John Stevenson Collection
Official No: 131882 Port and Year: 3rd in Kirkcaldy, 1924 (KY16)
- - Lowestoft, 1937 (LT207)
Description: Steel side drifter trawler; single screw, coal burning. Liner.
Built: Alexander Hall & Co., Aberdeen, 1924. (Yard no. 589)
Tonnage: 123 grt 52 net.
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 90.0 / 20.1 / 10.1
Engine: T 3-Cyl. 42 rhp. Great Central Engineering & Ship Repairing Co., Grimsby
1955: Re-engined as 6 cyl diesel, by Ruston & Hornsby
As REFLORESCO KY16
7th April 1924: James Muir (Keay), 12 Fowler St., Cellardyke.
Manager: John T. Graham, Thordisa, Anstruther.
As FEACO LT207
11 Feb 1937: Suffolk Fishing Co. Ltd., Stanford View, Battery Green Rd., Lowestoft.
Manager: A. V. Harvey, Great Eastern Hotel, Lowestoft.
c.1950: William Henry Kerr, Ships' Chandlers, Docks, Milford
1967: Tropic Fisheries, Takoradi, Ghana
Landed at Milford: 31 Jan 1951 - 20 Feb 1967
Skippers: Walter King (1956-59); Hubert Griffiths (1961); Jo Utting (1964);
Frank Reynolds (1967)
Refloresco is a Latin verb, meaning "to begin to flourish again".
Oct 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper (P.No.FY.891).
Nov 1945: Returned to owners.
13 Dec 1955: See below for a record catch.
c.1971: Broken up
[Scottish Fisheries Museum has a photo of this vessel c.1930 at Hartlepool and another c.1956 as FEACO at Aberdeen.]
Accidents and Incidents
From The Times of Wednesday 14th December 1955, p.6:
NEWS IN BRIEF
£1,300 HERRING CATCH.— A record of a £1,300 for one night's fishing catch was realized by 140 crans of herring taken into Milford Haven by the Lowestoft drifter Feaco. She was delayed by a gale and the catch was the only one for yesterday's market.
From The Irish Times of Thursday 2nd February 1956, p.9:
DRIFTER TOWS LEAKING TRAWLER INTO WATERFORD
When the Milford Haven trawler, Deeside, was fishing early yesterday morning about 14 miles off Hook Head, Co. Wexford, she sprang a leak and in a short time her engine room was awash. She sent out an SOS which was picked up by the Lowestoft drifter Feaco, fishing for herring about three miles away. The Deeside, whose captain is Mr. James Thomas, had left Milford Haven six days ago to fish for cod, plaice and dabs. She has a crew of 11.
The Feaco, captained by Mr. Walter King, also has a crew of 11, and is based at Dunmore East with several boats from Milford Haven.
In an interview, Mr. King said that received an SOS about 4.30 a.m. and it took him about half an hour to steam to the Deeside. When he arrived alongside he began to tow her towards Dunmore East, but because of very rough seas she had to be taken to Waterford.
The Dunmore East lifeboat, in the charge of Mr. Arthur Westcott Pitt, hon. secretary of the Dunmore East branch of the Lifeboat Institution, arrived and accompanied the two vessels to Creadan Head, a short distance from her base.
When the distress signal was received by the Feaco, she had 30 nets laid out. These were cut, as she went to the Deeside. The nets were valued at £540 and other gear lost was to the value of £350. The Feaco left Waterford yesterday afternoon in an effort to locate her gear. Temporary repairs are being carried out to the Deeside which,it is expected, will leave Waterford for England shortly.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 20th November 1959:
First Dunmore Herrings
The first Dunmore herrings of the season were landed at Milford Haven on Wednesday, fourteen crans brought in by Messrs. W. H. Kerr's drifter Feaco (Skipper Walter King). The Feaco had left Lowestoft last week for the Irish grounds but ran into severe gales at the weekend which prevented any fishing operations. When the weather moderated she had a few shots and brought her catch of good quality fish to Milford where it was eagerly bought at 10 gns. per cran.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th January 1961:
Two drifter trawlers which left Milford some months ago to fish out of Lowestoft returned here on Wednesday to join Messrs. Kerr's fleet. They would probably have sailed again at the weekend, this time with Milford crews, but unluckily they were in collision on arrival and their return to sea has been delayed.
The Willing Boys was put up on the slip on Thursday afternoon with a damaged stem, while the Feaco will have to have plate damage attended to. When the drifters are ready they will be taken out by Skipper Sid Durrant (Willing Boys), and Skipper Hubert Griffiths (Feaco), with Messrs. H. Gander and W.F. Reynolds as their respective mates.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 10th January 1964:
MILFORD BOSUN LOST OVERBOARD
Shipmate's Gallant Rescue Bid
A courageous rescue bid by a shipmate failed to save the life of 22-year-old Milford trawler bo'sun, Brian Reynolds, when he fell overboard 22 miles south south-west of St. Ann's Head on Saturday.
The trawler Feaco (W. H. Kerr and Co.) sailed from Milford on Saturday morning, bound for the Trevose fishing grounds off the Cornish coast, in charge of Skipper Joe Utting, of Stephen Street, Milford Haven. The weather was fine but there was a big ground swell as the ship steamed out to sea.
The 22-year-old bo'sun was walking aft from the wheelhouse when he slipped and fell overboard.
The skipper immediately turned the ship round and Deckhand Fred Gale, of Vivian Crescent, Hakin, jumped overboard fully clothed in an effort to save his shipmate.
Before Mr. Gale could reach the bo'sun he disappeared beneath the waves. The trawler circled and searched the area until dusk before returning to Milford with her flag at half mast.
The lost bo'sun, whose parents now reside at Alexandra Road, Lowestoft, was the eldest of four sons and was a native of Milford. His mother was formerly Miss Lizzie Picton, daughter of Mr. Bob Picton and the late Mrs. Picton, 63, St. Peter's Road. The family, who used to reside in Pill, moved to Mr. Reynolds' native Lowestoft some years ago. Brian had just rejoined his ship after spending Christmas in Lowestoft with his parents and family.
In Milford he lodged at 59, Priory Road, the home of his fiancée, Miss Jean Pointer.
Mr. Gale, whose very brave rescue bid has been highly commended by the skipper and crew, is also a member of a well-known local family, being a son of Mr. jack Gale, of Hubberston. A widower, he has two young sons.
From a cyclosyled document in the Les Jones Archive:
At about 1.25 p.m. on Saturday, 4th January, 1964, the motor trawler 'Feaco', owned by Messrs. W. H. Kerr (Ships Chandlers_ Ltd., Milford Haven, was sailing for the fishing grounds and was about 221 miles S.S.W. of St. Ann's Head when the Boatswain, Brian REYNOLDS, age 22 years, c/o 59, Priory Road, Milford Haven, (Home Address - 40, Alexandra Road, Lowestoft) fell overboard. Frederick George GALE, aged 43 years, of 3 Vivian Drive, Hakin, Milford Haven, a deckhand, saw REYNOLDS fall overboard and immediately threw him a line but Reynolds was unable to reach it. GALE then tied a line around himself, jumped into the water and swam towards the drowning man. Due to the swell, GALE was unable to to find REYNOLDS and was eventually pulled on board. Although a search was made of the area, there was no trace of the missing person.
At the time of this incident there was a Force 4 S.S.W. wind and a moderate swell but the water was extremely cold.
The Royal Humane Society has awarded GALE its Testimonial on Vellum.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 24th February 1967:
The drifter trawler Feaco, belonging to Messrs. W. H. Kerr, landed her last catch at Milford Fishmarket on Tuesday, under the command of Skipper Frank Reynolds. She has been sold to West Africa, and will be leaving at the end of next week. It is understood that part of the crew that will take her out will be local men.
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 3rd March 1967:
Milford firemen were forced to use breathing apparatus and foam to extinguish a fire at Milford Docks this morning. The fire in the galley of the drifter trawler Feaco was quickly extinguished. During the operation one of the firemen was burned about the face. The unlucky man was Mr. Norman Lewis.
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