OCEAN BREEZE LT341
Before conversion to diesel (see below)
John Stevenson Collection
Official No: 149200 Port Number and Year: Lowestoft, 1927 (LT343)
Lowestoft, 1947 (LT341)
Description: Steel side drifter trawler, steam, coal fired, single screw. Ketch rigged.
Crew: 7 men (1927).
Built: 1927, by J. Chambers, Oulton Broad, Lowestoft. (Yard no. 563)
Tonnage: 112 grt 48 net. 1958: Re-measured 118 grt 49 net.
Length / breadth / depth (feet): 90.6 / 20.1 / 9.6
Engine: T.3-Cyl., 36 rhp; by Crabtree & Co., Great Yarmouth.
6 Jan 1958: Converted to motor by Richards Ironworks Ltd, Lowestoft, fitted with 330bhp 4 stroke 6VEBM oil engine by Ruston & Hornsby Ltd, Lincoln.
21 Sep 1927: Alan Haward Watson, 25 Corton Rd., Lowestoft.
1932: P. W. Watson & Sons, 128 St. Peter's St., Lowestoft.
Manager: Alan. H. Watson, 25 Corton Rd., Lowestoft.
20 Sep 1947: Jackora (Lowestoft) Ltd., Docks, Milford
Managing owner: Arthur C. Mitchell.
Jun 1958: Jack Arthur Mitchell (32/64) & Sk. Charles Noel Bray (32/64), Docks, Milford.
Managing owner: Jack Arthur Mitchell.
20 Dec 1961: Jackora Ltd. (64/64), Docks, Milford.
Manager: H. C. Mills.
23 May 1970: Vessel on offshore platform standby and safety duty.
1974: Sold to Greek owners.
14 Jan 1975: Lowestoft registry closed. (See below.)
27 Feb 1978: Theolus Iosifides, Halkis, Greece.
Landed at Milford: (Seasonal 1952-57); 28 May 1958 - Apr 1972.
Skippers: Noel Bray (1958)
Olsen's and Mercantile Navy Lists recorded her name as OCEANBREEZE.
4 Sep 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service on contraband control.
Sep 1940: Employed as a boom drifter.
Jan 1942: At Lowestoft as LL sweep drifter (destroying magnetic mines).
11 Jun 1943: Compulsorily acquired by M.O.W.T. Fitted out as a minesweeping drifter (P.No.FY810).
Aug 1943: Transferred to War Department.
6 Aug 1943: Lowestoft registry closed: “Registry no longer required”.
1944: Returned to owners.
9 Mar 1975: Sailed from Lowestoft in company with motor drifter trawlers WILSON LINE (YH105) and LORD KEITH (LT181) for Mediterranean with stated intention of converting them to refrigerated stern trawlers.
1988: Deleted from registers; continued existence in doubt.
[Information supplied by Fleetwood Maritime Trust and the Bosun's Watch website.]
Accidents and Incidents
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 18th January 1952:
The Lowestoft drifter trawler Ocean Breeze which landed 400 kits of herring at Milford on Saturday morning grossed £1,735, and in so doing created a new drifter record with her total catch of 176 crans.
[1 cran means roughly 1000 herrings.]
L-R: Newbury, Skipper Noel Bray and Dai 'Lurch' Palmer
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 30th May 1958:
Another 'new look' drifter trawler arrived at Milford Haven on Wednesday after being converted to diesel at Lowestoft. But this is a ship with a difference - she is part-owned by the man who will command her, leading drifter trawler specialist, Skipper Noel Bray, of Stratford Road.
The trawler is the 31-year-old Ocean Breeze, which is owned jointly by Skipper Bray and Mr. Jack Mitchell, The Rath, a local fish merchant. After being converted at Richards Ironworks, Lowestoft, she 'fished a trip' round to Milford in charge of Skipper Bray and grossed a nice £511 from nine days.
Most striking feature of the 'New Look' is the big wheelhouse which has the latest forward rake giving plenty of room and a very wide vision from the bridge. Inside this centre the Skipper has the latest scientific aids to fishing, including a Decca navigator and plotter, a Marconi echometer, and a Martinet automatic pilot, by means of which the Ocean Breeze can be operated by 'remote control' with no one at the wheel. The Skipper can also control from the bridge the speed of the ship - a very important factor when fishing.
The crew accommodation on the new ship is spacious, comfortable and bright. The main cabin is decorated in warm apricot and cream with bright contemporary tapestry curtains. The Skipper's berth is immediately aft of the bridge at the same level and behind it is a separate toilet and washroom.
Powered by a Ruston 6 v.e.b.m. 335 h.p. engine, the Ocean Breeze is a remarkably clean ship, using no coal and no tarred nets. Even the galley stove is oil fired and the cook, Mr. Billy Marchant of Hakin, commented, "I've sailed on several diesel ships from Milford but this case is a hundred per cent improvement on any of them, as regards accommodation and facilities and cleanliness."
Throughout the trawler there is a central heating system operated from an auxiliary heating device and a constant supply of hot water. The woodwork is polished mahogany ply.
Skipper Bray will have as Mate, Mr. A. Liffen. This is the second trawler in which Mr. Bray has had part share, the other being the Jacklyn, in which he was very successful. He also adapted a standard L.T.2 trawl which is now used extensively, known as the Bray trawl and which the Gourock Co. has recently made in the 'wonder' material Courlene X3.
John Stevenson Collection
From the West Wales Guardian of Friday 15th March 1968:
A tangled mass of aluminium trawled up by Messrs. Kerr's drifter the Ocean Breeze three months ago and left on the dockside at Milford was identified this week — following a report to R.N.A.S. Brawdy — as an aircraft ejection seat. It is understood that the powerful ejector cartridges in the seat were still intact, "live", and quite dangerous. An officer from Brawdy arrived on Tuesday to remove the seat to the Air Station.
From The Irish Times of Wednesday 21st August 1968, p.6:
Trawler develops engine trouble
The British trawler, Lord Keith, was taken in tow in Rosslare Bay last night by her sister ship, Ocean Breeze, which is attempting to tow the disabled vessel to her home port of Milford Haven, where she will be repaired.
Earlier the trawler had developed engine trouble while fishing east of the Blackwater light vessel off the Wexford coast but in spite of a heavy sea had managed to limp slowly into Rosslare Harbour under her own power.
From a local newspaper, possibly the West Wales Guardian of Friday 14th April 1972:
With the departure of two trawlers to Lowestoft during the past week, the fishing fleet at Milford has been reduced to 12 vessels, one tenth of the numbers at its peak, and the lowest numbers in port history.
First to go was the drifter-trawler Ocean Breeze (Mitchell Bros.), and on Saturday the Boston Comet (Boston Co.) departed for the same port, Lowestoft. The Ocean Breeze left with an East Coast crew, but Milford men took the Boston Comet to her new home.
Without doubt the adverse fishing weather out of Milford since last Christmas has influenced the transfer. Both vessels have been managed at Milford by Messrs. Kerr. Their loss follows the recent departure for Nigeria of the Irish owned Ranworth Queen.
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