Deschimag Seebeck Bremerhaven Germany
Off Number
Length Ft
Tons Gross
Yard Number
Breadth Ft
Tons Net
Engine Builder
1000 IHP
London Nov 1936
12 K
Registered NORTHERN DUKE LO 169 Owners Mac Line, Ltd., Ocean House, Pudding Lane, London.
  NORTHERN DUKE GY 442 Owners Northern Trawlers Ltd Neptune House London
Fate : Scrapped Dunston 1963
Admiralty Requisition
Pennant No
Armed Boarding Vessel
Anti Submarine
Jan 1946
18 Jan 1940 While escorting the SS Pajola to Lerwick for inspection the Neutral Pajola was torpedoed by German Submarine U25. The Northern Duke Attacked the submarine which was on the surface and claimed 2 hits she also rammed the vessel. The U Boat managed to escape as the Northern Duke had no way to detect her, Survivors where then picked up from SS Pajola
Feb 1942 - Oct 1942 Loaned US Navy
1942 South Africa

Birth Pl
Date/ Scource
. . . . . . . .
LEAD HENRY . NORTHERN DUKE LO169 Hull Skipper 1936 Skipper on stranding
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .





The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds,that the stranding of the s.t. "Northern Duke" was caused by the default of the skipper, Henry Lead, in failing to verify his position accurately before attempting to enter the Pentland Firth, and steering an incorrect course.

The Court finds the skipper in default and suspends his certificate of competency as skipper (No. 7,986) for two months from this date.

The s.t. "Northern Duke" left Hull at 8.30 a.m. B.S.T. on the 30th July, 1937, in charge of skipper Henry Lead, Certificate No. 7,986. She was bound for the Icelandic fishing grounds.

At about 1 p.m. next day, 3rst July, the skipper instructed the w/t operator to obtain a direction finding bearing of Kinnaird Head, and a bearing of W.N.W. was obtained, which agreed approximately with the dead reckoning position, the log reading being 245 miles. The skipper continued on the same course for an hour, and at 2 p.m., log reading 256 miles, sounding was taken by echometer, 53 fathoms, which indicated that he was a little to the eastward of his course and further off the land. The weather had now become foggy, speed was reduced to 7 to 8 knots, course was altered to N.N.W. (magnetic) for Duncansby Head and whistle sounded at regular intervals.

At about 8 p.m., log reading 310 miles, no fog signal having been heard from Noss Head, course was altered to W. by N. in order to pick up Noss Head fog signal, speed reduced to slow and continuous soundings recorded by echometer.

After continuing on this course for one hour and a half Noss Head fog signal was heard right ahead, and at 10 p.m., a sounding of 18 fathoms being observed and Noss Head fog signal bearing W. by N., course was altered to N.N.E. parallel to the coast along the 20 fathom line in order to pick up Duncansby Head fog signal. After hearing this fog signal and judging Duncansby Head to be abeam, the skipper altered course to E.S.E. until he obtained a sounding of 40 fathoms, when he decided the weather was too thick to proceed through the Pentland Firth. This was at 10.45 p.m.

Having reached this decision course was changed to S.S.E. in order to get within range of Noss Head fog signal. On hearing this signal again the skipper decided to dodge about within the sound of the three fog signals, Duncansby Head, Noss Head and Pentland Skerries.

Up to this time the Court considers that the vessel was navigated in a seamanlike manner. There was no evidence of the courses steered during the night whilst the vessel was dodging about, and the speed at which the courses were steered varied from time to time.

At 6 a.m. on the 1st August, 1937, with Duncansby Head fog signal bearing approximately N.W. at an estimated distance of 7 miles, the course was set N.N.W. (magnetic), speed at this time being about 3 knots and state of the tide high water slack.

At 7 a.m. the skipper heard the Pentland Skerries fog signal which he judged to be half a point on the starboard bow and at the same time obtained a sounding of 27 fathoms. The course and speed were still maintained. At about 7.35 a.m. the skipper, who was standing on the port side of the bridge, saw a rock fine on the port bow and "close to" and immediately ordered the helm to "hard a port." Almost simultaneously the mate, who was on the starboard side of the bridge, saw a reef right ahead and to starboard and at once rang the engine room telegraph "full astern" but before the ship could gather sternway she ran up on the reef and remained there. The reef on which the vessel struck was the Louther Skerry, southern end.

Engines were kept going full astern for two hours in an effort to refloat the vessel. Meanwhile a radio message had been sent to Wick asking for assistance. About noon on the 1st August the s.t. "Lady Shirley" arrived and an attempt was made to refloat the "Northern Duke" but proved unsuccessful. Twenty-four hours later the salvage tug "Iron Axe" arrived on the scene and on the following day the vessel was refloated with her assistance. Examination proved that very little water had been made by the "Northern Duke" and she was able to proceed under her own steam to Aberdeen. After being inspected by a diver, and an additional pump and gear having been taken on board, the vessel returned to Hull.