The Protector was built to the order of the Eastern Seas Fisheries Joint Committee of Kings Lynn, to work as a fishery patrol vessel. Her builders, George Brown and Company of Greenock (Yard no 20), launched the vessel in March 1904 and her steel hull had dimensions of 108.8’ x 21.1’ x 9.4’, 161gt/21nt. She was powered by triple expansion steam engine of 70 rhp supplied by Muir and Houston of Glasgow. Her official number was 113744.
The Protector remained in her role as a fishery protection vessel until 1939 when she was taken over by Trinity House as a pilot cutter and the following year was requisitioned by the Ministry of War Transport as a dan layer and her name was changed to Thalia. The vessel was based at Oban and was lost following a collision with merchant vessel on the 11 October 1942 she later sank in deep water south of Creag Island in the Lynn of Lorne.
It would appear that Lloyds of London had not been advised of the change of name, as her loss is recorded in their Casualty Report for 1942 under her original name – Protector
The Wreck Today
The wreck of the Thalia lies approximately 1 kilometre south of Creag Island in position 56°28.055’N 05°31.107’W. The wreck lies on a thick mud seabed in general seabed depths of 48-50 metres, oriented 015°/195°, with bow to north. The intact hull is canted over to port with the stern the highest point at 46-47 metres. The visibility on the wreck is generally poor and care should be taken when diving as the wreck is netted.