Official Number 185862
Yard Number: 871
Gross Tonnage: 595
Net Tonnage: 217
Length: 170.1 ft
Breadth: 29.2 ft
Depth: 14.5 ft
Built: Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd, Beverley
Engine: 925ihp T.3-cyl by Charles D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull
Boiler: Charles D. Holmes & Co Ltd, Hull (No.1841)
Fitted for burning oil fuel, F.P. above 150° F
Speed: 13 knots
4.12.1952: Launched by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd, Beverley (Yd.No.871) for Heward Trawlers Ltd, London & Fleetwood (Robert S. Hewett, manager) as ELLA HEWETT.
3.1953: Registered at London (LO47).
8.4.1953: First landing at Fleetwood.
2.11.1962: Sailed Fleetwood at 0145 for Icelandic fishing grounds via Heysham to bunker (Sk. William Storm Gregson); nineteen crew. At Heysham, cook, Russell Harvey fell down an open grating. At 0530 sailed Heysham for fishing grounds. At about 1530 skipper decided to land the cook in Church Bay, Rathlin Island and left the 2nd Hand (Mate) James Rixom in command. With good visibility and calm sea entered the Bay and sometime after 1830, struck wreck of HMS DRAKE and was held fast port side aft. No serious attempt was made to get the vessel off. At 2210 serious ingress of water noted, Ch.Eng, Harold Huntingford, made best possible use of pumps. At 2230 with water rising and oil in bilge, Ch. Eng. drew fires.
3.11.1962: At 0053 with pumping no longer possible a May Day message was transmitted. Portrush lifeboat, Liverpool steamer MARKLAND (6032grt/1953) and Glasgow motor vessel LAIRDS LOCH (1736grt/1944) proceeding. By 1100 starboard list had increased and fourteen crew taken off by Portrush lifeboat and landed at Ballycastle. At 2115 with remaining five crew members taken on board the lifeboat, vessel heeled on her beam ends and sank. Survivors landed at Portrush. 11.1962: Wreck attended by salvage vessel DISPENSER (775grt/1943) on charter to Liverpool & Glasgow Salvage Association. After survey, agreement reached with Underwriters that it was uneconomical to raise the wreck and declared a Total loss.
14/15.5.1963: At BoT Inquiry (No.S.461) at Fleetwood, the Court found that the stranding and subsequent total loss were caused by the wrongful act or default of Skipper Gregson and the 2nd Hand (Mate) James Rixom. Sk. Gregson’s ticket was suspended for three years and the skippers ticket held by James Rixom was cancelled.
8.1964: Wreck sold by Underwriters to Metal Recoveries (Newhaven) Ltd, Newhaven.
28.9.1964: Metrec Salvage Ltd, Maidstone formed by Metal Recoveries (Newhaven) Ltd & Shipbreaking (Queenborough) Ltd, Queenborough.
8.1966: Metrec Salvage Ltd entered into an agreement with Commissioners of Irish Lights, owners of the wreck of HMS DRAKE, to clear the seabed of the wreck. 1974: MOD took over ownership of the wreck of HMS DRAKE putting an end to salvage attempts. HMS LAYMOOR attended and munitions removed from HMS DRAKE by divers.
18-29.9.1978: Wreck dispersed to prevent pollution from bunker oil. Remains of wreck lie in 15m in position 55°17.17N/06°12 .43W.
BOT Inquiry Report
Click to enlarge images
23/03/2009: Page published. 6 updates since then.
24/08/2015: Picture added.
02/11/2015: Added BOT inquiry report.
16/01/2017: Removed disputed image.
08/06/2020: Updated information.