Built for Alec Black of Grimsby, the steel steam trawler Fortuna (GY140) was launched from the yard of Cook, Welton and Gemmell in Beverley on 14th March 1906 (Yard No.108). She measured 128.4′ x 22.0′ x 11.8′ and weighed 259 gross tons 111 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by C D Holmes and Co Ltd. delivering 63 net horse power. The vessels official number was 123567.
She was sold and purchased a number of times by various Grimsby trawler owners before she was requisitioned for war service in 1917 and operated till the end of the war in the Fishery Reserve. After the war, in early 1919, she was returned to her owners George Sleight of Grimsby and went back to her normal fishing routine.
In November 1933 Dobson Ship Repair Company of Grimsby purchased the trawler from Sleight and she continued her successful fishing career until the outbreak of World War Two. In June of 1940 she was again requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service as an auxiliary patrol vessel.
On 3rd April 1940 she was patrolling the area off the Berwickshire coast under the command of William Matthews with a crew of fourteen men when she was attacked by a German aircraft. A direct hit by a bomb from the aircraft sank her within minutes and all her crew were lost.
The wreck of the Fortuna lies in position 55° 45.956’N, 001° 48.367’W oriented 135°/315° with bow toward NW. The wreck is substantially intact with some deck structure still in place midships. Seabed depths around the wreck are 51-52 metres with a least depth of 45-46 metres at deck level. The wreck was positively identified in 2009 when the bell was recovered by divers.
In 2017 the wreck of the Fortuna was designated under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 as a Protected Place.