Official No:  95774   Port and Year: 46th in Hull, 1888.

Description: Iron side trawler; steam screw; ketch rigged.

Crew: 10 men (1888).

Built: 1888, by Cochrane & Cooper, Beverley.  (Yard No. 21 )

Tonnage: 130 grt  56 net

Length / breadth / depth (feet): 100.8  / 20.3  / 10.5

Engine T-3 Cyl; 50 hp, 10 kts; by C.D. Holmes.



As H54.
26 Nov 1888: William Wolfe, St.George's Rd., Hull.

Managing owner.


Landed at Milford: 8 Dec 1889 - 11 Apr 1894

Skippers: 1889: Pettit

1890: Pettit; Thomas.

1891: Pettit; Bromley; Wallace Watson

1892-94: Watson

Notes: 1 Jun 1894: Foundered off Iceland. [See story below.]

28 Jun 1884: Hull register closed.

[Engine information from Lofthouse et al (1912): Cochrane Shipbuilders Vol.1.]

 Accidents and Incidents:

From the Western Mail of Saturday 11th February 1893:



    At Cardiff County-court on Friday (before his Honour Judge Owen) an action was brought by Mr. William Wolfe, of Milford Haven, the owner of the steam trawler Nile, against the owner of the steamship Kirklees (Mr. Morris, of Waterford), to recover £300 for salvage services rendered.  The defendant did not admit his liability to that amount, and had paid £50 into court, which he contended was sufficient to satisfy the claim.―

The plaintiff's case was that on the 21st of October the Nile was trawling north of the Smalls when she came across the Kirklees, which was showing three red lights, the signal that she was disabled and in danger.  The engine of the Kirklees had broken down, and she was lying absolutely disabled and helpless in the trough of the sea.  Some conversation took place between those on board the respective vessels, and plaintiff's contention was that the captain of the Nile offered to take the Kirklees to Milford Haven for £300, which offer was accepted.  The Nile thereupon took the Kirklees in tow, and arrived at Milford in about eleven hours.  On the way the wire hawser of the Nile was destroyed, causing the loss of about £28, which was also claimed for.―

The defence was that there was a distinct agreement that the Nile was to tow the Kirklees to Milford for £50, and several witnesses were called to prove this contention.―

His Honour gave judgement for the plaintiff for £28, the value for the wire hawser destroyed, in addition to the £50 paid into the court, but declined to allow any costs.



From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, Wednesday 6th June 1894 :


Loss of the Steam Trawler “Nile” 

We regret to state that the s.s. “Nile”, belonging to Mr. W. Wolfe, and which is only insured for two-thirds her value, struck upon a hidden rock and sank at Iceland on the evening of June 1st.  The trawler had been fishing in a neighbouring bay for about eight hours, and at about six o’clock the man on the bridge perceived a rock about three-quarters of a mile off the port bow, and called for the skipper who was below.  He immediately came up and pulled the wheel hard over, and whilst doing so the vessel struck upon a sunken rock. She rapidly began to fill, and in about an hour and three-quarters, the crew, viz., skipper, W. Watson; mate, J.H.King; boatswain, Arthur Bond; third hand, H.Joy; fourth hand, H.Harland; cook, J.Shannon; first engineer, T.Toms; second engineer, J.Pratt; and two splitters named Cullen and Ellen, abandoned her, and pulled in the vessel’s boat to an island, from which place they saw a steamer fishing about eight or ten miles off.  Six hands manned the boat and pulled towards her, but the steamer not noticing her went in a contrary direction, and after three hours’ pulling they returned to the island, which the crew state was uninhabited.  Fortunately, the same vessel (which turned out to be the “Hellenic”, belonging to Messrs. Moody and Kelly, of Grimsby), steamed back towards the westward, and the boat was again manned; the steamer, happily, noticed the boat, came towards them, and took them on board, landing them at Grimsby on Monday morning.  Part of the crew arrived at Milford yesterday morning.


 From the Western Mail of Friday 6th July 1894:




        On Thursday afternoon Mr. J. C. Fowler and the nautical assessors gave judgement in the case of the trawler Nile, which was stranded on Bronkor Rocks, Iceland.  The Court pointed out the fact that the vessel was at one time left in charge of two inexperienced men.  They adjudged that the vessel was not navigated with proper and seamanlike care, and that this was the cause of the accident.  The certificate of the master would be suspended for three calendar months.



 From the Haverfordwest and Milford Haven Telegraph, Wednesday 11th July 1894:


        The Board of Trade inquiry into the circumstances attending the loss of the steam trawler "Nile", belonging to Mr. William Wolfe, of Milford Haven, by stranding off Iceland on the 1st June, commenced on Wednesday, and terminated at Swansea on Thursday. 

        The court found that the duty of the man on the look-out was not sufficiently performed; that the captain ought not to have left the deck just before the stranding without calling the second officer (mate), considering the proximity to the coast; that the vessel was not navigated with proper and seaman-like care; that the loss of the vessel was due to negligent navigation; that the master (Captain Wallace Watson) was in default; and his certificate would be suspended for three months.  On the application of Mr. Smith he was granted a second class certificate.


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