Kindly supplied by Donald Smith

Official No:    107042    Port Number and Year: 8th in Milford in 1896

Description:  Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw; coal burner. Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail and mizzen. 

Crew: 9 men (1896)

Registered at Milford: 21 Aug 1896

Built: Edwards Bros., North Shields, 1896.  (Yard no. 521)

Tonnage: 146.6 gross 32.62 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  106.0 / 20.62 / 11

Engine: T-3Cyl 50 rhp., by North Eastern Marine Engine Co., Sunderland



21 Aug 1896: Frederick Joseph Sellick, 'Marine Villa', Murray Cres., Milford.       

Managing owner.


12 Jul 1899: Frederick Robert Greenish, The Grove, Haverfordwest. (Doctor of Music). (1899-1902)

Messrs. Sellick, Morley & Price; Docks, Milford.  (1902)

Managing owner: Sydney M. Price, 'Marine Villa', Murray Cres., Milford. (1899)


Landed at Milford: 7 Sep 1896 - 25 Jan 1908


Herbert Smith cert. no. 3858, age 35, born Lincoln; signed on 19 Aug 1896; 12 Jan 1897; 27 Dec 1897; 6 Jan, 27 Aug 1898

W. Green 5528, 27, Hull; 2 Jul 1897; 23 Jun, 11 Jul 1898

E. Leeder 1699, 38, Norfolk; 22 Dec 1897

T. M. Pickering 4505, 29, Scarborough; 2 Jan, 5 Jul 1899

Richard Saunderson 2934, 46, Filey, (residing Priory Rd., Milford); 9 Jan, 6 Jul 1900; 1 Jan, 4 Jul 1901; 8 Jan, 2 Jul 1902; 6 Jan 1903

John Johnson 2459, 37, Nottingham; 4 Dec 1901

Thomas Trott 6069, 37, Boston; 14 Jan 1903

B. H. Galvin 1617, 39, Bradford; 20 Feb, 2 Jul 1903

J. T. L. Clarke 1612, 48, Yarmouth; 4 Dec 1903; 2 Jan, 16 Jul 1904; 3 Jan, 6 Jul 1905; 1 Jan 1906; 14 Jul 1906

James Bloomfield 6706, 38, Ipswich; 8 Jul 1904; 27 Mar 1906

James McDonald 7991, 44, Leeds; 18 May 1906

Josiah Pratt 6106, 35, Hull; 4 Jul 1906


Clytie is the name of several women in Greek mythology.

2 Feb 1908: Run down by SS CAPE WRATH, and foundered off Mine Head. [See full story below.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 6 Feb 1908.  Total wreck.

 Accidents and Incidents:

Log book entries:



Off Thorn Island.

Damage to light and stone [?], going to the assistance of the steam trawler "Blue Jacket" whose engines had broken down.

    H.Smith. (Skipper).



Towed for 60 miles the Bristol steam trawler "Exmouth". Picked her up SE by S off the Arum. Brought her back to Milford.  Her tail end of shaft broken.

    W.Green. (Skipper).



About 30 miles south south west of Smalls.

Clutch of main drum of winch breaking, heavy strain on gear, and vessel lurching in sea.

    H.Smith. (Skipper).



25 miles WSW of St Ann's Head.

William Wright, age 55, Boatswain, from Scratey [?], Norfolk.

Crushed his fingers whilst oiling winch.

    B.H.Galvin. (Skipper).



30 miles from St Ann's Head.

Trawlers small life boat smashed, shipped heavy sea.




50 miles W by S from St Ann's Head.

J. Reader, Bosun, aged 21, British, from Scarborough, residing Milford.

Whilst he was hooking a shark it bit him severely on left hand.  Landed him back at Milford 11th July and put him under care of Doctor.



9 miles from Head of Kinsale.

Disabled winch. Broken cylinder head.



50 miles west of St Ann's Head.

Fell in with dismasted Ketch "Les" of Newhaven, (abandoned) and towed her to Milford.

    R. Saunderson. (Skipper)


I. Holland (Trimmer) T. Harries (5th Hand) J. Rimmer (4th Hand).

On February 4th, 1902 the above stopped the ship and is hereby requested that they be fined 5/- each.

    R. Saunderson. (Skipper).

Approval, fines may be appropriated to meet expenses.

    J.W. Crocker, Supt.



Towed French barque "Rubens" for six hours, eventually slipped tow as "Rubens" was in sinking condition, one mile SW from St. Annes Head.  Brought the crew into Milford Haven.

    His Mark X F. Trott. (Skipper).

    J. Bloomfield. (Second Hand).



12 miles SSW from Saltees Lightship Vessel.

Sprung a leak, returned to Milford Haven for inspection and repairs, cause unknown.

    R. Saunderson. (Skipper).

    J. Bloomfield. (Second Hand)



Milford Haven.

Collided with the "Star of Peace" of Ramsgate, sinking her. "Star of Peace" did not see any port light in time to port his helm.

    Jack William Setterfield (Skipper)

[ See newspaper article below. ]


01 03.1905.

Milford Haven.

Damaging the "Interrioss" [ ? ] of Lowestoft on the port quarter through being up at anchor in channel and not room to navigate ship.

    J.T. Clarke. (Skipper)'



From the Haverford west & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 23rd September 1903:


    When the trawler "Clytie" (Sellick, Morley and Price) came into port on Thursday, the skipper reported that on the 12th inst., the day following the great storm, he picked up a small sailing yacht of about 20 tons about 40 miles west north west of the Smalls.  The yacht was deserted, and nothing to show her name, destination, or the probable fate of its late occupants, could be ascertained.  Her loose gear was taken aboard, and the yacht taken in tow.  She had not proceeded far, however, before she sank and was lost.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 25th March 1904:

A TRAWLER FOUNDERS IN THE HAVEN.— There was a serious accident just outside the Milford Docks on Friday evening, which resulted in the loss of a fine trawler. About 7 p.m, just about dusk, the steam trawler "Clytie" was putting to sea. At the same time a Ramsgate sailing trawler, the "Star of Peace," which has been fishing at Milford for some time was coming off the fishing grounds. In some way not explained the lights shown by the vessels were misunderstood, and a violent collision occurred. The "Star of Peace" was so badly injured that she want down bodily in about fifteen minutes. The "Clytie" stood by her, and took off her crew, whom she landed, and did not go to sea until the morning tide on Saturday. The "Star of Peace" was fully insured at Lloyds, and it is probable that an inquiry will have to be held to ascertain, who is responsible for her loss. She is now lying, with her mast just showing, 1O½ fathoms deep at high water about one mile inside the Stack Rocks. The King's harbour master (Capt. Symons) had the spot where she is lying marked by buoys to prevent any further accident. At the time of writing, nothing definite was known as to the steps to be taken to raise her. It was a fine clear night when the collision took place.


Log book entry:

27.1. 1908.

On the fishing grounds off the west coast of Ireland.

On the January 27th 1908, we sailed from the port of Milford Haven to the fishing grounds off the west coast of Ireland. While we were engaged in trawling off Mine Head Light, about 9 to 10 miles away light bearing NW by N.  At four p.m. on the second instant, we were towing our gear SSW, when a steamer, which I found out later to be the "Cape Wrath" collided with us, striking us on the starboard bow. The "Clytie" started to take in water very fast, the bosun called out "All hands on deck." I called out to the "Cape Wrath" that we were sinking and to stand by. I gave orders for the trawler's small lifeboat to be launched. All of the crew got into the small boat and we pulled clear. That is, with the exception of one. The trimmer, Mr Charles Bowen, had tried to jump onto the "Cape Wrath" when she hit us but fell between the two vessels and was not seen again. We were in the small boat for around one hour before being picked up by the "Cape Wrath". During that time we searched for the body of our shipmate, but with no success. The "Clytie" sank with all steaming lights burning brightly one hour later at about 4.50.

    James Bloomfield. (Skipper).


[ "CAPE WRATH "  ON: 111288. Steel screw. Three masted Schooner. Reg. Glasgow. Built. 1900. Mc Knight & Co, Ltd. Ayr.  Owners: Cape Steam Shipping Co, Ltd. (Dawson Bros., Managers.)

Length: 140.0. Breadth. 23.6. Depth. 9.9.  Tonnage: 363 gross. 140 net. ]



From the Western Telegraph, of 5th February 1908:



The inhabitants of Milford were again thrown into a state of alarm on Sunday morning when a telegram was received to the effect that the Clytie, another of Messrs. Sellick, Morley and Price’s trawlers, had been lost.  Fortunately it announced that the crew, with one exception, were saved.  The exception was the trimmer, Charles Simms (or Bowen), aged 19. The notice was posted on the firm’s offices at the docks, and nothing further could be gleaned until Monday morning.

The crew arrived at Milford via Fishguard at 8.30 on Tuesday morning, when they gave the following account of the collision:- “They were fishing some nine miles off Mine Head on the coast of Ireland; the lights were burning brightly, and the gear down, the vessel towing.  Part of the crew were in their bunks, the remainder being on watch.  Suddenly a steamer about 140 feet long hove in sight, and in a twinkling came crash into the trawler, striking her for’ard on the starboard side, below the gallows.  The men aroused by the sudden impact quickly tumbled to the situation and rushed on deck to their companions.  Realising the condition the ship was in and their own peril, they took to their boat.  The steamer turned out to be the “Cape Wrath”, a Glasgow collier, and they succeeded in picking up the Clytie’s crew.  Just as the men were rescued, the Clytie disappeared from view, 10 minutes or so after the collision.  The men were unable to save anything, and they only had what they stood up in.  The trimmer, Charles Simms, was not so fortunate as his mates, for he essayed to jump from the sinking Clytie on to the Cape Wrath.  In doing so, his head struck the side and the poor fellow fell into the darkness and was never seen again.  His case was a tragic one.  Nothing is known of him locally.  His age was 19 and he belonged to Liverpool and he had stated he had no relatives.  A few weeks ago he, with others, stowed themselves away in Liverpool on one of the ocean going liners.  They were, however, soon discovered, and put ashore at Fishguard.  Deceased and his mate then tramped down to Milford, and he was only taken on the Clytie when she left for her last voyage.  The Clytie has for many years been in charge of Capt. J.T. Clarke, but on this occasion the veteran skipper stayed ashore, the vessel being in command of the mate, J. Bloomfield.  This makes three Milford trawlers lost during the last few weeks, including the Devon, the Tantallon Castle being the other.



 From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 17th April 1908:


Board of Trade Inquiry.

            At the Masonic Hall, Milford Haven, a Board of Trade enquiry was opened yesterday into the loss of the s.s. Clytie, owned by Dr. F. R. Greenish, of Haverfordwest, which collided with the s.s. Cape Wrath, the property of the Cape Steam Shipping Co., Ltd., of Glasgow. Col. Roberts and Mr J. I. Gaskell were the magistrates present, and the Board of Trade was represented by Mr Talfourd Strick. Mr W. T. S. Tombs, Fishguard, appeared on behalf of the Skipper of the Clytie; the nautical assessors were Capts. J. Thomas and David Davies, New Quay, and the fishery assessor, Mr Lydamore.            

            Mr J. W. Crocker, superintendent of Customs, proved service of duplicate copies of the notice of enquiry upon the parties concerned, and Mr Strick told the court the story of the loss, and his opening statement was borne out by his witnesses. The Clytie was owned by Dr. Frederick Robert Greenish, of Haverfordwest, and Mr Sydney Morgan Price (of Messrs Sellick, Morley & Price) was registered manager. Mr Strick said that before the existing regulations came into force there were others which gave trawlers some option in the matter of lights. Now, when trawling they are compelled to carry the lights indicated, to wit, the triplex and also at a distance of not less than six or more than 12 feet below, a white light in a lantern so constructed as to show a clear, uniform, and unbroken light all round the horizon. Fishing vessels may at any time use a flare-up light. With regard to the prevention of collisions, it is laid down that, when two steamers are crossing in such a way as to involve risk, the one which has the other on her own starboard side must keep out of the way of that other. In this case, the Clytie had the Cape Wrath on her starboard side and therefore, if this regulation were alone considered it would appear that it was the Clytie's duty to keep out of the way, but there were perhaps, other circumstances. The whole question seemed to him to be whether a steam trawler when trawling is entitled to any exemption or free right-of-way. There was an article (26) in the regulations which stated that sailing vessels under way should keep out of the way of fishing vessels, but there was no article which said that a steam ship under way should keep out of the way of a steam trawler when trawling and the matter might be argued from two sides. In the first place, it may be contended that if there is no special regulation, the ordinary rule must apply, and, in the second place, it is difficult to understand the special provision of lights unless they are to tell the other vessels that she is trawling so that they might take steps accordingly. If a trawler were towing her trawl she may not be able to manoeuvre as if she were a free vessel, and if her steerage way were very little she could not manoeuvre readily. It might, too, be difficult for a trawler to stop her engines.


James Bloomfield said he was skipper of the Clytie, which was built at North Shields in 1898. Her length was 106 feet, breadth 20.65 ft., and depth 12.45 feet, and she was fitted with engines of 50 horse power. There was one boat attached to her and there were two life-buoys, whilst each man had a life-belt, which he kept in his berth. Witness had been mate for four years before that trip, when he went out as skipper. He was granted his certificate in August, 1903. The Clytie left Milford Haven for the fishing grounds off Minehead on 24th January last, with a crew of nine hands, there being no passengers. The vessel was in good condition at the time of starting. They commenced fishing on January 29 or 30, and continued until Sunday, February 2. At 2 a.m. on that day witness went below, leaving the boatswain and third hand on deck. The weather was fine and clear with a very light wind from the north-west. It was a good night for seeing lights, and the sea was very smooth. When he went below they were steering a south-south-westerly course and were towing trawl, the trawl being on the port quarter. They shot the trawl about midnight, and would be getting it in about six in the morning. When he went below the lights required by the regulations were burning brightly. These were the triplex, the white light underneath, and stern light, and they all continued burning until the vessel foundered with the exception of the stern light, which was carried on the stern of the small boat. On going below, witness had his supper and then "turned in." He was called out about four o clock in the morning and heard the alarm,


He turned out and went on deck, and by the cabin door was informed by the boatswain that a collier had struck their stern. Witness was just going to see the damage done when he was told the trimmer was lost. He saw that he could not save the vessel and therefore ordered the boat to be put out. They searched for the trimmer, but saw no sign of him, though they continued the search until the vessel went down at about ten minutes to five. They were all taken on board the Cape Wrath, which also put out a boat immediately after the collision.

            By Mr Tombs: A life belt was kept in every berth. Witness had no theory as to how the collision took place. There was quite a fleet of trawlers, and they could see all the lights. He set a course for the boatswain, telling him to work by the Minehead light. They were fishing in a depth of 30 fathoms, and expected to find themselves at 6 o'clock in the same bearing. It would have taken about 20 minutes to get the trawl up. He was on the deck 10 minutes or quarter of an hour before he took to the boat.  He satisfied himself before he took to the boat that there was no hope of saving her. She was tilling too rapidly to use the pumps. He could give no account as to the reason for the collision. At sea other trawlers frequently came up at night to speak to them. The boatswain thought that this was so in the present instance, and witness might himself have been deceived.


            J. T. Clarke, the boatswain of the Clytie, bad been on board for about two years in the capacities of third hand and boatswain. At one o'clock (midnight) on February 2nd he took charge with the third hand and went to the wheel. There was no gangway outside the wheel-house, and when be took charge of the wheel he was in the house. The man who was on the look-out was in the house, too. The skipper went below about 2 o'clock. The Clytie was then eight or nine miles off Minehead. The trawl was out on the port quarter, and they were heading s.s.w. at two to three miles an hour. He kept the same course and the same pace till the collision happened. Witness and the third hand remained in the wheel-house, and he first noticed the lights of the Cape Wrath about quarter to four. He saw a mast head light and a red light on a ship steering east about six points on his starboard bow. The vessel was two to three miles off. He did not alter his course because he had his gear down. If he had not been towing his trawl it would have been his duty to keep clear. They thought it was a trawler coming to speak to them. The first step he took to avoid a collision was to hail the Cape Wrath. The first change in the latter's lights was made at about a cable's length away, when she opened out her red lights more. When he hailed her, he got no reply. Four windows were open so that there was no reason why he should not have hailed. The Cape Wrath cut into them. It was not a sliding blow. Witness ordered the engines to be stopped after the collision. He burned no flares. The gear was down and be could not get his ship round in time to avoid a collision. That was to say he had not sufficient steerage way on. He did not stop the engines when he saw the intention of the other vessel because he was afraid of getting the warps in the propellers. Otherwise he would have stopped the engines or done something, and if he had not had his gear down he would have kept clear. When he did see that a collision was inevitable he could not have got his warps free from the towing block. There were only two of them and both of them could not leave the bridge. He had never been in the habit of burning flares.

            By Captain Thomas: When the other steamer's light was sighted, witness was at the helm. In cases of this kind he expected the other steamer to give way. When the trawl is down they are nearly helpless and consider they are not the vessel to give way. They had hand gear on the Clytie and they were only going two or three knots through the water.


Richard Incledon, of Neyland, deposed that be had been about four months on the Clytie, first as decky, and on this occasion as third hand. The trimmer, in endeavouring to jump on to the Cape Wrath, fell between the vessels, and in witness's opinion was crushed. He did all he could to restrain the trimmer and got him back on the deck once, but he made another deliberate attempt. Every light in their ship had been thoroughly overhauled the day before. In his opinion the cause of the casualty was an error of judgment on the part of those in charge of the Cape Wrath, and the failure on their own part to take sufficient precautions. Those on board the Cape Wrath could see round the horizon for a radius of 20 miles. They must have thought they were further away, and were too late in trying to avoid a collision. They did perfectly right in porting their helm. Had they starboarded, they would have run into the Clytie's boiler. According to the rule of the road, if the Clytie bad been a vessel steaming under way her crew would have been in the wrong.

            By Mr Tombs: All that could be done was done.

            By Capt. Thomas: He did not see the mast light sooner because there were so many trawlers about. They were trawling in about 35 or 36 fathoms. As a certificated officer he could not say that he expected the Cape Wrath to keep clear of the Clytie, but he mistook her for another trawler. If he had known her to be a steamer under way, he would have starboarded his helm and brought the Clytie round to windward.

            In reply to Mr Strick, witness added that when they were taken on board the Cape Wrath the second officer of that vessel told him that they (the crew of the Cape Wrath) thought they were further away. He owned that the Clytie's lights were bright and clear, but he had misjudged the distance. From that statement, witness inferred that the officer of the Cape Wrath meant to get out of their way if he had not misjudged the distance.

            By Mr Tombs: The second officer of the Cape Wrath accepted all the blame.            

            After Robert Evans, who was second engineer on the Clytie bad corroborated,


was called. His vessel was of steel, and was 111 feet long, 23.6 feet broad, and 11.57 feet deep. She was fitted with engines of 86 horse power combined, and her crew coasted of 10 hands. The master, who held a certificate of competence, continuing said they proceeded from Queenstown on the night in question bound for Preston. He went below about 2.30 a.m., leaving the second mate and an A.B. in charge. That is the usual thing to do in clear weather. They were steering eastwards and witness gave the second mate orders to keep the course and call him if necessary. About 4.15 a.m. he felt a shock. Going on deck, he ordered the boat to be put out and hailed the Clytie, shouting that he would remain by them. The latter went down at about ten minutes to five. He could not say whether anything could have been done to save her, since he was on his own ship. He picked up all the members of the crew except the one that was lost. He could give no evidence as to the cause of the casualty.

            The Board of Trade inquiry touching the loss of the steam trawler Clytie, of Milford Haven, run down by the Glasgow steamer, Cape Wrath off Minehead, early in February, was resumed at Milford Haven on Wednesday, before Colonel Roberts (in the chair) and three nautical assessors. Colonel Roberts said the questions were so serious that they wanted a day to consider their answers, and the court was adjourned until yesterday.


The Times, Apr 20, 1908; pg. 11; Issue 38625; col F :


Rule Of The Road At Sea. - A Board of Trade inquiry was concluded at Milford Haven last week into the loss of the Milford steam-trawler Clytie, run down off Minehead by the Glasgow steamship Cape Wrath in February last.  The Court found that the cause of the collision was the want of necessary manoeuvring on the part of the Clytie, and the want of a good look-out on the part of the Cape Wrath.  The Clytie was not removed of her duty to manoeuvre under Article 19, and according to the evidence the second mate of the Cape Wrath left the look-out and relieved the helmsman to enable the latter to call the watch below.  Both vessels were to blame.  The Court refrained, however, in the circumstances, from dealing with the certificates of the officers, but censored the second mate of the Cape Wrath and the boatswain of the Clytie.  By this finding the idea is held to be false that steam-trawlers are exempt from the usual rule of the road at sea.


From B.T. and R. Larn (2002):   Shipwreck Index of Ireland 

CLYTIE        02/02/1908

Co.Waterford, Mine Head, 9M SE    51.54N 07.23W.


Voyage: Milford Haven - Fishing


Foundered offshore in wind conditions NW force 2, following collision with the Glasgow registered s.s. CAPE WRATH.


[NB:  Also listed in Volume 5 of the same publication, with the location "Somerset, Minehead, offshore.  51.14N 03.27W".  Confusion between Mine Head and Minehead.]


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