Cook Welton & Gemmell
Off Number
Length Ft
Tons Gross
Yard Number
Breadth Ft
Tons Net
09 Apr 1925
June 1925
Engine Builder
C D Holmes
Registered St CELESTIN H192 Owners 1925 Thomas Hamling & Co Ltd Hull
    Owners 01 Apr 1937 H Franklin Hull
  HMT St CELESTIN Owners 1939 - 1945 Admiralty Boom Defence vessel
  St CELESTIN H192 Owners 1945 Shire Trawlers Hull
    Owners 27 Nov 1946 Lord Line Hull
  LORD PORTAL H192 Owners 1948 Renamed
    Owners 1953 Associated Fisheries Hull
Fate : 1954 Scrapped
Admiralty Requisition
Pennant No
Z 104
Boom Defence


Birth Pl
Date/ Scource
WARDELL JOHN HENRY . ST CELESTIN H192 . Skipper 01 Feb 1932 Stranding
McTEON JOHN ALAN . . . Second Hand 1932 .
. . . . . . . .
Third hand
16 Mar 1933
Lost overboard
. . . 93 Waverley St .   . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .



The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, that the stranding of the said vessel was due to the wrongful act and default of the skipper, John Henry Wardell.

The Court finds the skipper, John Henry Wardell, in grave default and suspends his certificate for six months only from this date, bearing in mind his conduct after the stranding.

Dated this 1st day of February, 1934.

The vessel left Hull on the 3rd day of November, 1933, for a fishing voyage to the White Sea, and at 5 a.m. on the 8th day of November, 1933, picked up a Norwegian pilot at Lödingen, who took her through the fjords to anchorage in S. Honningsvaag, a port usual for trawlers to call at on this trip.

The vessel arrived at S. Honningsvaag at between 3 p.m. and 3.30 p.m. on the 9th day of November, anchored, and as is customary, dropped the pilot, and the crew carried out the usual overhaul of tubes, back-ends and packings, got their fishing gear ready and did other small deck jobs. All this work was finished by about 6 p.m. Neither the skipper nor any of the hands went ashore while the vessel was at S. Honningsvaag.

The anchor was dropped in 22 fathoms with the Klubben Light bearing S.S.E., distant 2½ cables. Snow had been falling at short intervals all day with a strong S.E. wind and there was practically no daylight. However, up to 9 p.m. the shore lights and the Klubben and beacon lights were visible from the vessel.

At 9 p.m. the skipper decided to get under way and ordered the watch (the boatswain and two hands) to go forward and heave up the anchor, the second hand being at the wheel.

When the anchor was up the weather set in thick, and heavy snow obscured all lights; but, nevertheless, the skipper, who had been in and out of the anchorage some twenty times previously, proceeded with engines at half speed ahead on a S.S.W. course, which he maintained for about five minutes. He then altered the course to S. for about five minutes and then to S.S.E. for another similar time, at the same time reducing speed to slow. During this period of about a quarter of an hour frequent soundings were taken with the echometer which was situated in the port forward corner of the wheelhouse.

The skipper then altered course to S.E. and at the same time found that the echometer had ceased functioning. One or two minutes later the skipper sent the second hand aft to stream the log, taking the wheel himself, and almost immediately putting it a few spokes over to port to bring the vessel on to an E.S.E. course. He then, without steadying the vessel on her new course, left the wheel unattended and occupied himself trying to work the echometer. Having failed to get the echometer to work in one to two minutes he returned to the wheel, saw the vessel's head was E. ½ N. and put the wheel hard-a-starboard but, as he did so, the vessel took the ground on Juledagsneset Point at about 9.20 p.m.

The skipper immediately put the engines full speed astern for about two minutes and repeated this for another two minutes, after a pause of one minute. The vessel, however, remained fast.

The vessel was fortunately equipped with wireless telephone apparatus which the skipper used to call to his assistance the s.t. "Cape Warwick," which had left the same anchorage at about 8.30 p.m. He also used red flares.

Soundings round the ship were, 2 fathoms aft, 1½ fathoms midships and 1½ fathoms by the fore rigging. The vessel was making no water.

At about 10.30 p.m. the s.t. "Cape Warwick," which had received the wireless message, arrived on the scene, and at about the same time, a Custom's motor launch arrived with the "St. Celestin's" agent from S. Honningsvaag, the agent having intercepted the wireless message.

The weather fortunately cleared and work was immediately started to get warps connected between the two trawlers, a work greatly facilitated by the Custom's launch being employed to carry buoy lines between the vessels. By 4.45 a.m. on the 10th day of November three warps were secured, one belonging to the s.t. "Cape Warwick."

On the falling tide the vessel developed a list to starboard. At 4.45 a.m. the s.t. "Cape Warwick" started to get into position for towing and at 7 a.m. the stranded vessel came off, being assisted by her own engines.

The vessel then returned to S. Honningsvaag under her own steam and anchored for about four hours for observation of a leak which had developed in the meantime. As the vessel's engineer found that any water from this leak could easily be kept under by the vessel's pumps, the skipper, after taking on a bag of cement as a safeguard, sailed south to Tromsö, where the vessel was put on the slip, and temporarily repaired, a certificate of seaworthiness being granted by a Lloyd's surveyor.

Four days after reaching Tromsö the vessel proceeded on her original voyage, fished and returned to Hull.

In view of the above facts the Court considers that the skipper took an undue risk (a) in leaving his anchorage in the then existing conditions of visibility and weather; and (b) in setting courses so fine as to be dangerous.

The Court further considers that all land and lights having been blotted out by the snow it was the skipper's duty to re-anchor and if he seriously believed that re-anchoring would be either useless or dangerous it was imperative for him to post several of his men on the lookout instead of continuing to sea in the state he had left the anchorage, namely, with no one on the lookout.