The steel steam trawler Angus was launched from the Beverley yard of Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd (Yard No 560) on 20th November 1930. She measured 140.3′ x 24.6′ x 13.3′ and her tonnage was 351 gross tons, 138 net tons. She was powered by a reciprocating direct acting triple expansion steam engine by C D Holmes and Co Ltd., Hull delivering 96 registered horse power. She was ordered for Hellyer Brothers (Hull Northern Fishing Co Ltd) of Hull and registered there as H362.
On 22nd March 1938 she departed from her home port of Hull bound for the Icelandic fishing grounds. By the afternoon 6th April her hold was full of fish and her skipper, Arthur Christy, ordered the decks cleared and preparations to be made for the homeward voyage. The skipper set a course of south east without exactly determining their position before the began the trip. Some 200 miles later the Angus slowed to make final preparations for the remainder of the voyage. All the gear was cleaned and stored lashed to the decks where necessary. During this activity the ship drifted with the swell and the gentle breeze until, at 16:00 on the 7th April, the engines were started and she set off again on a course of SSE. Twelve hours later land was sighted approximately 20 miles off the port bow. This land was correctly identified as Shetland in the neighbourhood of Esha Ness although this is not where Christy had expected them to be.
At this point Christy took command of the Angus and altered course to the south to head for Foula. Visibility was reasonable but at times the light on Esha Ness vanished in a fog bank but it was still visible often enough for Christy to plan his course, set at south west, to pass down the west side of Foula. At 07:30am he spotted the north point of Foula off the port bow and estimated it to be 8 miles from the Angus. At this point the altered course slightly to south and then decided to change his route to pass north of Foula and then down the island‘s eastern coast. This was a strange decision as he had not taken this course previously. At 07.30 the watch changed, the mate, who had been at the wheel, went below and the bosun took over on the bridge. While the bosun was on deck helping with repairs to the gear a deckhand named Herrington was at the wheel. The skipper was still on deck and occasionally checked on the bridge to make sure everything was in order. Meanwhile the Angus steamed on at full speed throughout the day on a course down the west side of Foula. Christy had made another error. He had been using a chart that was not detailed enough to show the hazard of the Hoevdi Rocks on the east coast of Foula. At around 16:00 the skipper spotted rocks and breaking surf dead ahead. He ran to the bridge, ordered engines stopped and assisted Herrington to hauled the steering to port but it was too late. The Angus ran aground on the rocks. The ship slewed to starboard and bumped and scraped two or three times more before grounding hard and coming to a halt.
Thankfully the sea was moderate meaning they crew were in no immediate danger but, in any case, after an inspection showed water in the forecastle and engine room Christy ordered the boat lowered and the men scrambled into it. Another trawler, the Stratheyre, was spotted nearby and the men rowed to this other vessel and were taken aboard. By this time the Angus had floated off the rocks. The crew of the Stratheyre managed to get a rope aboard the Angus and took her in tow. The two vessels then headed south towards Sumburgh Head. It was slow going and gradually the Angus began to settle. Some fours hours later, while off Fitful Head, the tow rope snapped due to the increasing drag of the settling trawler. Soon after the Angus sank in 30 fathoms.
The subsequent enquiry held that Christy was entirely to blame for the loss of his vessel by failing to take any actions to establish their exact position during the voyage and by leaving a single deckhand at the wheel while steering an unfamiliar course close to land. Further he failed to use the appropriate charts to determine a safe route. He did not post a lookout and did not take any depth soundings as they passed close to land to ensure the ship’s safety. His certificate was suspended for twelve months.
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