Glasgow And Ships Of The Clyde

News Event

Saturday, November 3, 1962 @ 0215
The date is correct but time is unknown and the time shown here is only our best estimate
ELLA HEWETT (1953-1962 Fishing trawler LO47 length 170 feet of Heward Fishing Company, Fleetwood : 1962 sank after striking a wreck : 1978 her wreck was blown up by Royal Navy) Own Page

ELLA HEWETT aground at Church Bay (Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland) 19 crew taken off by lifeboat

Ship's locationChurch Bay (Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland, UK)Port of RegistryLondon
Gross Tonnage595


ELLA HEWETT (LO47) was built for Heward Fishing Co Ltd, Fleetwood. She was one of the port's top-earning trawlers from the outset.

In November 1957 a strange thing happened to the Ella Hewett when she was sailing past the Mull of Kintyre on her way to Ireland. The white paintwork around the wheelhouse changed to pink and then back to white again. There was also a brilliant flash and the sky lit up. This mysterious fireball blazed the sky all along the west coast and the crew heard that clothing left on washing lines on the west coast of Scotland had turned pink. After 12 hours, the paint returned to white.
This event was reported in The Times, Saturday, Nov 30, 1957; pg. 6 in an article entitled "Mystery Flash and Bang".

In November 1962 the trawler was entering Church Bay at Rathlin Island to land a sick crewman when the vessel struck the wreck of the HMS Drake, which had been sunk by a German u-boat in 1917.
The Ella Hewett started taking on water and was sinking. The Portrush lifeboat stood by and 14 crewmen were taken off the ship. This left five men to carry on the pumping operation. However, she was badly holed and the crewmen were ordered off. Shortly afterwards she slipped off the wreck of HMS Drake and sank on November 6th 1962.
Following the disaster, the skipper's certificate was suspended for three years and he was ordered to pay 200 pounds towards the cost of the inquiry held at Fleetwood town hall.

In October 1978 the wreck of the Ella Hewett was blown up by the Royal Navy to prevent oil pollution.