The steel steam trawler Miletus was launched from the Hessle yard of Livingstone and Cooper Ltd (Yard No 156) on 13th March 1915. She measured 135.3′ x 23.6′ x 12.5′ and her tonnage was 313 gross tons, 126 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by C D Holmes Ltd., Hull delivering 84 registered horse power.
Ordered by Mr Herbert Field and intended for the North Sea fishing fleet she was immediately requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service as an armed patrol vessel. She was fitted with a 12 pounder deck gun and took up station in Portsmouth. For a few months she operated out of Yukonski, Russia as a minesweeper. She survived the war and was purchased by Mr Magnus Wedum of Hull when she was decommissioned in November 1918. However this owner sold her on to Wyre Steam Trawling Company of Fleetwood in September 1919. She was renamed Lowther on 10th October 1921 and registered in Fleetwood FD349. In 1928 her operational base was transferred to Hull and she was re-registered as H403, still under the ownership of Wyre Steam Trawling. In 1928 her registry was transferred to Hull as H403 but only 15 months later returned to Fleetwood and was re-registered as FD48. At the outbreak of World War Two she was again requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service as a minesweeper. She again survived the war and returned to her owners in January 1946. In 1948 her name was changed to Wyre Law.
On 23rd October 1952 the seas and coast around Scotland was battered by a severe gale which resulted in the stranding of a number of fishing vessels and many more racing to harbour to take shelter. At the entrance to Aberdeen harbour the steam trawler Loch Lomond was swept on to the harbour wall. In Orkney the inter island steamer Orcadia went aground close to Hoy High lighthouse. The Aberdeen trawler Strathelliot stranded on the rocks at Taing of Selwick in Hoy Sound. Thankfully, in all cases the crew managed to land safely without any casualties. The final victim that day was the Wyre Law.
When the storm hit she was off the Butt of Lewis under the command of her skipper George Wood with a crew of twelve men aboard. At 3am in the early hours of the morning of the 23rd Wood decided to head into Broad Bay to anchor there and shelter from the increasing south easterly storm. As they entered the bay in pitch darkness the trawler struck rocks and badly damaged her hull. Water was immediately rushing into the stokehold and it was clear that she wouldn’t stay afloat for long. Five sharp blasts on the ship’s whistle announced that she was sinking fast. Luckily another trawler, the Fleetwood based Charles Doran, was in the bay to avoid the bad weather and her skipper Charlie Robinson immediately hauled up the anchor and sped to the aid of the men from the Wyre Law who had managed to launch a boat and row away from the stranded trawler.
The men were taken ashore and made their way to Stornoway where they were looked after by the British Sailors Society and eventually made their way home. The skipper and the Chief Engineer Snape stayed behind to assist with any possible salvage. A sister trawler, the Wyre Corsair, brought pumps to attempt to refloat her but the days that followed remained stormy hampering any attempts to pull her free. Any attempts at salvage are unrecorded but she was finally abandoned and became a total wreck. It seems that she was driven ashore at some point as today some scattered metal wreckage exists ashore in Broad Bay in approximate position 58° 15.242’N, 006° 10. 377’W.