Official No:  143532    Port Number and Year:  2nd in Cardiff, 1921 (CF4)

                                                                                13th in Milford, 1929

Description: Castle Class steel side trawler; steam screw, coal burning. Ketch rigged: mizzen sail

Crew:  10 men

Registered at Milford: 27 Nov 1929

Built: 1920 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley.  (Yard no. 438)

Tonnage: 281.4 grt  110.2 net.

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  128.5  / 23.5 / 12.6

Engine: T 3-Cyl. 85 rhp.10.5 kts. 



As CF4

Feb 1921: Neale & West, Hope St., Cardiff.

Managers: Wilfred Neale, Morley H. Neale, and Joshua Neale. (1920-26)

Morley H. Neale, 'Haldon', Clinton Rd., Penarth.     (1927 -

Joshua S. Neale, 'Skomer', Marine Parade, Penarth.             1929)


As M47

27 Nov 1929: Joseph Samuel Pettit, 'Wayneflete', The Rath, Milford (32/64)

Managing owner: Frank Leslie Youds, 32 Dartmouth St., Milford. (32/64)


Landed at Milford: 23 Oct 1929 - 4 Apr 1934

Skippers: James Abramson (1934)


Hirose is a Japanese town in the Nogi District, Shimane.

11 Apr 1934: Foundered off  Valentia,  Ireland, after striking submerged object.  [See below.]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 27 Apr 1934.

Accidents and Incidents

From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 6th January 1933:


Vessel's Plight Off Irish Coast

drifting with broken rudder

    A Milford Haven trawler figured in a drama of the sea off the Irish coast this week.

    The steamship Heilo, a Norwegian vessel of 989 tons, was drifting with a broken rudder on to the coast of Kerry on Tuesday.  She left St. John, New Brunswick, for Manchester, on December 17th, and must have had a terrible battering in the gales which have swept the Irish coast during the last few days.

    Just before Midnight on Monday her distress rockets were seen by the Swansea trawler Caswell about fifteen miles from the Skelligs, a group of dangerous rocks ten miles from Valentia Island.  The Caswell did the five miles to the Heilo at full speed.  She found the Milford trawler Hirose standing by.  Hour after hour the trawlers waited, helpless to assist and unable to approach, owing to the westerly gale.  The Heilo had a heavy list and was fast being carried into Dingle Bay.


    Despite their danger the captain and crew refused to abandon the ship.  Towards noon on Tuesday, when the Heilo was about a mile from Valentia, the trawlers had to leave her for home.  The Fenit lifeboat had, however, gone to her assistance and small boats had put off from Valentia.  During the afternoon the wind dropped but heavy seas were still running, and the Heilo's position was precarious.  Late last night the damaged vessel was reported to be two miles off Dingle Bay in no immediate danger and with the crew still aboard.

    The Hirose is owned by Messrs. Pettit and Youds, Milford Haven.


The crew of seven of the Fenit (Co. Kerry) motor lifeboat are believed to have been lost while they were battling through seas in an attempt to rescue the drifting Heilo.  She was last seen at 6 a.m. having left her base four hours earlier in response to the Heilo's distress signals.  The coxswain and engineer are married.



From The Times of Thursday, Apr 12, 1934; pg. 23; Issue 46726: 




HIROSE.― Valentia Wireless Station, April 11.― Following received from British trawler Neil Smith ― Trawler Hirose sinking rapidly position 52.5 N., 12.18 W., all crew now safe aboard Neil Smith. Valentia Wireless Station, Apl 11.― Following received from British trawler Neil Smith ― Trawler Hirose foundered 8.30 a.m.



From The Irish Times of 12th April 1934, p.7




    At 5.30 yesterday morning the trawler Herose [sic], of Milford Haven, foundered about fifty miles west of Valentia, County Kerry.  The vessel, it was stated, struck some submerged object, which damaged the propeller and hull, and she began to leak badly.

     A wireless call for assistance was sent out, and the crew of ten men made a fire of bedding and clothes soaked in petrol on the deck in order to attract attention in the darkness.

    The trawler Neill Smith, also of Milford Haven, seeing the flare, immediately rushed to the assistance of the Herose.  The members of the crew of the damaged vessel were taken off before she foundered, and the Neill Smith stood by until about 8.30.

    Captain Abramson and the crew of the Herose were later brought to Cahirciveen, and are staying at a local hotel.


Skipper's Statement:

We sailed from the port of Milford Haven for the fishing grounds off the north-west coast of Ireland, on the 6th April 1934. At about 7.15 p.m. on Tuesday the 10th of the same month, our position at the time was Lat. 52.05 [North] and Long. 12.00 West, we apparently struck some submerged object, and as a result of this the propeller was put out of working order, and water entered the engine room in such volume that eventually it was responsible for the vessel foundering.  This took place at about 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday 11th April.

The crew tried everything possible to keep the "Hirose" afloat by the use of all available pumps.  It proved to be a hopeless battle, and we had to abandon the said vessel.

James Abramson, Skipper.


Statement of Protest:

    By this public instrument of declaration and protest be it known and made manifest that on this 14th day of April 1934, before me, Henry William Davies Williams, Notary Public residing at Haverfordwest in the County of Pembroke and carrying on business at Haverfordwest aforesaid, and at Milford Haven in the same County, and duly authorized admitted and sworn personally came and appeared James Abramson, Master and Skipper of the late Steam trawler "Hirose" of the tonnage of 110 net, belonging to the port of Milford, and noted a protest in my office on account of the said vessel at about 7.15 p.m. on Tuesday 10th April 1934 when in a position Lat.52.05 and Long.12.00 West having apparently struck some submerged object as a result of which the propeller was put out of action and water entered the engine room in such volume as eventually to cause the said vessel to founder at about 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday 11th April 1934 despite all possible efforts by the crew and the use of all available pumps, the crew having in the meantime been obliged to abandon the said vessel.    

    Afterwards on the 14th day of April 1934 again appeared the said James Abramson and required me to extend his protest noted as aforesaid and he together with Cornelius King, Mate, William Youds, Chief Engineer, William Henry Davies, Second Engineer, and William James Seaward, Deckhand, of the said vessel who also appeared duly and solemnly and state as follows:

    I the declarant skipper have held a skipper's certificate for upwards of 15 years, and have throughout that period sailed out of either Milford or Swansea. I was skipper of the "Hirose" for the period of 11 weeks ending 11th April, 1934.

    I am the declarant Chief Engineer, I have occupied such a position for 35 years and upwards, and had been the Chief Engineer for a period of four years on the steam trawler "Hirose".

    The "Hirose" left Milford on Friday 6th April 1934, bound for the fishing grounds off the north west coast of Ireland, she being tight, strong and staunch, well manned, equipped and provided with all things necessary and essential for her on her intended voyage. Fishing operations were commenced on Sunday 8th April, and continued without incident until 7.15 p.m. on Thursday 10th April, the wind during this period being from a north easterly direction, and of the force of a strong breeze and there being a heavy swell. At about 7.15 p.m. on the 10th April we the declarants felt a sudden heavy bump being experienced by the said vessel, the declarant skipper, mate and chief engineer being then at tea in the cabin, the declarant second engineer in the engine room, and the deckhand on watch in the wheelhouse.

    Immediately after the bump was felt, I the declarant second engineer, saw water entering the said vessel through the stern gland, and the propeller shaft was all on the work [sic]. I at once tried to find out what was wrong by entering the tunnel. The bump was immediately followed by a grinding noise which was audible to all the declarants, and which continued for a period of about 5 minutes, at the end of which time the ship's engines were stopped, causing the grinding noise to cease. I, the declarant second engineer, say that the noise was coming from the direction of the ship's propeller.

    I, the declarant chief engineer, immediately after feeling the bump proceeded to the engine room and screwed up the stern gland and by so doing partially stopped the inflow of water for a moment or two. At the same [time] I sent up word to the Skipper to haul in his gear, and I also brought the ejector and donkey pump into use. The water however continued to enter the engine room leading me to the belief that a plate had been cracked under the engine room floor at the after end of the engine room.

    I, the declarant second engineer, was in the engine room whilst the foregoing work was being done in the engine room.

    I, the declarant chief engineer, then went up on deck leaving the declarant second engineer in the engine room and, in company with the declarant skipper, looked over the side of the said vessel and we observed that the propeller was hanging on the shaft and that so far as we could see the propeller nut had apparently disappeared.

    We the declarants other than the declarant deckhand saw the propeller hanging as described, but not all at the same time. About 5 or 10 minutes after the bump had been felt the hauling in of the ship's fishing gear commenced, the winch being used for this purpose.

    The hauling in occupied about 15 minutes, and as soon as this was completed, namely at about 7.45 p.m., I the declarant skipper sent a wireless message to say to my owners, through the control ship, the steam trawler "Ijuin", informing them that the "Hirose's" propeller was out of action and that she would want towing home. The "Hirose" continued to lie helpless. The ejector and donkey pump were continuously in use and after the gear had been hauled in the hand pump was also operated. These were all the pumps capable of dealing with the water which was entering the engine room. The water entering the vessel gradually overcame the pumps. The level of the water steadily increased in the engine room and no means other than those used were able to stop it. The water gradually reached the centre furnace and washed the coal out of the bunker, thereby causing the pumps to become choked, calling for clearing from time to time.

    By about midnight of 10th and 11th April, the water had reached the crown of the centre furnace, causing the ejector and donkey pump to stop altogether. At about midnight of 10th - 11th April, I, the declarant skipper, received a reply from my owners directing me to seek towing assistance for the vessel, but before getting such reply I had got into touch with other steam trawlers asking for assistance to tow the "Hirose" to a place of safety. I arranged with one of the steam trawlers, namely the "Neil Smith" which gave me her position as about 60 miles distant, to come to us. The "Neil Smith" was one of the nearest of the vessels I had got in touch with. There were no vessels in sight of us at 7.15 p.m. on 10th April and the first vessel we sighted after that hour was the "Neil Smith", when she was approaching us at about 4 a.m. on 11th April. The "Neil Smith" arrived alongside of us at about 5.15 a.m. on 11th April and stood by until the "Hirose" was abandoned by the remainder of the crew at 8.15 a.m. on that day. By this time the water had reached a height of about 18 inches or so above the deck level and the vessel was down by the stern. The "Hirose" foundered at about 8.30 a.m. The small boat of the "Hirose" was launched at about 4 a.m. as a matter of precaution.

    With the exception of the declarant skipper, mate and chief engineer, the crew left the "Hirose" for the "Neil Smith" at about 5.30 a.m. The hand pump had been kept continuously in use until about 2 a.m., when it was realized that the "Hirose" was in a hopeless condition. No other measures than those taken were at any time open to us to stop the inflow of the water. We were landed by the "Neil Smith" at Valencia at 3 p.m. on the 11th April and we arrived at Milford at 9 a.m. on the 13th April.

    As the night of the 10th and 11th April wore on the weather moderated. Wherefore the said appearers have protested and by these presents do solemnly protest all and every person whom it doth shall or may in any manner or way concern for all losses, prejudices and interests, costs, charges, damages, and expenses already suffered and sustained, or that shall or may be hereafter suffered and sustained by the owners of the said vessel "Hirose" or others interested in the said vessel, for by reason or on account of the premises aforesaid, and which losses, costs, charges and expenses shall or may be recoverable from and against Underwriters and others concerned in time and place convenient and as of right appertains such losses and damages having happened and occurred as aforesaid and not having been occasioned or through the neglect of any of the said vessel's company, who and every of whom did their best and utmost for the preservation of the said vessel.

    Thus declared and protested at Milford Haven in my office.

    In witness whereof the said appearers have hereunto set their hands. I the said Henry William Davies Williams, hereunto subscribing my hand and affixing my seal.



W. Youds.




In Testimonium Veritas.

H.W.D.Williams. Notary public.



From The Times, Wednesday, 19th Dec 1934; pg. 3; Issue 46941.



    Lloyd's have received from a local resident a message washed ashore at Sandes Cove, near Clonakilty, Co. Cork, and picked up by a fisherman on the morning of December 14.  It was enclosed in a strong quart bottle with a screw stopper.  The message, which is written on a wireless log sheet, reads as follows:― "St.T. Hirose, 9 April, 1934, 320 Fathoms, Abramson."  As reported by Lloyd's to the Press on April 11, the steam trawler Hirose foundered 50 miles off Valentia on that day after having lost her propeller.  Her crew were rescued by the steam trawler Neil Smith.  Contrary to common belief, authentic messages of this nature are very rare.  Bogus messages sent adrift in bottles by irresponsible individuals are often picked up and sent to Lloyd's.  They are usually recognizable at sight as stupid hoaxes.


[The HIROSE is not recorded in "Shipwreck Index of Ireland".]


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