The steel steamship Tine was launched from the Sliedrecht, Holland yard of Schps Baanhoek (Yard No 300) in 1918. She measured 125.7′ x 21.5′ x 10.1′ and her tonnage was 303 gross, 168 net. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Amos and Smith Ltd., Durham delivering 70 registered horse power.
Initially owned by her builders she was sold to L Walford and Co of London in 1919 who renamed her Jolly Christine. In 1925 was sold to the Wear Steamship Company Ltd of Sunderland who changed her name again, this time to Earl of Durham. A further ownership change occurred in 1928 when she was purchased by the Wilton Steamship Co Ltd of Dartmouth who renamed her Totnes. She was acquired by her final owners, Regent Coasters Ltd of London in 1936 but her career for this company was to be a short one.
On 12th January 1937 she was en route from the Tyne to Golspie with a cargo of coal when she encountered a severe gale. The details surrounding her stranding are not recorded in contemporary records but that evening she went ashore on a sandy beach near Littleferry at the mouth of Loch Fleet, Caithness. The distress call from the ship was picked up by the coastguard and the Cromarty lifeboat sped to the scene. Initially, with the weather easing, the crew were determined to remain aboard hoping that she might be refloated but the gale strengthened again later the following day and the crew were taken off by the rocket brigade who had been called to the scene in case the situation deteriorated. On the 15th the ship moved further up the beach driven by the storm. By this point the master reported that the bottom of the ship was beginning to buckle and that some water had began to penetrate the hull. The salvors who were now on site reported that the only chance of refloating her would be on the next spring tide so they took as many precautions as they could to protect her laying out anchors and kedges and flooding her hull to prevent any further movement. However, over the next three days she was battered constantly by the continuing storm and by 22nd with her back broken she was abandoned as a total wreck.
Presumably, at a later date, she was broken for scrap but some wreckage still remains at the site in approximate position 57° 55.970’N, 003° 59.875’W which is visible at low tide.
We would like to thank Lloyd’s Register Foundation – Heritage & Education Centre for allowing us to reproduce documents from their archive in this article.