Official No:  123730                      Port and Year: 108th in London, 1906 (LO248)

                                                                                      -       -  IJmuiden, 1911 (IJM-2)

Description: Steel side trawler; coal fired, steam screw.  Ketch rigged.  Wheelhouse aft.


Built: by Smith's Dock Co., North Shields, in 1906 (Yard no. 798)

Tonnage:   215 grt  87 net (1906).  213 grt 68 net (1939)

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 117.3 / 21.5 / 11.5

Engine: T.3-Cyl; 52 rhp; by MacColl & Pollock, Sunderland.




17 Oct 1906: George H. D. Birt, Docks, Milford.

Managing owner.



Jul 1911: N.V. Algemeene Viss Maats, IJmuiden.

Managers: J.F. Clerq & E.H. Heijmans.


1920: Vereenigde Exploitatie Mij., IJmuiden

Managers: A.J. Veltkamp & S. Koster. (1920-30)

                  J.F. Clerq & S. Koster. (1931)

                  J.F. Clerq. (1932)

1933: N.V. Visscherij-onderneming De VEM, IJmuiden. [Company name re-styled.]

Manager: F. Thiel.


[ Information kindly supplied by Barry Banham, Gil Mayes and Jan Harteveld.]


Landed at Milford: 22 Oct 1906 - 9 Jun 1911

Skippers: Nightingale (1906); William Jones (1910)


26 Jan 1910: Struck by heavy seas. (See newspaper report below.)

9 May 1940:  Escaped from Holland to England; fishing from Fleetwood. (Managers: Bloomfield's)

1945: Returned to Netherlands.

June 1951: Broken up

Accidents and Incidents

From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 24th October 1906:

    Another fine trawler has been added to the fleet under the arrangement of Mr. G. H. D. Birt, by the arrival of the steam trawler "India" on Monday morning.  The vessel is of a pretty design, and possesses all the latest accessories for deep sea fishing.  She is 117 feet in length, like the "Gillygate" of the same firm.  She has a veranda, or bridge, around the wheelhouse.  At one time all Milford trawlers had an open wheelhouse, but old ideas and customs have changed, and the local trawlers must be numbered amongst the most up-to-date in all respects.  The vessel was turned out by the well-known yard of Smith and Company, Shields.  The skipper is Captain Nightingale, and her maiden voyage realised 159.



From the South Wales Daily Post, Thursday 27th January 1910:





        The steam trawler India reached Milford docks on Wednesday, and the skipper related a thrilling experience.

        On the fishing grounds, 250 miles to the Westward, the sea was exceedingly rough, and a monster wave broke against the ship amidships. The crew declare that they had never witnessed such a tremendous wave before. The trawler was almost submerged by the blow, which caused her to go over on her broadside. The top of the funnel actually dipped into the water. The terrible rush of water on deck carried everything before it.

        The crew had to hang on to the stays of the funnel and the rail in order to save themselves. The skipper was waist-deep in water at his post in the wheelhouse, and the crew expected every moment that the ship would turn turtle. The strain on the vessel was so great that the boilers even shifted out of position.

        The mate, J. Scoble, of Milford Haven, was the only man washed overboard, and he managed to grasp the fishing gear as he was about to disappear. Whilst making his life-struggle, however, he was struck by some floating boards with terrible force, his lower jaw being smashed, yet lie managed to retain his hold.

        The vessel eventually righted herself and put into Berehaven.  Scoble, the injured mate, was in a distressing state. His eyes were much swollen, and his cheek was so badly cut that the jaw-bone could be seen through the incision. He also had four teeth knocked out.


From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 2nd February 1910:


    Local trawlers are having unprecedented experiences this winter out in the Atlantic.  ... 

    It remains for the crew of the steam trawler "India" (Mr. G. H. D. Birt) to unfold perhaps the most terrible story of all.  The vessel arrived in dock on Wednesday, and Captain William Jones reported that previously they were fishing 250 miles to the westward, when a huge wave, the largest he or any of his crew had ever seen, struck the vessel amidships and almost capsized her.  Some idea of its peril can be gleaned when the funnel of the ship was actually dipping in the angry sea.  The trawler almost turned over.  Naturally, everything on deck was washed away, and how the men managed to save themselves was a miracle.  They clutched at the rails around the funnel, the skipper was in the wheelhouse up to his waist in water, and the men almost gave up in despair of the trawler righting herself.  So great was the strain, that the boilers actually shifted. 

    One of the crew, the mate, Scoble, was less fortunate than his shipmates, for he was washed overboard, but managed to grasp a portion of the fishing gear as he was sinking, and he found that he had a grim struggle for life, battered and bruised by the floating boards.  How he held on at all was a miracle.  He was struck with such force that his lower jaw was smashed.

    The vessel righted herself and the skipper made for the nearest port of Berehaven, where the Coastguard men dressed the mate's wounds.  The trawler had to be pumped out before she could proceed to her home port of Milford. 

    The injured man presented a deplorable figure as he was brought ashore.  His eyes were badly swollen and his cheek was so badly cut that his jawbone was visible through the incision, and he further had four teeth knocked out.  He was at once brought ashore for surgical treatment, and we are pleased to say that he is making favourable progress.



From the Haverfordwest & Milford Haven Telegraph of Wednesday 14th June 1911:


    During the week two steam trawlers, "India" and "Persia", belonging to Mr. G. H. D. Birt, have been sold to firms from Holland, and will be leaving the port of Milford shortly.  The vessels are only a few years old, and are of a class that has proved to be very successful.  We hear that in due course they will be replaced.  The steam trawler "Arabia" was not sold as at first rumoured.



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