Built for her original owners, Philip Belman of Stockport the Phyllis Belman and was registered in Aberdeen as A298 but was immediately requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to a minesweeper. She survived World War One and returned to her owners in 1919 before being sold to Messrs Stroud and Cannon of Aberdeen in 1923 who sold her again to Dublin owners later that year. In 1926 she was finally purchased by Thomas Devlin and Sons of Granton to join their large fleet of steam trawlers operating out of Granton and was registered as Thomas L Devlin GN 58. She survived World War Two, a collision in the Pentland Firth in 1958 and running aground on Fifeness in 1954 before she began her final voyage in December of 1959.
She sailed from Granton on 12th December, 1959 with a crew of thirteen hands under the command of James Glasgow. One week later, with her hold full of fish, she set off on her homeward journey to Granton. During the voyage various members of the crew were left at the wheel and, with no weather problems en route, little attention was paid to their exact position as they steamed south towards the Forth. Around 7:30 pm on the 20th the Bell Rock light was spotted some three miles east of their position and shortly afterwards the second fisherman, a man named Dick, who was steering the trawler at the time, reported a sighting of May Island light. With this information the skipper ordered a turn to the south west intending to head into the Forth estuary east of Fifeness. At 8:50 pm and echo sounder reading was taken showing a depth of 26 fathoms and the skipper ordered a further course change to WSW. The skipper then went below leaving the second fisherman at the helm. At 9:10pm the second fisherman called the next watch on deck but, as they reached the deck they immediately noticed that May Island light was too close and, although the steering was put hard to starboard the vessel ran aground soon after.
They were in no danger but attempts to restart engines and pull her off were unsuccessful so the skipper called Stonehaven Radio and soon Anstruther lifeboat arrived to take off the crew. Skipper James Glasgow was found to be responsible for the loss of his ship through not taking care in his navigation of the trawler and by leaving an inexperienced seaman at the wheel as they reached the more confined waters of the Firth of Forth. The Thomas L Devlin became a total wreck. Only scattered broken wreckage remain where she ran aground in approximate position 56°11.550’N, 02°33.900’W.