The History of Leith

January 4, 2011

A Fine Record

H.M.S. ” Hesperia,” another of the fine series of powerful rescue
tugs designed and built exclusively by our Company, was responsible
for the salving of some fifteen ships damaged by the enemy. In her
first 203 days at sea she steamed 38,237 miles.
Unhappily, she was the only one of the eight giants of this Class
to be lost. Early in 1944 ” Hesperia,” with a small tug, was towing a
huge floating dock in the Mediterranean when a gale, which reached a
force of 100 miles an hour, sprang up suddenly. The hawser of the
small tug parted, and in such weather reconnection was impossible.
” Hesperia ” hung on to her tow, intending to ride out the gale. The
wind was on shore and so fierce that the dock, presenting a formidable
wind surface, began to drift towards the rocks. Under the strain the
” Hesperia’s ” hawser parted. The Commander, in a desperate effort
to save his tow, put the tug on the leeward side of the dock and tried
to push it out to sea. But even the 3200 horse-power of the tug was
not enough, and the dock and tug were driven ashore on a barren coast and so badly damaged that they were lost.

source-Leith built Ships on War Service

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