Search

Drifter Feasible discovered

PUBLISHED: 11:07 25 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:14 05 July 2010

Feasible's current resting place in Newlyn harbour

Feasible's current resting place in Newlyn harbour

WHILST on holiday last year a Ditchingham resident stumbled across a piece of Lowestoft's maritime history.

Mr Mulley, of Hollow Hill Road, came across the 1912 steam drifter Feasible, in Newlyn harbour, Penzance.

WHILST on holiday last year a Ditchingham resident stumbled across a piece of Lowestoft's maritime history.

Mr Mulley, of Hollow Hill Road, came across the 1912 steam drifter Feasible, in Newlyn harbour, Penzance.

It turns out that the Lowestoft-registered vessel is under restoration in Cornwall after four attempts to sail to the Bristol docks ended in her being rescued by the Penlee lifeboat.

On further investigation it seems that the coal burning trawler has lived a very eventful life since her construction in 1912.

She was built by J Duthie, Torry, Aberdeen, and given triple expansion engines from Elliot & Garrod, of Lowestoft. Initially she was registered as the LT1191 and ownership was taken by W Catchpole, of Kessingland, on June 27, 1912.

In 1914 she was used as a patrol boat for Admiralty Service and assisted in the destruction of the German submarine U-48, which had grounded on sands in the English Channel, on November 24, 1917.

The following year she returned to her role as a drifter, used for herring fishing, but by 1919 she had been sold to Mr Kinnear, of Doncaster, and was registered as R157, in Ramsgate, Kent.

By 1930 she had returned to her Lowestoft home and would later be re-named the LT122 by Mr Breach.

In 1935 tragedy would strike for the crew of Feasible as they were battered by a fierce storm off Milford Haven, Wales. With the drifter's compass washed away, together with part of the wheelhouse, they were forced to signal for aid as they struggled to stay afloat. The crew faced a 13-hour fight for their lives, which ultimately saw the loss of Edward Halliday, of Lowestoft, as the 27-year-old was washed overboard on Monday, December 30.

After being rescued by the s.t. Gozo, Feasible skipper Mr C Reynolds gave this report to the Western Telegraph: “I shouted 'look out!' and then saw the water was over the top of me and the boat was over on the port side completely submerged, but she gradually righted. The engine room and cabin filled with water, but as the engines were still going I decided to try and get her up head to wind. Before I could do that she rolled another heavy sea aboard. I failed to get her around and decided then to go before the wind.”

For around four hours it seems the crew were succeeding to clear some of the water as the wind moderated, however, with the compass, part of the wheelhouse, lifebelts and boat washed away, they were stranded and had to wait for aid to arrive as they fired their flares.

After a thorough renovation the trawler would be back in the firing line in 1939 as she was again called upon for Admiralty Service.

By 1945 she had come through the war unscathed and was returned to the owners. The following year she would be sold to Norway, where she was converted to a motor coaster and renamed Meloy.

And now, all these years later the LT122 Feasible can be seen resting and recuperating in Penzance.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists