Milford Haven Port Authority

Official No: 125617   Port and Year:   London, 1907 

Description: Steel side trawler; single screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged.


Built: 1907, Smiths Docks Co., North Shields.  (Yard no. 356)

Tonnage:  223 grt  72 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 117.4  / 21.6 / 11.5

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 71 hp.  MacColl & Pollock, Sunderland



Sep 1907: G. H. D. Birt, Docks, Milford


1913: Dutch owners, Ymuiden.


Landed at Milford:  2 Oct 1907 - 14 Apr 1917

Skippers: William Nightingale; John Blake.

Notes: 1914-18: Requisitioned into the Fishery Reserve.

 Accidents and Incidents

From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 9th October 1907:


    Last Wednesday the local fishing fleet was still further augmented by the arrival of the steam trawler Britannia.  The new ship is of the same class and build as the Hibernia, and is one of the best equipped, with all recent improvements, in the port.  She belongs to Mr. G. H. D. Birt's fleet, and the skipper in charge is Mr. J. Pratt.  Her maiden voyage realised 192.




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 30th October 1907:


    The steam trawler Britannia (Mr. Birt) arrived in port on Friday morning and reported a distressing accident on board that same morning at 1 o'clock.  The crew were engaged in hauling in the fishing gear and the ship gave a lurch. The trimmer, William Bryant, was on deck, and in steadying himself from falling, he laid hold of the guiding warp.  Unfortunately this happened to be near a bollard, and before the man could release his hold, he was caught by the hand between warp and bollard, with the result that his thumb on his left hand was pulled right out of the socket together with about nine inches of sinew.  The trawler was at once headed for Milford, and the poor fellow was brought ashore suffering intense pain. 

    He was taken to Dr. Griffith's surgery where his injuries received every attention and care.  Bryant belongs to Cardiff, and is about 65 years of age.




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 21st February 1912:



    Several of the Milford trawlers are now working down on the Bay of Biscay grounds.  One of them, the steam trawler Brittania landed on Monday, and Captain J. Gardner reported an exciting incident and a praiseworthy attempt to rescue a drowning sailor.  The facts are as follows: On Wednesday February 7th, the Britannia was passing Ushant, at about 3 o'clock in the afternoon when they sighted a steamer coming in the opposite direction.  It was blowing hard with a heavy sea running.  Captain Gardner said they they saw the steamer ship a very heavy sea and soon after she blew what he took to be four short blasts.  Failing to understand what this meant he kept a good look-out, fully expecting someone had been washed overboard by the sea shipped.  After a time a man was seen in the water, and the trawler at once circled around to endeavour to pick him up.  One of the crew took a boat hook and tried to get hold of him, but in the heavy sea the attempt was futile and the man sank almost immediately afterwards.  They then went as close as possible to the steamer and made signals that the man had sunk and then parted company.  They were of opinion that the man had been in the water some time and was probably unconscious or dead when they first sighted him, as only the top of his head was visible.  Immediately after the sea had washed over the vessel a good deal of wreckage was noticed.




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 12th February 1913:


    A remarkable fishing incident was reported at the docks last Tuesday, when two of Mr. Birt's trawlers landed.  The Arabia, Captain T. Cooper, had arrived back from the fishing grounds minus her fishing gear, which had been lost in fishing operations during the rough weather experienced at sea.  The Britannia (Captain William Jones), covering the same grounds with the trawl, heaved in a fine haul, but the bag contained something more than fish - a trawler's gear.  It was a coincidence that both trawlers should have landed the same day, and that they belonged to the same firm, but the most remarkable thing of all was that the gear of the Arabia should have been innocently recovered in such a wonderful manner.




From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 16th April 1913:


    It is freely reported that the steam trawler Britannia, also the steam trawler Hibernia (Mr. G. H. D. Birt), are likely to change hands in a few days.  Representatives of owners from Ymuiden, Holland, are visiting the port with the object of purchasing them. This will be another blow to the port, as the fleet is diminishing.  On Thursday there was a welcome visitor in the steam trawler Larchwold of Grimsby, which landed a good catch, including about 12 trunks of soles.  We hear she is likely to run to Milford for a time, under the management of Mr. Brand and Co.




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