Official No:  137773    Port Number and Year: 5th in Milford, 1928

Description: Steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail.

Crew:  9 men

Registered at Milford: 22 Mar 1928

Built: 1916; by Gebroeder Boot, Leiderdorp, Netherlands.  (Yard no. 1014)

Tonnage: 139.29 grt  53.72 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  102.1  / 20.5 / 9.7

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 36 rhp. 9 kts.  Engine: 1917, NV Industriele Mij. Hera, Leiderdorp, Holland.  Boiler: 1918, Gebr. Debrey, Leiderdorp, Holland.




1916:  Industrieele Mij. 'Hera', IJmuiden, Netherlands.

[Information from Michiel Kuyt, Scheveningen.]



Unknown foreign owners.



22 Mar 1928: Edgar Erel Carter, Docks, Milford.  (Coal agent)

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford: 30 Mar 1928 - 20 Dec 1940


Thomas Salter 5349, 1928

Frank Rowlands, 1929.

W. R. Gamble, 1930

William H. Johnson, 1932


Dec 1940: Auxiliary Patrol Vessel.

Jan 1942: Western Approaches Command; based at Aultbea, Loch Ewe.

13 Jul 1945: Returned to owner.

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 11 Oct 1946.  Broken up.

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of April 1Oth, 1930:


    The steam trawler "Dilimer" returned to Milford Haven on Tuesday afternoon from the Channel fishing grounds off Lundy and related a remarkable case of bravery on the part of the Skipper W.R. Gamble.

    It appears that in black darkness at 3.30 that morning a deckhand named Horace Setterfield (Junior) over-balanced and fell overboard whilst attending to a trawl board. Skipper Gamble, fortunately, witnessed the accident and without hesitation jumped over board, swam some 30 yards and was guided to the youth only by the noise of the splashing in the darkness.  He got to the deckhand just in time to grasp his hand, and holding the deck hand's head above water he swam back to the trawler, until he himself was almost exhausted, when luckily a life line thrown out by one of the crew struck the Skipper on the head.  He managed to grasp the line by turning it around his wrist, which he managed with a lot of difficulty.

    Both men were heaved to the ship's side and pulled aboard.  It took the crew 45 minutes to get the deckhand Setterfield round.  He was almost dead when they got him aboard, and the Skipper also needed attention after his praiseworthy efforts.

    The members of the crew of the "Dilimer" were loud in their praise of the Skipper's bravery, and it is hoped that his act of bravery will be brought to the notice of the proper authorities with a view to his being suitably rewarded.




Transcription of a Statement by Skipper W. H. JOHNSON of the S.T. DILIMER in respect of damage done by the S.T. VICTORIA on July 24th 1933.


    On Monday July 24th 1933 at approximately 8 p.m. GMT, whilst fishing about 15 miles off the Smalls, bearing East, the S/T "Victoria", S.H.268, was ahead of us which I thought was also fishing, but as I got a little closer to this vessel I discovered he was stopped with his trawling gear fouled with some submerged object.  As there was no signal given by the "Victoria" to indicate that he was stopped and in trouble with his trawling gear I naturally continued fishing on my course set out, but eventually came fast with my trawling gear. On examination I found my trawling gear had become entangled with the trawling gear of the "Victoria", through the "Victoria" not giving the necessary signals indicating that he was stopped, and in trying to free his gear the "Victoria" came astern on his engines and collided with our starboard side doing damage to same.

    I attribute the cause of the damage due to the neglect on the part of the Skipper of the "Victoria" in not giving the necessary signals that his vessel was stopped and in difficulties, also for not taking the necessary precaution to prevent colliding with my vessel when trying to clear his gear.

(Signed) W.H.Johnson.



Transcription of an undated statement by the ex- skipper of the Tom Jenkerson, in relation to the same incident:


Statement by Mr Edward Charles Thomas of "Torrington", Great North Road, Milford Haven.

    I was for some time Skipper of the Steam Trawler TOM JENKERSON  of Milford. This vessel was chartered by the Irish Sea Fisheries from Taylor of Aberdeen.

    The steam trawler "Victoria" (same owners as "Tom Jenkerson"), and my ship were working to a Dan of the "Victoria". We had been working all day about 15 miles East (little South) of the Smalls.

    We observed the "Dilimer" towing towards us about 7 to 8 p.m. on the date in question.  The "Victoria" was the leading ship working round the Dan and then I got inside of him which put me the leading ship.  Our radius round the Dan would be to a limit of about a mile to 2 miles.

    I came around the Dan with my ship's head to the eastward with the "Victoria" practically on the same course with the "Dilimer" a good quarter of a mile away, if not more, when on looking aft I found that the "Victoria" had come fast. I thought he was hauling his gear. The "Dilimer" had sighted our Dan which naturally enough he was going to work to and he came down towards our Dan.  If the "Victoria" had given a signal the "Dilimer" could have kept clear. I did not hear or see the "Victoria" making any signal. I could see the "Victoria" was fast.  I took a bearing of the Dan to where the "Victoria" was fast and also the distance to give me a guide to come round next time. I had been fast of a wreck twice that day and knew there were several wrecks in the vicinity. The next thing I saw was the "Dilimer"  trying to avoid the "Victoria"  which I saw was impossible for him to do. The "Victoria"  and my ship were both working our starboard gears and I think the "Dilimer"  also had her starboard gear down at the time.

    I did not see the actual collision between the "Victoria"  but I saw them both close together and I took this to be that the "Dilimer" had come foul of the gear of the "Victoria"  or a wreck and possibly the same wreck as the "Victoria" might have been foul of. I cannot say definitely.

    The skipper of the "Victoria"  should have given the signal that he was fast,  viz - a continuous blow on his whistle or two balls hoisted. If he had done either of these I should have heard or seen same.

    If the "Victoria"  had given a signal the "Dilimer" could have kept clear of him.

    I gave a similar statement to this to Mr Trevor Kelway and he said in his opinion from my statement, that the "Victoria" was entirely to blame for the collision.



Transcription of a letter from an insurance company in relation to the same incident:


                                                                                                                                                                    1st August 1933

Dear Sirs,


Collision off "The Smalls" 24th July 1933.


    On Saturday last Mr E. E. Carter, the owner of the S/T "Dilimer" consulted us in regard to the above matter.

    On going into the position we learned that the S/T "Victoria" had been chartered by her owners to the Government of the Irish Free State for the purpose of conducting fishing operations. In view of the extent of the immunity from legal proceedings enjoyed by the Crown as the titular head of the various Dominions &c constituting the British Commonwealth we came to the conclusion that the ordinary legal process of issuing a summons and arresting the "Victoria" was not available to Mr Carter and we so advised him.

    Doubtless any claim by the S/T "Dilimer" presented to the Irish Free State Fisheries Authorities would receive consideration and if the claim were not admitted it would probably be open to Mr Carter to proceed by way of "Petition of right", although as to this we could not advise definitely without a perusal of the lengthy Acts of Parliament which created the Irish Free State.


Yours faithfully,

E.E. & W.

Messrs Laurence Philipps & Co. (Insurance) Ltd.

1, Leadenhall Street,





Transcription of a Statement by the Skipper of the ST DILIMER, Mr. W. H. Johnson, in relation to an incident on on 23rd August 1933:

    I live at "Claremont", Pill Lane, Milford, and was at the period in question the Skipper of the "Dilimer". We left Milford at about 6.30 a.m. on the 23rd August 1933, bound to the fishing grounds, and at about 9.30 a.m., whilst down in the chart room, I received a message from the deckhand, immediately following which I went up on to the Bridge and saw a vessel which subsequently proved to be the" Rosetta" lying in approximately the position marked X on the extract from the Chart, such position being from 12 to 14 miles distant from the Smalls. The "Rosetta" was at that time about 3 to 4 miles due west of us, and was displaying the ordinary distress signal, namely 2 balls on the main mast. I immediately altered course of the "Dilimer" so as to take us in the direction of the "Rosetta", and on getting as close as I could to her I asked her Master what was the matter. 

    He replied that the "Rosetta" had lost her rudder and was sinking, and I was asked if I could tow the vessel into Milford. I informed the Master of the "Rosetta" that I could do so. I then steamed up on the starboard (windward) side of the "Rosetta" at a distance of about ten yards and threw a rope towards her.  Those on board the "Rosetta" failed to catch the rope.  This manoeuvre was repeated and again the rope was not caught, the same manoeuvre was again carried out and this time those on board the "Rosetta" caught the rope. To the rope was attached a wire warp of the "Dilimer" and this was in course of being hauled on board the "Rosetta" when those on board the latter vessel, owing to the weight of the wire, were obliged to let go of the wire before it could be secured on board the "Rosetta".  The wire and rope falling into the sea, they were hauled back on board the "Dilimer".  The rope of the "Dilimer" was then for a fourth time thrown to the "Rosetta", but the latter failed to catch it.  On the occasion of the rope being thrown for the fifth time it was caught, and the wire rope was drawn on board and made fast.  The wire was then slack and the "Dilimer" proceeded to tow the "Rosetta" towards Milford, two new 75 fathoms wire warps of the "Dilimer" being utilized for the purpose, and the length of the towing line being 90 fathoms.

    The towing commenced at about noon, the whole of the intervening period between 9.30 a.m. and noon having been occupied in the "Dilimer" steaming up to and getting connected with the "Rosetta".  The tow which was at the rate of 3 to 3 miles an hour proceeded without incident, though we had a big ordinary swell to contend with all the time, and on arrival of the vessels inside St Ann's Head the "Rosetta" was lashed alongside the "Dilimer" for the purpose of being taken up the Harbour.

    Whilst this lashing together was being placed I went on board the "Rosetta" and saw water in her cabin and in her engine room to a depth of 4 feet.  Members of the crew of the "Rosetta" said, "Thank God you came along as we would not have been able to stick it much longer." They added that they had been in that condition throughout the previous night.

    The "Rosetta" was taken alongside the Mackerel Stage off the entrance to Milford Docks and was there handed over to the Milford Docks Company's tug for the purpose of being brought inside the dock.  No vessel other than the tug being allowed to take another vessel into the dock.  This was between six and seven o'clock on the evening of the 23rd August. Having had new warps put on board of her the "Dilimer" left again for sea between ten and eleven o'clock on the same night.  It would not have been safe to use again for fishing purposes the warps which had been employed in the towing owing to the strain they had undergone and the chafing they had sustained.

    The distance of the Smalls from St Ann's Head is about 18 miles, and from the latter place to Milford is about 6 miles. During the period of the services there was not much wind, I should say about force 3. There was however a nasty swell from the west.  This swell added considerably to my difficulties in getting a wire aboard the "Rosetta", as it was difficult and risky to get sufficiently close to that vessel to enable the "Dilimer" to throw a rope to her without at the same time hitting her.  On each of the five occasions on which a rope was thrown there was considerable danger of collision. We were to windward of the "Rosetta" on each such occasion, and only about ten yards distant from her.  Moreover the "Rosetta" on each occasion had her sails flapping which increased our difficulties in this respect.

    When we reached the "Rosetta" for the first time I could see some of her crew at work on the big purchase pump with which she was equipped. The pumping continued all the while until we reached Milford Haven.  That is the only pump the "Rosetta" possesses.  It was a hand operated one.   The crew of the "Rosetta" appeared to be quite exhausted when the "Dilimer" arrived on the scene.

    When we first made in the direction of the "Rosetta" there was one trawler engaged in fishing and a sailing ship in my sight.  They were to the westward of us and were a greater distance from the "Rosetta" than we were. The trawler (which subsequently proved to be the "Corvus" from Milford) later overtook us on the way back to Milford,  we at the time having the "Rosetta" in tow. The sailing ship did not speak to us or do anything at all.  She was sailing round and sailed ahead of us into Milford. I saw no other vessel during the two hours or so which were occupied in our getting connected up to the "Rosetta".  It is probable that any other vessel which may have passed the "Rosetta" without observing her signals had been prevented from doing so by the signals having been obscured by her main sail. The tide was setting in a northerly direction when we picked up the "Rosetta".  It was a spring tide.  It is difficult for me to give an estimate as to the speed of the current off the Smalls. The "Rosetta" was at the mercy of the wind and sea as she had no means to get up into the wind.  The "Rosetta" was not in any immediate danger of going onto the Smalls, but she was in a perilous condition owing to the intake of water and the crew's state of fatigue.  She was not likely to survive off the Smalls for the whole of nine hours. In the course of the "Rosetta" being towed, less water would enter her stern leak.  I saw the stern planks of the "Rosetta" open in the neighbourhood of her stern post.

Sgd. Skipper William Hugo Johnson.


[ROSETTA:  o.n. 97468, wood, reg. Aberystwyth, 73 grt.  Built 1890, Plymouth. Ketch Rigged. Master: Ludwig Kristian Anderson. Crew 3. Owners. Ludwig Kristian Anderson, Harbour House, Portmadoc, Carnarvon. 

She was on Charter with a cargo of slates, from Bakeley Slate Quarries, Co, Portmadoc, to Newport, Isle of Wight, via Teignmouth. 102 Tons.

The  "Dilimer" received 150 Salvage and costs.]



From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 5th March 1937:

A fatality that no one witnessed was the subject of an inquiry conducted by the Deputy South Pembrokeshire Coroner,  Mr G. Trevor Kelway, at the County Hospital on Monday afternoon.


The victim was Charles Goffin, 52 year old third hand on the steam trawler "Dilimer" (Mr E. E. Carter), who was severely injured when his boat on Sunday morning was preparing to leave Dale Roads, where shelter had been sought overnight from the storm. Goffin, a single man, had been living at 49, Waterloo Rd., with his brother,  and when he was injured the "Dilimer" was brought up harbour to the Docks at full speed to land him.


At the inquest Mr A. N. Whitlock (Milford Haven Trawl Fishermen and Allied Trades Union) appeared for the relatives and Mr H. W. D. Williams (Messrs Eaton Evans and Williams) represented the owner of the trawler. Evidence of identification was given by Frank Arthur Lanark Goffin, 49, Waterloo Rd., Hakin, a brother of the deceased and with whom the deceased had been living.


Harold Soanes, Skipper of the S.T."Dilimer", said deceased was third hand on the boat. On Saturday night they lay in Dale Roads owing to the bad weather and at 6.30 the following morning (Sunday) he gave orders to heave the anchor.  Witness was in the wheelhouse at the time and he saw deceased go for'ard to pick up the bar to guide the warp onto the winch.

The Coroner:  "What did you see then? "

"I could not actually see because of the snow on the windows but the next thing I heard was the bosun calling out, 'Coming up, all clear.'  Practically with the same breath he shouted, 'Look, Charlie's knocked out.'  I rushed down onto the deck and picked him up, he was bleeding very badly from the mouth. I ordered full speed ahead and we steamed up to Milford Docks where we landed deceased, who was attended by Dr Williams.

The Coroner:  "You cannot say what happened?"

Witness: "No, I cannot."


Mr Whitlock, who was permitted by the Coroner to put questions, asked the Skipper who was driving the winch. The Skipper replied that the Mate was doing it.

Mr Whitlock:  "He is not here?"  - "No."


William Norman, 5, Hakinville, Hakin, Boatswain on the S.T. "Dilimer", said when the Skipper gave the order to heave the anchor he was on his way for'ard to watch the anchor come up.

The Coroner:  "Did you see deceased?"

"Only when the anchor was up sir."

"As the anchor came up you shouted 'Coming up, all clear'?" - "Yes."

The Coroner:  "What happened then?"

Witness:  "l looked up and saw the deceased's white boots, he was lying on the deck, knocked out.  l shouted to the Skipper and went to Goffin who was

lying on his back, his face all covered with blood."

The Coroner: "Can you give us any idea how it happened?"

Witness:  "I was so far for'ard I could not say."

The Coroner:  "Was there anything to show how it happened?" - "No."

Mr Whitlock:  "Do I understand the warp was shackled to the anchor chains?:

Witness: "Yes."

Mr Whitlock:  "Do I understand the warp had come on to the winch, and some of the chain?"  - "Yes."

Mr Whitlock:  "With regard to the guiding on bars - can you tell me the size of the rollers, if any, on the bar used by deceased?" - "There were no rollers."


"Is there anyone else here from the ship who can add anything?" enquired the Coroner.  "No one actually saw it?". Skipper Soanes said no one saw the accident.


Dr J.E.Gillam, Haverfordwest, said deceased was admitted to Hospital at 9.30a.m. on the 28th, suffering from a fractured skull and severe injury to the brain. He was unconscious and did not regain consciousness before he died at 1 o'clock the same day, the cause of death being a fracture of the skull.

The Coroner:  "Was there anything to indicate that there had been a blow?"

Dr Gilliam:  "Yes, there was a large bruise on the left side of the head and I should think that was most probably where his head was struck. There was also a small cut that side of his head."

The Coroner said it was very unfortunate no one saw what actually happened, but he was satisfied from the evidence that deceased was doing his duty, guiding the warp chain on to the barrel of the winch as the anchor and came up. In some way or other he (the Coroner) could only conclude that deceased was drawn into the warp when something occurred to throw him off balance, or the bar he was using might possibly have been moved violently and caused the blow on the skull. As there was no actual witness he could only draw conclusions, but it was quite clear that for some reason or other deceased received a violent blow on the head which caused the injuries. He would return a verdict that Goffin died of a fractured skull accidentally received while at his work. "I am sure we feel very sorry for the relatives and the members of the crew in yet another sad tragedy of the sea".

Mr H. W. D. Williams, on behalf of the owner, asked to be allowed to join in the expression of sympathy with the relatives.



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