The Assurance Class steel rescue tug HMS Adept was launched from the Selby yard of Cochrane and Sons Ltd (Yard No 1237) on 25th August 1941. She measured 156.5′ x 35.0′ x 16.5′ and she was 630 gross tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by C D Holmes and Co Ltd delivering 1359 indicated horse power. Built for the Royal Navy she entered service later that year serving under pennant number W143 armed with a 3” inch deck gun and a single 20 mm AA gun. Her naval service was to be short as she was lost off Kintyre in March 1942.
The Adept joined a host of other vessels that have been wrecked in this location when she ran aground on the south west corner of Paterson’s Rock on 17th March 1942. The details surrounding her loss are not recorded but, as with many of her unfortunate predecessors wrecked on the same treacherous rock, the vicious tides and the poor weather she encountered resulted in her loss. Her skipper, Arthur Hawkins RNR and his crew escaped safely. The tug Zwarte Zee and Caroline Moller were dispatched to the scene and the Campbeltown lifeboat also sped to the rescue. The tugs attempts to pull her off were unsuccessful as it appeared that her oil tank bulkhead had fractured. She was abandoned the following day and declared a total constructive loss.
The wreck of the Adept lies on the south west corner of Paterson’s Rock in the approximate position 55° 17.063’N, 005° 32.642’W. The rock itself is easiest to locate at low tide as it is completely submerged at high tide. The wreck is well dispersed, due probably to extensive salvage and the rough weather experienced in the area.
The most striking feature is the huge boiler lying in around 9 metres, but there is also a lot of other wreckage scattered around. Extreme care must be taken when diving on any of the wreck here as the tidal flows can be very strong making good boat cover essential. However, the reward is a dive on a shallow wreck covered in colourful sealife with at least two other wrecks, the SS Davaar and SS Norse, lying close by making a single dive on all three wrecks the best way to experience the site.