S.T. Boston Heron FD48

Additional information courtesy of David Slinger


Official Number: 162133
Yard Number: 1201
Completed: 1939
Gross Tonnage: 314
Net Tonnage: 116
Length: 130.7 ft
Breadth: 24.5 ft
Depth: 11.9 ft
Built: Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby
Engine: 125hp T.3-cyl by Amos & Smith Ltd, Hull. Fitted for burning oil fuel F.P. above 150° F
Note: One of the first trawlers built to burn oil under the boiler


23.3.1939: Launched by Cochrane & Sons Ltd, Selby (Yd.No.1201) for Neale & West Ltd, Cardiff as AKITA.
23.5.1939: Registered at Cardiff (CF4).
1.6.1939: Completed as a fishing vessel. Joshua S. Neale designated manager.
30.8.1939: Requisitioned by The Admiralty from the builders having been fitted out as a minesweeper (1-12pdr) (P.No. FY.610) (Hire rate £235.10.0d/month). Based Swansea with M/S Group 133.
10.1945: Returned and re-classed at Barry.
1955: Laid up.
5.1956: Neale & West Ltd closed their Cardiff base citing high coal prices, unruly crews and Spanish over-fishing; vessels for sale.
5.1956: Five vessels bought en bloc by Fred Parkes, Blackpool – AKITA (CF4), CHAFFCOMBE (CF18), OKU (CF3), SASEBO (CF27) and St. BOTOLPH (CF8).
5.1956: Sold to Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Ltd, Fleetwood.
5.1956: Cardiff registry closed.
5.1956: Registered at Fleetwood (FD48). Fred Parkes, Blackpool designated manager.
1.1957: Registered at Fleetwood as BOSTON HERON (FD48).
19.12.1957: Sold to Milford Fisheries Ltd, Milford Haven. Owen W. Limbrick designated manager.
23.12.1957: Arrived Milford from Fleetwood (Sk. Reggie High) and Milford crew.
18.1.1958: First landing at Milford (Sk. Arthur Harvey).
27.6.1960: Sailed Milford (Sk. Arthur Harvey) on charter to MAAF & WFA for experimental trips to the unproven grounds to the south westward of Ireland known as “the Farm” (South Farm Bank).
12.1961: Sold to Merchants (Milford Haven) Ltd, Milford Haven. Albert Henry Davies designated manager.
30.11.1962: Sailed Milford for North Atlantic grounds (Sk.John William Bean); twelve crew.
3.12.1962: Fishing Minch, SW gale gusting 60mph, Sk. Bean decided to run for shelter in East Loch Tarbert, Isle of Harris. At around 9.0pm struck reef off Stilamair Island, Isle of Scalpay. Vessel pounded by seas with extensive bottom damage. RFA ROBERT DUNDAS (1110grt/1938) and Fisheries Board for Scotland, FPV BRENDA (350grt/1951) ordered to scene. Local MFV SCALPAY ISLES (SY429) (Sk. Finley Morrison) directed operations and five men, including the skipper, rescued by local fishermen and Stornoway lifeboat crew, but seven men lost.
13.12.1963: At the Formal Investigation (No.S.460) held at Milford the Court found that Sk. John William Bean contributed to the stranding by wrongful default in failing to heed warnings given by the Decca Navigator and not taking immediate action. After the stranding all proper steps were taken for the preservation of vessel and crew. Sk. Bean’s certificate was suspended for three months.
1.1964: Fleetwood registry closed.

(Survivors: Milford unless stated. Sk John W. Bean (41); John Donovan (33), Mate; Brian Naden (27), Hakin, Third hand; deckhands Frank Fisher (51), Hakin & Chris McCulloch (27), Hakin.

Lost: Milford unless stated. Jack Dyson (42), Hakin, Bosun; Bill Bailey (62), Pembroke Dock, Ch Eng; Harold J. Edwards (59), 2nd Eng; deckhand Bob Brown 29); cook, Billy Hannaford (37), Hakin; firemen, Harry Harries (59), St. Davids & Bill Prockett (53) Johnston.)

Click to enlarge images

S.T. Boston Heron FD48

S.T. Boston Heron CF4
Picture from the Internet

S.T. Boston Heron FD48

S.T. Boston Heron FD48
Picture from the Internet

S.T. Boston Heron FD48

S.T. Boston Heron FD48
Picture courtesy of The JJ Collection

S.T. Boston Heron FD48

S.T. Boston Heron FD48
Picture © John Stevenson

15/01/2009: Page published. 3 updates since then.
11/06/2019: Minor update.
17/02/2020: Added an image.
06/07/2020: Updated information.