Overseas Ministry of 1963, the STM was established in Portuguese Timor. The government of the overseas province was approved to take over the freighter O Arbiru and the boats Laga and Laleia (it is not clear whether these are the boats that were only transferred from Macau in 1975), which had previously been in naval service. Expenses for personnel, materials, payment for services and various fees were to be taken from a separate budget. From the income of the STM, 15% should flow into a reserve fund for repairs, 30% were used to buy more ships and boats and the rest was earmarked for the state treasury.

The STM was administered by a commission made up of the port master, the chairman, a representative of the governor and a representative of the Chamber of Commerce Associação Comercial, Agrícola e Industrial de Timor (ACAIT).

The freighter O Arbiru was responsible for the transport of people and goods between the coastal towns of Portuguese Timor as well as for the connection with neighboring countries, for example to Singapore , where almost all European goods for Portuguese Timor were handled. The ship entered service in 1963, but sank in the Flores Sea on a voyage to Bangkok . Officers and NCOs were members of the Portuguese Navy and the crew were civilians.

After the loss of the O O Arbiru , the connection to Singapore was only taken over monthly by the former KPM ship Musi , which belonged to a Singaporean company and had a capacity of 1000 GRT. Every three months the private Broriver drove the route Dili - Australia and the MacDili of the Macao Society for Tourism and Entertainment (STDM) was to drive regularly from Macau to Dili from 1975 onwards.

The Loes was a 50 GRT landing craft that transported people and loads between the coastal towns of the colony. The Comoro barge brought tourists from Dili to the island of Atauro off the city and back.

The Lifau tug was purchased in March 1974. It was 30 meters long and had a capacity of 150 GRT.

In April 1975 the Lifau was sent to Macau to pick up the new large landing craft, Laleia . Lifau and Laleia left Macau port on July 27th . The small landing craft Laga was transported in the hold of the Laleia . This should be used for the pilotage service. The port of Dili was reached on August 6, 1975. At this point in time, the colony was already in the process of gaining independence.

In addition to the boats mentioned, the colonial government also had the service boat Tibar , the former NRP Albufeira (P1157). The boat was handed over to the Comando da Defesa Marítima de Timor by the Navy in 1973.

On August 11, 1975, the União Democrática Timorense (UDT) tried to usurp power in the colony with a coup. Street fighting broke out with the competing FRETILIN , so that Governor Mário Lemos Pires decided to evacuate the Portuguese administration and their families and withdraw the military on the night of August 26-27, 1975. 500 civilians were the civilian freighter MacDili in the Australian Darwin sent while were brought with the boats of the STM administration and military to Atauro. Governor Pires was on board the Loes , which was being pulled out of port by the MacDili because the landing craft was inoperative at the time. It had been in port for repairs. The Loes , most recently under the command of Frederico Almeida Santos da Costa , was later abandoned on Atauros Beach.

On October 11, 1975, the MacDili left Atauro for Macau, with the Lifau and the Tibar in tow. Governor Pires left with his men Atauro on board the corvettes João Roby and Afonso Cerqueira on December 8, 1975, which finally ended the rule of the Portuguese in the colony .


Surname Name meaning Ship type Remarks
O Arbiru tetum The invincible Freighter, 486 GRT, 50 m long Commissioned in 1963; Set in 1973
Comoro after the river Rio Comoro Barge
Laga after the place Laga small landing craft Transferred from Macau in 1975
Laleia after the place Laleia Landing craft Transferred from Macau in 1975
Lifau after the place Lifau Tractor, 150 GRT, 30 m long Acquired in March 1974; Towed to Macau in October 1975
Loes after the river Lóis Landing craft, 50 GRT Abandoned in 1975 on the beach of Atauro Island

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Academia de Marinha: Timor 1973/75 - Recordações de um Marinheiro , July 2012 , accessed on October 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Register of Ships, MZ, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, London, 1970/71, p. 431.
  3. a b c Overseas Ministry: Decree 45083 , p. 94/95 , accessed on October 15, 2018.
  4. ^ Norman Hooke: Modern Shipping Disasters 1963-1987 . Lloyd's of London Press, London 1989, ISBN 1-85044-211-8 , pp. 342 .
  5. a b c Amandio Lopes: East Timor Secret , October 29, 2012
  6. ^ Dates of the Marinha Portuguesa.
  7. ^ Moisés Silva Fernandes: O Processo de Descolonização do Timor Português nos Arquivos Portugueses, 1974-1975 , Instituto de Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa
  8. ^ Jean A. Berlie: East Timor's Independence, Indonesia and ASEAN. Springer, 2017, p. 6 restricted preview in the Google book search
  9. Mário Viegas Carrascalão : Timor, Antes do Futuro , Livraria Mau Huran, Dili 2006.
  10. ^ Jean A. Berlie: East Timor's Independence, Indonesia and ASEAN. Springer, 2017, p. 6 restricted preview in the Google book search
  11. José Luís Leiria Pinto: Timor 1973/75 - Recordações de um Marinheiro , Academia de Marinha, July 2012, p. 27 .
  12. Geoffrey C. Gunn: History of Timor , pp. 149–156 ( Memento of the original of March 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Technical University of Lisbon (PDF file; 805 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /