Duchess of Abercorn
Ship Number
Vessel Type
Tug / Tender
Slip Number
Launch Date
August 25, 1936
March 17, 1937
Belfast Harbour Commissioners
308 grt
BP Length
115 feet
27 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
12 knots
Diesel Electric
Official No.
 Duchess of Abercorn

After the outbreak of war the  MV Duchess of Abercon was converted by the Harbour Commissioners to a fire fighting vessel.  Easter 1941 Belfast was heavily bombed by the Germans and the docks and shipyard were the principle targets. A number of ships were hit and several sunk and for some time immediately after mines were found at various locations in the docks. On one occasion the Duchess of Abercorn left her berth to allow a Head Line vessel to berth but unfortunately its greater draught detonated the mine and the ship sank at berth.
1948: To "The Mac Shipping Co Ltd" (W.C. McCraig) at Glasgow (GBR), renamed Wimasia
1949: To the Lord Mayor, Alderman & Citizens of the City of Liverpool (Liverpool Fire Service) , renamed William Gregson
1963: To "Marine Diamond Corporation Ltd" (Sam Collins) at Cape Town (ZAF), renamed Collinstar
1965 -11/02: got a rope in the prop and ended up sinking near Chamais Bay, south of Luderitz, on the South West African coast
The accident occurred on February 11, when the Collinstar was trying to prevent the 250ft diamond-mining barge Colpontoon, carrying 80 men, from being driven ashore by high seas. While manouevring alongside, a broken towline fouled the tug’s propeller and the swell finally lifted the Collinstar on to the deck of the barge. Thrown off again almost immediately, the tug capsized and was driven ashore in the breakers, her crew of six losing their lives. The vessel finished up submerged in the surf with only her funnel showing and was declared a total loss. [Sea Breezes, May 1965]