Official No: 108493    Port and Year:  Grimsby, 1898.

Description: Iron side trawler. Ketch rigged

Crew:  9

Built: 1898, Edwards Bros., North Shields. (Yard no. 574)

Tonnage: 158 grt  52 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 107 / 20.8 / 11 




Jan 1898: Meadows Steam Fishing Co., Grimsby.


May 1903: Milford Haven Steam Trawler Co., Docks, Milford.


Landed at Milford:  10 May - 15 Sep 1903.

Skipper:  A. W. Barrett

Notes: 24 Sep 1903: Wrecked off Yokane, Co. Cork.  [See details below.]

Accidents and Incidents


The Times, Friday, Sep 25, 1903; pg. 4; Issue 37195; col E

        A Skibbereen correspondent stated last night that the steam trawler Anglesea [sic], of Grimsby, was wrecked off Yokane, five miles off Skibbereen, in a fog.  The crew were landed safely in Skibbereen.


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 4th November, 1903:

Board of Trade Enquiry into the loss of the ANGLESEA.

A Board of Trade inquiry into the loss of the steam trawler "Anglesea"  owned by the Milford Haven Steam Trawler Company, Limited, was opened at the Masonic Hall, Milford, on Thursday, before Mr John Ll. Davies and Col. Roberts with Capt. Anderson, Capt. Brookes, and Mr John Rees as nautical assessors. Mr Talfourd Strick, of Swansea, appeared for the B.o.T., Mr W. Davies-George, of Haverfordwest, for the Port of Hull Steam Trawler Fisherman's Protective Society, and Mr George Sheard, of Cardiff, represented the owners in the capacity of manager. Mr H.J.E.Price, of Haverfordwest, was the solicitor to the magistrates.

Mr. Strick said the "Anglesea" was a British steamship, built of iron at North Shields in l898. Her length was 107 feet, breadth 20.85 ft and depth 12.7 ft. The vessel struck on some rocks westward of Garry Head on September 14th, and foundered. He briefly stated the facts of the case.


Mr. William Henry Cowley, compass adjuster, of Milford, was the first witness called. He stated that he adjusted the compass of the "Anglesea" on July l3th,1903,and that the copies of the deviation cards produced were exactly like those supplied to the skipper after the adjustment of the compass. He also proved that charts covering the whole area of navigation were supplied.

Captain Barrett, skipper, examined by Mr Strick, said he joined the "Anglesea" about the second week in June. He held a skipper's certificate for fishing vessels only. On the last voyage he left Milford on September 19th. The vessel was in good condition, and she carried one boat aft. They had nine hands and the boat was capable of carrying nine; they had nine life-belts and two lifebuoys on board, and the hand pumps on deck numbered four. They had two compasses, one inside the wheelhouse and one in the wheelhouse top in front of the wheel. He had not found anything wrong with them since they were adjusted. Having detailed their movements up to the night before the disaster, he said he had determined to go back to the south of Ireland. At 12.30 on the morning of Sept. 24th, he turned in. The weather was moderate, so that if there were any lights about he would have seen them. He left the boatswain in charge, telling him to tell the mate to keep a N.E. course and a sharp lookout, and to let him know if there was any change in the weather. He went asleep, and was awakened at 5.15 by the sound of the vessel striking the rocks. He jumped out of bed and went on deck. The vessel shipped a sea over the stern. He asked the mate if the engines were going astern, and he replied that they were. The engines were going astern from three to five minutes, and as there was no movement whatever he gave orders to launch the boat. He could not see any rock, but the mainland was straight ahead about 200 yards away. There was land on both sides. They got into the boat, he being the last to leave. They pulled straight off to sea about 200 or 300 yards. They saw a man stood on the rocks waving to them to come in. They went in a little westward of where they struck and landed all right. When the vessel struck he did not ascertain if she was making water. The reason why he left the vessel so soon was because she was bumping so heavily. She did not bump before they stopped the engines. At the time the engines were stopped all the hands except himself and the engineer were in the boat. They had got in by his orders. He called the engineer on board and told him to get into the boat. He thought it useless to start the engines again to stop the bumping as the vessel did not move while they were working astern. When he came on deck he could see land for a distance of three to five miles. The tide was three quarter flood. He considered that they could not have done anything to keep the vessel afloat. After landing they went on to the headland to see if they could see anything of her, but there was nothing but a few pieces of wreck. They lost sight of her masthead lights within two or three minutes after leaving her. The leads were used at 6 a.m. on the 23rd, and they found 22 fathoms, fine sand. He attributed the casualty to bad seamanship and a poor look out.

{Questioned] by Mr. W. Davies-George:

He made a statement to the Customs authorities at Castletown that after nine p.m.on the 19th, the course was south-west. At Milford he stated that the course was west-south-west. The former statement was correct, and he could only account for the mistake by the fact that the loss of the ship preyed on his mind.


Thomas Charles Jobson, of Milford, in reply to Mr Strick, said he held a mate's certificate, and joined the "Anglesea" about the second week in August. He corroborated the skipper's evidence as to the courses of the vessel with a few differences in respect of time. About 5 o' clock on Wednesday night, the 23rd, they shaped their course for the land. The skipper said he would try Ballycotton, as fishing was bad. They shaped a north-east course. The skipper told him to keep a good look out when he went on watch, and in the morning he might see something. When he went up at half-past-one to relieve the boatswain the latter said everything was all right. The deckhand joined him shortly after. He took the wheel in the wheelhouse, and they steered north-east by the top compass. They were going at full speed, and the vessel was travelling at about eight knots an hour, the wind was on the starboard port [sic], the weather being moderate and not much sea. There was a ground swell which increased as they proceeded. He was not steering all of the time. When he was not steering he was keeping a good look out. He and the deckhand changed about. They were keeping the look-out from the wheelhouse. They saw one steam boat's lights at a quarter to four. She appeared to be steaming north-west. They first saw the mast head light, then the red, and then the stern light. They did not see her green light. She crossed their bows, about a mile off. They kept the same course and saw another light at quarter to five, a white light, which they took to be a steam boat's stern light. She was about half-a-mile ahead on the port bow. Those were the only lights that they saw. He and the deckhand remained together until quarter to five, when he sent the deck hand away to call the cook, telling him to hurry up again. He stood on the bow deck, however, looking if he could see anything. The vessel struck at quarter-past five. Before they struck and after the deck hand left the bridge he kept looking out. They saw no lights, except those of the two steamers, and no land. At the time they struck they were going at full speed. He rang "full speed astern" and the engines reversed at once. He looked out of the windows, which had been open all of the time he was on watch, and then noticed the land, which was dark, the same colour as the sky, and very difficult to see. He could not make anything out. The skipper joined them immediately, and said to him, "We had better get the boat off, we can see she won' t come off." He attended to the launching of the boat. All hands were up on deck. He went into the forecastle, but she was not making water. When he took charge he thought he was steering a course for Ballycotton as the skipper told him.

Mr Strick: Were you awake all the time?

- Yes, Sir.

Had you anything to drink in the wheelhouse?

- No, Sir.

In reply to the question, "Did you go asleep after the deck hand had gone to shake the cook", Mr Jobson replied, "No, sir."

In reply to Mr Davies-George, witness denied that the skipper told him to call him if there was any change in the weather, but admitted it was usual to do so. When the skipper told him he expected to see something in the morning, he took it to be a shore light. He denied that the white light they took to be a steamer's stern light was a lighthouse, as it was moving on them. He accounted for the fact that they could not see two lighthouses in the radius of which they must have been at a certain point, that it was owing to the drizzling rain.

Mr Davies-George: Why didn't you call the skipper when the weather was thick?

- I don't know.

In reply to further questions he denied that they could see land from three to five miles away at the time they struck. The rain knocked off about a quarter of an hour before they struck.

Mr Davies-George: Then if the rain knocked off before you struck, if you had kept a look-out couldn't you have seen the coast?

- No, sir, it was the same colour as the sky.

Mind you, you were within the radius of two lighthouses then, and could you not have seen them if the rain knocked off?

- No, Sir.

Is it not true when the skipper got on deck it was clear enough for him to see the Stags?

- I do not think it was true. We could not see them until we got into the small boat.

Oh, could you see better from the small boat than from the deck of a ship?

- It was coming daylight.

How long did it take you to get into the boat? The skipper has said five minutes. Is that so?

-It would be about half past five when we left in the small boat.

Well, he has put it at 5.20 or 5.25.Did a quarter of an hour make all that difference in the light that morning?

-It was coming in dawn, sir.

Then you say that you could not see the Stags when you were on deck, but in the small boat you could see them.

- Yes, when we were well off shore.

In reply to Mr Reed, witness stated that he went down from the wheelhouse about half past two to get a drink. He

never consulted the deviation cards at all. He did not mark a course out on the chart.

Mr Reed, after questioning the witness in great detail, said he came to the conclusion that the light the skipper referred to was the Old Head of Kinsale. In reply to further questions by Mr Reed, witness stated that as a general rule when the weather turned so that they could not see objects they called the skipper.

Mr Reed: Why didn't you call him on the morning in question?

Witness did not answer.

I do not want to press the question.

- I can not answer that, sir.

Captain Brookes questioned the witness on the subject of the white light which he thought was a steamer's light, and by his replies showed that the steamer, if it was a steamer, must have been steering right into the land. He said it was his impression it was a shore light. In reply to Mr Strick, witness admitted that he ought to have called the skipper, but he could not say why he did not.

The inquiry was resumed on Friday.


The skipper was recalled, and in answer to questions said when the vessel was on the rocks she had her head straight on to the land. As far as he could judge, however, she was on the course he had set, although he was quite sure that she struck on the east side of a point of rock jutting out from the mainland. It was pointed out that this was a very important fact considering that the ship's course was north-east, and it was urged that she must have altered her course to have struck the east side of the point.

Jotham Scriven (the boatswain), William Collie (deckhand), George Johnston (chief engineer), and Arthur Smith (second engineer), were also heard, but had nothing material to add to the evidence of the chief officers. Robert Robertson (the cook) was called by Mr George.

Mr George, on behalf of the skipper, urged that the course set by the captain must have been deviated from, but even apart from that the look-out ought to have made the shore lights which they came within radius of before striking. He asked for the acquittal of the skipper of all blame.

Mr Strick, having summed up for the Board of Trade, put a list of questions which he desired the Court to answer, as to whether the skipper or the mate were blameworthy.

The inquiry adjourned till Saturday.


The court re-assembled on Saturday, when their findings were declared as follows:

1.- The vessel had two compasses, one in front of the wheel and the other in the top of the wheelhouse. They were in good order and sufficient for the safe navigation of the vessel, and were last adjusted by Mr W. H. Cowley in Milford on July 13,1903.

2.- The skipper did not ascertain the deviation of his compasses by observation from time to time. He relied solely upon the deviation cards supplied him by Mr Cowley in July last as being correct, and which the skipper states was the case.

3. - The vessel was supplied with proper charts and sailing directions.

4. - No measures whatever were taken in order to ascertain and verify the position of the vessel on or about 5 p.m. on 23rd September last. The course then set and steered was a safe one up to 5.15 a.m. on the 24th, but not after that hour, inasmuch as it was leading directly on the land. Due and proper allowance appears to have been made for the tide.

5.- No measures were taken by the skipper at any time to ascertain whether the course set and steered was a safe and proper one. He appears to have relied solely upon sighting either the Old Head of Kinsale, or Galley Head light in sufficient time to warn him of any danger.

6.- The instructions left by the skipper before going below were not sufficient. When setting the course he must have known that if the course was continued it would take him directly on to land. The court are therefore of opinion that he ought to have given definite instructions to be called not later than 4 a.m. The second hand did not even carry out the meagre instructions given him by the skipper, thereby failing in his duty as an officer in charge of the vessel.

7.- The light seen at or about 4.45 a.m. on 24th September last was the fixed white light on Barrack Point, at the entrance to Baltunone Harbour. It was reported to and seen by the second hand who states that he took it to be a steamer's light. It was not reported or seen by the skipper.

8.- Having regard to the state of the weather the vessel was not navigated at too great a rate of speed.

9.- The lead was not used after 6 a.m. of the 23rd September last, and the omission to use it was in the opinion of the court a grave one.

10.- A good and proper look out was not kept.

11.- The casualty was caused by careless and negligent navigation. Every possible effort was made by those on board to save the vessel after the stranding.

12.- The vessel was not navigated with every proper or seamanlike care after 4.15 a.m. of September 24th.

13.- The loss of the steamship "Anglesea" was caused by the wrongful acts and default of the skipper and second hand, and the Court find the skipper, Mr A. W. Barrett, and second hand, Mr Thomas Charles Jobson, both in default. The Court, in the circumstances, do not deal with the skipper's certificate but severely censure him accordingly. With regard to the mate, the Court suspends his certificate, No 6950, for nine months from this date. The expenses of the third hand, William Collie, are disallowed for his serious neglect of duty while on watch.



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