The steel steam trawler Amplify was launched from the Middlesborough yard of Smiths Dockyard Company (Yard No 555) on 21 December 1915. She measured 140.6′ x 24.0’ x 13.2’ and her tonnage was 342 gross, 141 net. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by her builders, delivering 89 nominal horse power. Ordered by the Iceland Steam Fishing and Fish Curing Company of Grimsby, she was initially registered there as GY.789. In February 1916 she was requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper, and her ADM number was 1982. She was built as part of a two vessel order for the Grimsby fishing company, both vessels identical, her sister ship was called Aspasia (Yard No.556) and her picture is reproduced below.
The Amplify was lost on the 17 January 1917 while approaching Castlebay through the main channel. A strong south easterly gale was blowing at the time and she was driven aground on a reef to the north side of the narrow channel called Sgeir a Scape. The crew all abandoned ship safely.
Over following days attempts were made to refloat the vessel and her store of coal was jettisoned, minesweeping gear and armament removed, but without success. She eventually healed over and sank adjacent to the reef and was abandoned as a constructive total loss.
The Wreck Today
The wreck of the Amplify lies on the north west side of Sgeir a Scape in position 56° 56.399’N, 07° 27.314’W. Depths around the wreckage range from 5-10 metres. A diver report from 1994 notes that her remains consist of a large boiler, three cylinder steam engine, propshaft and four bladed iron propellor. The bow had broken up, although some hull plating is visible on the seabed generally.
We would like to thank Lloyd’s Register Foundation – Heritage & Education Centre for allowing us to reproduce documents from their archive in this article.