THREE MEN LOST OVERBOARD FROM GRANTON TRAWLER COMPUTATOR
ABERDEEN PRESS AND JOURNAL SATURDAY 27TH MARCH 1937 “THREE LOST OFF TRAWLER”
The loss of three members of the crew of the Granton trawler COMPUTATOR, was reported when the vessel arrived at its home port yesterday, with flag at half mast. The men were washed overboard as the trawler was returning home from the fishing grounds. The men were clearing the scuppers aft and stowing nets about 50 miles off Buchanness, when the trawler shipped a heavy sea and the men were carried overboard.
Skipper DAVID R LISTON, Grierson Villas, Granton, immediately turned the trawler about and prepared to rescue the men, but they had disappeared instantly, their heavy sea boots more than likely preventing the men from staying afloat. A striking feature of the tragedy was its surprising suddenness. There was a strong breeze blowing, but there was nothing to cause concern, until one great wave loomed up and swept over the trawler.
Skipper LISTON steamed home at all possible speed, and the news caused great dismay at her home port, where all the men were well known. They were:
THOMAS WOOD (40) 2ND fisherman, 6 Annfield, Newhaven, originally from Pittenweem.
JAMES RENNIE (22) deckhand, 38 Annfield, Newhaven.
E I PEEBLES (21) trimmer, 8 Tennant Street, Leith.
RENNIE was a nephew of the skipper and WOOD and PEEBLES had been members of the crew for some time.
THE SCOTSMAN 27TH MARCH 1937
The COMPUTATOR which belongs to T L DEVLIN & SONS, GRANTON, and is commanded by Skipper DAVID R LISTON, arrived at its home port of Granton yesterday morning, and soon the news of the tragedy spread throughout the port. After the accident Skipper LISTON turned about and began the search for the missing men without success. They continued searching for a considerable time, but the search had to be given up and the trawler proceeded home.
Yesterday morning the trawlers of the Devlin fleet flew their flags at half mast, and when crews of other vessels learned of the tragedy, all the flags were hoisted to half mast. The COMPUTATOR had a crew of 10 men.
DUNDEE COURIER 27TH MARCH 1937
The Skipper and his brother, the mate, Mr. JOHN LISTON were the only witnesses to the tragedy. The rest of the crew were having breakfast at the time of the incident.
ABERDEEN PRESS & JOURNAL MONDAY 3RD MAY 1937
Two vessels ran aground in the dense mist which swept the NE coast yesterday. A Dutch motor ship, the Dr. Colyn, went on the rocks at Johnshaven, and the Granton trawler COMPUTATOR was aground at Geddle Braes, Peterhead. The Dutch ship was bound Aberdeen from Rotterdam, with a cargo of phosphate.
Gourdon lifeboat and two small local boats went to her assistance, but apart from the lifeboat helping run out a “kedge” anchor, the crew were in no danger. After being ashore for nearly 13 hours, the Dr. Colyn refloated as the tide rose and continued her way to Aberdeen.
Note: A kedge anchor is usually a smaller type of secondary anchor, which is used for pulling ships around, or off ground, if aground. Using her own power, her winch and the kedge anchor, the Dr. Colyn managed to free herself and made for Aberdeen with some minor damage.
The COMPUTATOR was on the rocks for 9 hours. Fishing from Aberdeen, she was returning from the fishing grounds when she ran ashore in heavy fog. An SOS message from the trawler was picked up by a number of wireless listeners, as well as Wick Wireless Station. Coast searchers said the fog was so dense, the trawler could not be seen from the shore, but it was eventually located 400 yards offshore. Peterhead lifeboat was launched, but as the trawler was in no great danger it returned to port.
The crew remained on board while the Peterhead pilot boat NEEDLE E’E stood by. At high tide the trawler winched herself off the rocks by means of her kedge anchor, and once free, made for Peterhead where she remained overnight. She had suffered minimal damage and had 300 boxes of fish on board.
THE SCOTSMAN TUESDAY MAY 4TH
The Granton trawler COMPUTATOR, which went ashore during dense fog on Sunday morning near Peterhead, and was refloated at high tide, arrived at Granton yesterday. It appears the vessel has received some damage, but the extent of which will not be known, until the trawler is docked later today in Leith.
DUNDEE COURIER WEDNESDAY 6TH OCTOBER 1937
HERRING FISHING: North Shields:
29 Scottish steam and motor drifters landed 230 crans of herring. The best shot was 20 crans.
Prices were, shillings, 31/- down to 22/- per cran, “approx £1.50p to £1.10p”. The Granton trawler COMPUTATOR landed 660 eight stone boxes of iced overday trawled herrings, which made 6/- down to 4/- per box. “30p to 20p”.
SUNDAY POST 22ND OCTOBER 1939
The body of JOHN BROWN (65), a night watchman of 4, Canonmills, Edinburgh, has been found in the Victoria Dock Leith. Mr. Brown had been missing from the steam trawler COMPUTATOR, which was in Marshall Dry Dock, Leith since October 13th, and it is believed he fell overboard during the blackout.
COMPUTATOR GN 42
Built 1919 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley. Yard no 410, launched 18/3/1919.
290 tons gross and 125.5 feet long with a beam of 23.6 feet.
Launched as the EGILIAS AKERMAN, renamed January 1920 as KESTEVAN BN 146, renamed 1923 IMPREVU, renamed 17/3/1930 as DAILY MIRROR, renamed 05/1934 as COMPUTATOR GN 42.
From May to July 1933 she was chartered by the Italian Government, to provide support for a trans- Atlantic flight involving between 20/30 aeroplanes.
1933/34: Owned by THOMAS L DEVLIN & SONS,GRANTON.
March 1937: 3 men washed overboard while trawler steaming home from fishing grounds.
May 1937: Ran aground north of Buchanness, but refloated on next tide, minimal damage.
August 1939: Requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper, (P. No FY.635) Hire rate was £89.7/6d per month. Armed with one 6 pound gun.
1942: OWNED BY TL DEVLIN & SONS.
21/1/1945: Sunk following collision with destroyer HMS VANOC (P. No. H33) off Seine Bay, NORMANDY. The wreck lies in about 20 fathoms at position: 49.42.45n and 00.37.18w. She is sitting upright and is a good ship for diving.