The steel naval steam tug Saucy was ordered by the Admiralty in the latter days of World War One and completed in August 1918 months before the war came to and end. She measured 155.3′ x 31.1′ x 15.7′ and her tonnage was 579 gross tons, 120 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Belliss and Morcom Ltd., Birmingham delivering 186 net horse power.
She was operated by the Royal Navy until 1924 when she was acquired by the Shanghai Tug and Lighter Co Ltd and moved operations to the Far East. However with the outbreak of World War Two the original design point of the vessel made her an obvious choice for use by the Navy once more. She was requisitioned for war service as a rescue tug in 1939 and returned to operate in British waters.
Based at Rosyth, Saucy was alongside on the night of 3rd September 1940 when the glow of a ship on fire appeared to the east. Lieutenant Paton, the commanding officer, immediately ordered steam raised planning to go to the unknown vessel’s aid as fast as possible. They steamed east at full speed and succeeded in reaching the vessel in distress which turned out to be a Dutch merchant vessel which had been hit by a bomb from a German aircraft. By 1:40am on the 4th Saucy had the stricken vessel in tow and was heading back towards Rosyth. At 10:30am the Dutch ship dropped anchor and Saucy turned seaward again to continue her patrol duties. Saucy returned to the Dutch ship later in the day and towed her into port. However, this successful rescue was to be her last. Later that day Saucy vanished from radio contact and the alarm was raised as clearly something had gone amiss. Saucy had collided with an air-laid mine sinking rapidly with the loss of twenty eight of the thirty three men aboard. Her commanding officer, although wounded, was one of the survivors. Later Admiralty reports stated that she had gone down in a position 277 degrees, 2800 yards from Inchkeith.
The wreckage, which was dispersed to a least depth of 45 feet in 1945, is reported to lie in position 56° 02.196’N, 003° 10.819’W. Diver reports dated 2006 indicate that the bow of the wreck is still fairly in tact with the vessel astern of the bridge area well broken and unrecognisable lying on a muddy seabed. The wreckage is well covered by encrusting sealife and lies in 15 metres with the bow rising 4 metres.