The steam trawler Norse was built for the Mersey Steam Trawler Co., of London Street in Fleetwood (FD72). Launched in January 1915 from the Torry yard of John Duthie and Co Ltd of Aberdeen (Yard No. 409) she measured 135.9′ x 23.1′ x 12.4’ and weighed 125 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Lidgerwood of Glasgow. The vessels official number was 136901.
The third of the trio of wrecks lying on Paterson’s Rock is the Fleetwood steam trawler Norse. Having been requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper in March 1915 she returned to the fishing in 1919. It was en-route to the west coast fishing grounds that she ran aground on the Paterson’s Rock on the evening of 17th September, 1920. The weather at the time was fairly clear and the sea relatively calm. The crew were rescued by a local fisherman and all managed to reach Southend safely.
The next day the ship could be seen sitting high and dry on the rock at low tide but she was badly holed. A tug arrived on the scene to assist in salvage attempts but, as work proceeded over the next few days, it was clear that the first spell of bad weather would probably result in the loss of the ship.
On the 27th the feared storm arrived and, after the ship had shifted and started to settle into the water, the would be salvors gave up their attempts. By the 3rd October the Norse had broken up completely and vanished.
The Wreck Today
The Norse is the most easterly of the three wrecks lying on Paterson’s Rock lying in approximate position 55° 17.067’N, 005° 32.333’W (GPS) along the north east side of the reef.
She is well broken although there is still a considerable amount of wreckage to be seen in depths of 8 to 11 metres. The most recognisable feature is the bow structure, which is basically still in tact, facing towards the wreck of the Davaar. Conditions for the site are as detailed in the descriptions of the Davaar and Adept.
Thanks to Wilf Dodds for the photographs, he kindly supplied copies in 1993.