How That for a photo - Information listed below kindly provided by Kevin Heath - wreck researcher

Shipwreck Research Information

Ships Name: Hessonite. (H222.)

Date Lost : 04/10/1924

Ex: Cape Hatteras. Ex William Darnold

On :

Ship  Type : Steam Trawler

Cargo : Fish    (£1500 )

Cause: Stranded in fog

Wind : Light

Sea State: Calm

Crew : 10

Crew Lost: 0


Pass Lost :

T/Lost : 0

P of Registry : Hull

Flag : UK

Owner : Kingston Steam Trawling Co. Hull

Shipbuilder : Cook, Welton & Gemmell

Construction : Steel

Where Built :

Year Built : 1918

Propulsion :

Boilers : 1

Gross Tons : 290

Net:   (tons)

Length : 125.5

Breadth : 23.5

Ships Draft :12.7 ( ft   )

Armament :

Voyage From :Faeroe

Voyage To : Hull

Location A : Hellyalonga

Location B : Nr Costa Head

Latitude :

Longitude :

Depth :

Captain : W. Garner

The Orkney Herald.                                                                                               8th Oct 1924.



                                                TRAWLER ASHORE AT BIRSAY.





                                              ROCKET BRIGADE FIRST ON SCENE.

The steam trawler Hessonite H222, Capt. William Garner on a passage from Faroe to Hull, with a cargo of fish valued at £1500, stranded on rocks at Hellyalonga between Skippi Geo and Costa Head, about 2.20 am on Saturday morning, during the dense fog. Fortunately they’re little or no wind and the sea was smooth at the time.

  The trawlers whistle kept blowing which attracted the attention of people residing in the neighbourhood, and they at once sent a telegram for the Stromness Lifeboat and rocket brigade, which message was received at Stromness shortly after 4.00 am.

  No time was lost in getting the lifeboat crew and rocket brigade together. The lifeboat was the first to leave for the stranded vessel and the rocket brigade followed in a motor bus and were the first to reach the vessel, with which communications was at once established, but the crew resolved to wait the arrival of the lifeboat, which took them off and landed them at Stromness shortly after 10.00 am.

   Although the crew on this occasion preferred the Life boat the rocket brigade rendered valuable service and deserves the highest prays for their smartness in establishing communications with the vessel. The rocket brigade desire to thank Mr.Spence Hyon, Birsay, for so kindly guiding the motor lorry. Laden with

The rocket apparatus. Over the fields to the scene of the wreck. They also thanked the ladies who so liberally provided them with tea and sandwiches.

 For many years past it has been felt that the wagon provided them by the Board of Trade, for transporting the rocket apparatus is out of date especially of fifteen miles or more, has to be covered in order to reach a wreck and that a suitable lorry should be substituted, for the reason that time is lost in transferring the Rocket Apparatus from the wagon to any lorry.  That may be hired for the occasion and time means so much in effecting a rescue from a shipwrecked vessel. The general feeling in Stromness is that the town and country councils should petition the board of trade and endeavour to get the latest and best conveyance. Possible in order to save shipwrecked men round our shores

. The Royal National Lifeboat Institute kept up by voluntary subscriptions.  Are endeavouring to get the best lifeboats possible. But the board of trade continue their niggardly system of doing as little as possible to assist Rocket Brigades. Not only in Orkney but all along our coasts.

  The wrecked trawler was visited on Sunday by a number of people from Stromness who report that the vessel has been washed higher up on the rocks, which are large and flat as a table. So far as is known, she is undamaged and it is hoped to salve the vessel should the weather keep favourable. We understand the vessel is so close to the cliff edge that she cannot be seen from above.  

(Photo of wreck also in this issue)

The Orkney Herald.                                                                                      15th. Oct 1924.

THE WRECKED TRAWLER HESSONITE:- the steam trawler Hessonite, of Hull, which ran ashore on the Northside, Birsay, about a mile east of the Brough of Birsay on the morning of the 4th inst., still lies on the rocks at Hellyalonga. Probably an attempt will be made to refloat the vessel soon.

The Orkney Herald.                                                                                                   29th Oct 1924.

SALVING THE TRAWLER, HESSONITE;- The East Coast Salvage Company of Dundee, have been engaged by the underwriters of the trawler Hessonite, wrecked at Birsay three weeks ago, to salve the vessel. Messrs McPhail are on the spot and they expect their salvage steamer and salvage gear in a day or two when they hope to get suitable weather to float the vessel. On Monday afternoon, Messrs McPhail visited the wreck and boarded her, making a close and careful examination and found the vessel uninjured. Part of the cargo of fish was thrown overboard, wires were run out and every preparation made for towing the vessel off the rocks at the first suitable tide should the weather prove favourable. In fact, everything depends on the weather especially on a rock bound coast like Birsay.

    Orcadian.                                                                                      22nd March 1928.

                               STROMNESS: - A RECORD OF FOUR BOATS.

                                                        John A. Hay.

4th Oct.1924:- 4 am, lifeboat called out to steam trawler Hessonite, ashore north side of Birsay. Saved crew of ten men. Returned to station 10.30 am. Dense fog.

(From a list of rescues performed by the various Stromness boats till 1928)