Official No:    107046  Port Number and Year: 12th in Milford, 1896

                                                                                10th in Swansea, 1905 (SA7)

Description:  Steel side / beam trawler; steam screw; coal burner. Ketch rigged: foresail, mainsail, mizzen 

Crew: 9 men (1896).

Registered at Milford: 26 Oct 1896

Built: John Duthie, Sons & Co., York Place, Aberdeen, 1896.  (Yard no. 186)

Tonnage: 153.7 gross 36.06 net 

Length / breadth / depth (feet):  103.35 / 20.75 / 10.95

Engine: C-2Cyl, 45 rhp, by Hall, Russell & & Co., Aberdeen



26 Oct 1896:  Thomas Ridley Oswald, Castle Hall, Castle Pill.

Managing owner.


As SA7

23 Oct 1905:  Rhondda Steam Fishing Co., South Basin, Swansea.

Manager: Crawford Heron. (Same address.)



1910-11: Ana Huarte, San Sebastian.



1916: J. Uruvain, San Sebastian.



1920: R Vimont-Vicary, Marseilles.



1923:  Melis & Puggiona, Spezia.


1925: L. Bommino, Spezia.



Landed at Milford: 3 Nov 1896 - 11 May 1903


William Thomas cert 1234, age 35, born Hull; residing 'Beech Cottage', Pill, Milford; signed on 8 Nov 1896; 3 Jan, 15 Jul 1897; 7 Jan 1898; 23 Feb, 20 Jul 1899; 6 Feb, 24 Jul 1900; 18 Jan, 18 Jul 1901; 4 Jan, 17 Jul 1902; 8 Jan, 9 Jun, 10 Jul 1903; 18 Jan, 11 May, 6 Jul 1904

John Gale 1771, 38, Hull; Greville Rd., Milford; 16 Jul 1898; 28 Dec 1899; 5 Jan 1900; 11 Feb 1903

C. Payne 05493, 45, Warminster; 10 Aug 1898

R. Russell 2857, 32, Bradford; 18 Aug 1898

J. Johnson 2459, 33, Nottingham; 8 Jubilee Tce., Milford; 11 Jan 1899.

Benjamin Bryant 4678, 29, Yarmouth; Greville Rd., Milford; 8 Jan 1901

A. Taylor - , 32, Hull; 22 Sep 1903

R. Hooper 6686, 44, Plymouth; 18 Aug 1904

A. J. Kippin 5204, 24, Norwich; 23 Nov 1904.


7 Apr 1899: Rescued survivors from the SS Cato off the Longships. [See articles below.]

27 Aug - 23 Nov 1903: Vessel laid up.

4 Dec - 30 Dec 1904: Vessel laid up.

24 Nov 1927: Wrecked at Teulada, Sardinia.

1928: Broken up.

[ Information from Aberdeen Built Ships website. ]

Cert. Cancelled & Milford Registry Closed: 23 Oct 1905.  Vessel transferred to the port of Swansea.

 Accidents and Incidents:

The Times, Monday, Apr 10, 1899; pg. 7; Issue 35799; col A

    wreck of the steamship cato


About 3 o' clock on Saturday afternoon the steam trawler Sea Swallow arrived at Milford Docks having on board the occupants of a small boat which had been found tossing at the mercy of the waves off the Longships.  Upon reaching Milford the shipwrecked sailors were immediately taken charge of by Mr. G. S. Kelway, acting for Messrs. Kelway and Sons, shipping agents, on behalf of the Shipwrecked Mariners and Fishermen's Society.  ......


From The Royal Cornwall Gazette of  Thursday 13th April 1899; pg. 3:




    About three o'clock on Saturday afternoon the steam trawler Sea Swallow arrived at Milford Docks, having on board the occupants of a small boat which had been found tossing about at the mercy of the waves off the Longships.  A correspondent had an interview with one of the rescued mariners, W. G. Hatch, captain of the s.s. Cato, of Bristol, owned by the Bristol Steam Navigation Company.  He said:

    We were bound from Cardiff for Hamburg with a cargo of coal and general cargo.  We sailed from Cardiff on Wednesday, and continued the voyage until we were off Bull Point, when, consequently upon the gale, we put back to Barry Roads for shelter.  By daylight on Thursday the weather had considerably moderated, and we again proceeded.  When we reached Trevose Head the wind again freshened from the south west, and when near St. Ives the wind increased, and our ship was driven about in about as bad a sea as I have ever seen.

    On Friday morning our port bows sprang a leak and the forecastle deck started. .....  About 5 p.m. a heavy sea washed aboard and carried away the tarpaulin from no. 3 hatch, and at the same time knocking down a man and breaking both his legs.  I carried him into the chartroom, where I set the broken limbs as best I could.

    Subsequently the vessel began to settle down stern first, and I ordered the boats to be lowered.  Several of the crew jumped in whilst I went and found my wife, and, together with others, put her in the boat.  Having done I proceeded to get in myself, but the sea carried me overboard.  Upon recovering myself I sighted the lifeboat bottom up, with its previous occupants clinging to it.  I succeded in reaching the craft, and we managed to right her, but she was still full of water.

    Whilst we were righting the boat the Cato disappeared stern first.  A loud report followed her disappearance.  Some of the crew had another boat ready in which they intended to go, but whether the poor fellows managed to do so or not I do not know.  In our boat we were nine persons, including myself and my wife.

    At eleven o' clock we were, thank God, picked up by the Sea Swallow, Captain Thomas.  Soon after getting aboard Edward Lockett, the Chief Steward, expired from exhaustion.


[Paragraphing not in original.  CATO: ON 56260, built Govan 1867, 1076 grt; registered Hull 1876, owners Thos. Williams & Sons, Hull.]


The Times, Tuesday, May 02, 1899; pg. 4; Issue 35818; col D


The Board of Trade has rewarded a binocular glass to Mr. William Thomas, skipper of the steam trawler Sea Swallow, of Milford, in recognition of his humanity and kindness in rescuing part of the shipwrecked crew of the steamship Cato, of Bristol, which foundered off the Land's End on the 7th ult. 



From The Cambrian of Friday, 2nd September 1904

Swansea Steam Trawlers Put Up

      At the Hotel Metropole, Swansea, on Tuesday, Messrs. Leeder and Sons offered, by order of the mortgagees, a fleet of five steam trawlers, the property of Mr. Oswald, bankrupt, namely the Brazilian, Sea Swallow, Sea Gull, Ayacanora, and Birda. The first four had been working in the Swansea fish trade up to date of sale. The Birda needed repairs.

    There was no bid for the fleet in one lot. Mr. Leeder asked for a bid over 6,000, saying they had an offer, but were just carrying out their engagement to offer the boats by public auction. Still there was no bid, and the same condition prevailed when the boats were offered separately.

    Last of all the trawling smack Reaper, 63 feet in length, built at Brixham in 1883, was offered. Bids began at 100, and the boat was sold to Mr. W. H. Smith and Co., Goole and Hull, for 150.



From The Cambrian of Friday 9th November 1906:

    The supply of fish at the South Dock Wharf, Swansea, on Monday was small, and the catches of Messrs. Dickenson's two boats Hercules and Carima, were quickly bought up. The Sea Swallow only brought in ten kits of fish from off Lundy, she having had to put back owing to the illness of second engineer.



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