Official No: 91025   Port and Year: 6th in Lowestoft, 1885. (LT ?)

                                                             4th in Swansea, 1888. (SA8)

Description: Iron side / beam trawler; steam screw; coal fired.  Schooner rigged.


Built:  1885, by W. B. Thompson, Dundee.  (Yard no. 67)

Tonnage:  115 grt  38 net (By 1889: 44 net.)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 100.0  / 20.1 / 10.0

Engine: C 2-Cyl; 45 hp; by builders.




28 Feb 1885: The Lowestoft Steam Carrying and Fishing Co., Lowestoft.



1888: John Benson, 68 Bryn-y-Mor Rd., Swansea.

Managing owner.


1893: Mercader y Hijos, San Sebastian, Spain


Landed at Milford:  4 Jul 1889 -  22 Aug 1893


1889: Beckett;

1890: Wooton; D. (?) Griffiths; J. Chamberlain

1891: Chamberlain; William Holder; Thomas May; Edgar (?) Garnham

1892: Garnham; T. Leyland; Henry Scott;

1893: Scott; Henry Belton; J. Cammish (?); W. Dayes.


 Accidents and Incidents

From the Daily News of Thursday, November 6th 1890; Issue 13912.




Schooner Harry Herbert, of Liverpool, Newport for Cork, coals, and steam trawler Dolphin collided at Milford last night; former was seriously damaged.



From The Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser of Friday 4th September 1891:


        An inquest was held by the Coroner (Mr James Price) and a jury at Hakin on the 1st instant on the body of Charles Beckett, captain of the steam trawler "Dolphin". The Jury consisted of Mr James Vaughan (foreman), Messrs C. Wood, P. Hancock, T. H. Martin, M. Cummins, James Harts, William Price, W. Tonner, J. Lewis, J. Johnson, W. Miller, W. Cooper, W. Prosser.

        Mr W. G. Davies, Solicitor, Milford Haven, represented the family of the deceased, and Mr R. T. P. Williams represented the owners of the steam trawler "Dolphin."

        Robert Smith deposed that he was a clerk to Mr Bishop, Fish Salesman of Milford Haven, and identified the body as that of Charles Beckett, who was, up to the time of his death, captain of the steam trawler "Dolphin." He thought that deceased was about 32 years of age.

        By Mr Davies: Witness never knew that deceased had asked that a guard should be placed over the winch.

        William Holder, deposed: I am the Captain of the steam trawler "Dolphin." The deceased was captain up to the time of his death. We sailed from the Milford Docks on Wednesday, August 19th, about four o'clock in the morning. We arrived off the fishing grounds, which are about 25 W by W of the Smalls, about between five or six o'clock on the same day, and we then shot the trawl. The captain told us to have the trawl up at from 11.30 to 12 o'clock at night. He then set the watch and we went to bed. The watch called us at 11.30, and all hands went on deck, six of us in all, and we started to haul the net after the stopper was let go. The engines were stopped and we proceeded hailing the nets. I was then stationed at the winch, and the deceased was on the bridge. After the warp was in deceased came from the bridge to the winch, and I went to my station aft to tend the dandy and stopper, and other necessaries. The fore trawl head was being hauled in. Beckett was by the winch, and just as the trawl head was coming in over the side the third hand, Walter Hewith, sang out to me "Bill." I said "What!" and he replied "Skipper got his hand off." I at once ran to his assistance. Before I got there deceased had stopped and reversed the winch, and had got his hand out. I said to deceased, "You have not got your hand in the winch." He said "I have," and he held it up and showed it to me all mangled. He explained to me how he got it in. I ordered him aft and bound his hand in a muffler. I at once gave orders to get steam up, and we got the trawl in, and then started back for Milford. We arrived at the Docks about six o'clock. On the 20th he told me how it happened. I said "I suppose you missed the stop valve and put your hand on the cogs?"  He said "Yes that's just how I did it." The cogs are the main machinery of the winch. The winch is used every five or six hours. It is used to haul in and let out the gear, and for landing the fish on to the market.

        By Mr Davies: There is a guard over the winch now it was put there last week after the accident happened. It is usual that a guard should be placed over these winches. I was in the ".Africa," and the" Bournmouth," and other steam trawlers, and they all had guards over their winches. I consider it dangerous for a winch to be unguarded, especially if dark, and if a man is rasn and it would have been impossible for his band to have got on the cogs if there had been a guard, Deceased was care- ful and cool then. I should not have gone to sea in her a second voyage if a guard had not been put on.

        By Mr Williams: If I had asked Mr Bishop a guard would have been supplied. Mr H. May is also an agent for the owners, and he has an order book, and if applied to would have given an order in writing for it. A guard could have been had in that way if he had asked for it. I do not think he was in a position to order it himself. It was from Mr Bishop we had the guard. Bishop and May had it ready. The order was given them by wire from the owners.

        By Mr Davies: I would not have gone to sea a second trip without a guard on the winch.

        William Hewith, deposed: I am the third hand on board the "Dolphin". We left Milford about four o'clock on the morning of Wednesday, August 19th, and we arrived on the fishing grounds about five or six o'clock in the afternoon of the same day. Soon after we got there we shot the trawl. We then went to bed, and we were called by the watch about 11.30. We came on deck and each took his station. Deceased's place was at the winch. I was at the fore trawl head, about 20 feet from him. The deceased sang out 'My hand is off.' I had the chain stopper in my hand. As the trawl was coming in over the side the deceased sang out that his hand was off, and I sang out to Holder, and we went both to him as quickly as possible. He showed me his hands as he was coming aft to me. Holder took him to the cabin. I saw him as soon as we got the trawl in. I did not see how it happened. It was not very light although it was moonlight. We at once got up steam and came back to Milford.

        Dr Griffith, deposed: I am a medical practitioner at Milford, and on the morning of Thursday, August 20th, the deceased was placed under my care. This was about seven in the morning. I examined him and I found his right hand very much lacerated, only the thumb and little finger being uninjured. I placed him under ether to ascertain the extent of the injury, and I found the three middle fingers crushed up to the joints of the wrists; the muscles and sinews were also torn. He made me promise before I gave him the aesthetic [sic] that I would not amputate his hand therefore I only amputated his fingers. When I fully ascertained the extent of the injuries, I decided that the arm must be amputated above the wrist. As he appeared to be suffering from the shock I did not think it advisable to place him under ether again that day, but thought best to postpone the operation till next day. On Friday, the 21st, between the hours of ten and eleven in the morning I amputated the arm above the wrist. I was assisted by my son, William Griffith. After the operation deceased appeared quite strong, and was progressing satisfactorily till Sunday morning, when he complained of a pain in his side. I examined his chest and found he had inflammation of both lungs, which continued to increase. On Wednesday I found that the lower part of each lung was quite solid. He then improved up till Saturday night, his lung getting clearer. On Saturday night about twelve o'clock he had a relapse. The nurse sent for me to say he was worse, and my son saw him and reported to me. After pneumonia developed the arm showed signs of sloughing: and deceased died between eleven and twelve o'clock on Sunday morning last. I attribute death to pneumonia supervening on the amputation of the arm.

        The jury returned a verdict in accordance with the medical evidence.



From The South Wales Post of Saturday 27th May 1893:



    A young shark, seven feet in length, has been landed by the steam-trawler Dolphin, at the South Dock. Mr. Benson, fishmonger, High-street, is the owner of the trawler, and he has sent the shark to Neath for exhibition.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 12th July 1893:


ACCIDENT ON A TRAWLER. - A somewhat serious accident occurred on board the steam-trawler 'Dolphin' on Sunday.  The vessel came in and landed her fish on Friday, leaving the dock on Sunday morning.  When a few miles out, the second hand, John Carter, brother-in-law to Mr. George, of Hamilton Terrace, was working the winch, when by some means his clothes became entangled, and the unfortunate fellow was drawn into it.  He was tossed about unmercifully for some few seconds and then thrown out violently, pitching upon his shoulder, which was, as a result, severely fractured.  The skipper at once put in for Milford and Dr. G. Griffith was summoned, upon whose recommendation he was conveyed to the infirmary at Haverfordwest, a carriage being supplied by Mr. T. Palmer, of the Nelson Hotel.  The injuries are not, we believe, so serious as was at first feared, although quite serious enough, he having had a miraculous escape.




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