Official No:  137767     Port Number and Year: 4th in Milford, 1921

Description: Wooden sailing smack, beam trawling.  Carvel built. Foresail, mainsail and mizzen.

Crew:  4

Registered: 13 May 1921

Built: by Peter Hancock, Pembroke Dock in 1920

Tonnage: 60.77 grt 47.84 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 69.6 / 19.5 / 8.2

Engine: -



13 May 1921: Peter Llewellyn Hancock, 5 Picton Rd., Hakin.

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford: 10 May - 24 Dec 1921.  [Possibly otherwise at Neyland.]

Skippers: Frederick George Wonnacott.

Notes: Vessel totally lost on 3 Mar 1923.

Cert. Cancelled & Registry Closed: 17 Mar 1923

 Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 9th March 1923:


    The Milford Haven fishing smack "Avance", owned by Messrs. Peter Hancock and Son, has been lost at sea, but the crew of five have been rescued and are now at home again.  The unfortunate vessel left the port about the 23rd February.  The crew were F. Wonnacott (skipper), H. Rackley (mate), W. Penny (third hand), J. Newton (decky), and C. Rackley (cook).



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 16th March 1923:


Milford Fishing Smack Lost


    In our last issue we briefly recorded the loss of the Milford fishing smack "Avance" off Rosslare.  The following report has since come to hand of the exciting rescue of the crew.

    On Saturday morning the Milford trawler "Avance" left her moorings at Rosslare Harbour basin for her usual day's fishing.  She proceeded in the direction of the Tuskar, and when on the trawling bed it was noticed by Messrs.  William O'Leary, Killilane, and Walter Cormack, Bing, who are both experts in seafaring matters, that she was in difficulty.  By the aid of a glass they saw the trawler sink and the crew take to the rowing boat.  Although the water was very rough, the watchers on shore were not anxious, as a steamboat was approaching.  The crew of the sunken boat set up a jersey on an oar and waved it in the hope of being sighted by the steamboat.  Unfortunately, the steamboat passed on, there being probably no one on deck, only the helmsman who was giving his whole attention to the compass.  Messrs. O'Leary and M'Cormack [sic, cf. above] now hastened to the Pier with a view to having Mr. W. W. Morgan's boat put off to the rescue.  The Messrs. Shiel, who are in charge of Mr. Morgan's boat, quickly got under weigh, and with the help of a flag held on a height by Mr. Morgan himself, which pointed out the direction of the boat in distress, they were soon racing towards her.  To make matters worse, the small boat was now forced by wind and tide on to the Baylies, a dangerous shoal, on which mountainous seas were running.  It was now a time of great anxiety; the question was could Mr. Morgan's boat reach the place in time, when the tension was relieved by the appearance of a schooner from the North, the crew of which sighted the boat, quickly bore down upon her, took off the crew and brought crew, boat, and all away to westward.  It was believed by those on shore that although it would have been a close shave Mr. W. M. Morgan's boat would have been in time to effect a rescue.  As the crew were brought away it is not known how the casualty occurred.  It is believed the boiler of the trawler burst or that she struck a piece of submerged


    Another account says: In collision with the Fairway buoy, of Rosslare, on Saturday, the Milford ketch "Avance" ripped her bottom open and foundered in a few minutes.  The crew were picked up in her boat by the schooner "Thistle", Birkenhead (Captain Nielson), and landed at Youghal.  The skipper of the "Avance" says his distress signals were ignored by a steam collier.


[ Note 1:  In the original article, the smack's name is erroneously given as ADVANCE throughout, which has been corrected in the transcription.

Note 2:  Not recorded in "Shipwreck Index of Ireland", but is included in "Irish wrecks online" website, as having struck Fairway Buoy, Rosslare, and sank.]


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