Official Number: 145723
Yard Number: 776
Gross Tonnage: 299
Net Tonnage: 114
Length: 130.3 ft
Breadth: 24 ft
Depth: 12.9 ft
Engine: T.3-cyl by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, Middlesbrough
Built: Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough
18.1.1923: Launched by Smith’s Dock Co Ltd, South Bank-on-Tees, Middlesbrough (Yd.No.776) for Neale & West Ltd, Cardiff as OYAMA.
3.1923: Completed (Wilfred Neale, Morley H. Neale & Joshua S. Neale, managers). Registered at Cardiff (CF10).
1927: Morley H. Neale & Joshua S. Neale, Penarth appointed managers).
1930: Sold to Saxon Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood (William W. Brierley c/o New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, manager).
11.1930: Cardiff registration closed.
12.11.1930: Registered at Fleetwood (FD122).
13.12.1930: Renamed DOROTHY LAMBERT (FD122).
1938: Sold to The Clifton Steam Trawlers Ltd, Fleetwood (William W. Brierley c/o New Docks Steam Trawling Co (Fleetwood) Ltd, manager).
2.1940: Requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper (P.No. FY.558)(Hire rate £108.7.9d/month).
1.1941: Based Aberdeen with M/S Group 12 (Ty/Sk. G. S. Wright RNR).
3.1944: Fitted out for dan laying and assigned to Operation Neptune – Normandy landings.
23.5.1944: Attached to the 15th Minesweeping Flotilla as a dan layer.
3.7.1944: Operation Neptune ended.
2.1946: Returned to owner after restoration and survey at Fleetwood.
22.09.1954: Sailed Fleetwood for North Minch grounds (Sk. Arthur Peak): fourteeen crew all told.
2.10.1954: At about 8.00 pm in the North Minch having hauled her trawl in fine clear weather and light SSW breeze, decided to change grounds, fixed position as some 10 miles SE of Tiumpan Head and set course SW1/2S for Loch Boisdale; log streamed. The skipper calculated that this course would take him past Rudh Rea at a distance when abeam of 11 miles; and that he had approximately 30 miles to run to Eilean Trodda. Experienced deckhand James Connolly at the wheel and instructed by the skipper “The course is S.W.1/2 S, you are going 25 miles and you will pick up Eilean Trodda. When you pick that up, it is a two flash white light, put it fine on your port bow. In the meantime, you will see Rudh Rea. I want you to take a 4 point bearing of that. There’s 30 miles to go and 28 miles will be getting towards the danger area”. The skipper also added that he was to be informed of the distance off Rudh Rea Lighthouse when abeam and that if Trodda was not sighted at 25 miles on the log he was to be called. At an unrecorded time, when Rudh Rea was 4 points on her port bow, the mate came on the bridge and as required took a 4 point bearing. The reading was 6 1/2 miles but the time was not recorded. Again at an unrecorded time, Connolly was relieved by the bosun, James Wallbank and a young deckhand John Kenneth English was put on the wheel while he took a bearing and went to read the log which read 17 1/2 miles; English remained on the wheel until the vessel took the ground. Again these observations and time was not recorded but the skipper was informed and replied “Thats alright, carry on”. At 12.25 pm four point bearing taken on Trodda Light, log read 27 miles; skipper informed “We are abeam of Trodda 3 miles”. Skipper came on bridge and seeing Vaternish Point light on the port bow, ordered “ Put the wheel hard-a-port” then “Come to SE” and left the bridge to consult the chart. Upon his return he saw the red light of Trodda, he rang “Slow Ahead” on the engine room telegraph and gave the order “Hard-a-port” and kept it so until he had got the vessel round to a heading of N.E.1/2 N. with the object of getting back as quickly as possible on an opposite course so as to regain the white sector. he did not at that time know whether he was inside or outside the Sgeir na Maol reef. 2 minutes later the vessel took the ground, first scraping over the rocks and then coming fast being some 2 1/2 miles to westward of the courseline. W/T distress call made and rockets fired, with difficulty ships‘ boat put in water. Unsuccessful in coming off using engine. At about 3.30 pm Stornoway lifeboat arrived on scene along with a warship.
3.10.1954: At 8.00 am refloated without assistance and proceeded under own power to Fleetwood.
5.10.1954: At Fleetwood landed 135 boxes/ 20 baskets, £847 gross/£643 net.
29.3.1955: At MoT formal inquiry (No.S.430) held at Fleetwood, the Court found that the cause of the said stranding was an unexplained divergence of the vessel from her intended course due to the faulty navigation of the said vessel by her skipper, Arthur Peak, in that he failed to ensure that a certificated mariner was in charge of the bridge while the vessel was proceeding through enclosed and dangerous waters, and that he further failed to give explicit and unmistakable instructions to those left in charge on the bridge, and to satisfy himself that the instructions he did give were properly understood. Sk. Peak had been cautioned three times since 1946 for stranding ships; his ticket was suspended for twelve months. *
10.1955: Sold to Van Heyghen Freres S.A., Ghent for breaking up.
25.11.1955: Delivered Ghent.
Note * – Final observation by the Court. “In the view of the Court most if not all of the troubles of this case would have been avoided and similar troubles could be avoided in the future if two simple rules were observed. These are: (i) That orders relating to the navigation of trawlers on passage should be entered in writing in an order book; (ii) That it should be the rule in trawlers as it is in larger ships to log times of passing and distance from important landmarks passed on the passage.”
The whole stranding was a mess, it could not be ascertained whether in fact the first plotted position – 10 miles SE of Tiumpan Head was an accurate fix, so they may have been heading for trouble from the start. Bosun held no ticket, nor had he ever fished in the North Minch; the boat was seized in the chocks and plug was not fitted properly; rockets were damp and would not light.
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30/01/2009: Page published. 7 updates since then.
17/05/2015: Information updated.
05/10/2015: Information updated.
03/10/2017: Removed FMHT watermarks from images.