RFA Empire Netta


RFA Empire Netta



Official Number:                   169459     

Class:                                   Miscellaneous Harbour Tug – IMPROVED STELLA Class

Pennant No:                         A382

Laid down:
Builder:                                 Fleming & Ferguson, Paisley
Launched:                            21 September 1945
Into Service:                         December 1945

Base Port:                             Pembroke Dock
Out of service:
Fate:                                     Broken up


Items of historic interest involving this ship: –

Background Data:  There were a number of vessels which fell into the category of Miscellaneous Harbour Tugs which all belonged to different Classes and which were based at various Naval Bases for general duties


21 September 1945 launched by Fleming & Ferguson Ltd., Paisley as Yard Nr: 729 named EMPIRE NETTA for the MoWT

5 December 1945 completed and was handed over to Steel & Rennie Ltd., Glasgow for onward delivery

7 December 1945 at Glasgow registered as EMPIRE NETTA with entry 31/45 in the Registry

1946 managers became Overseas Towage & Salvage Co Ltd, London

1946 above management ceased

22 February 1947 sailed with RFA EMPIRE ROSA and the Fishguard life boat to render assistance to the tanker Empire Dolphin which had been under tow off the South Wales coast when her tug Warrior broke down and had to abandon the tow.

2 April 1949 Captain Walter H A Medway appointed as Master

3 June 1949 vide AFO 1872/49 allocated to Pembroke Dock as her Base Port

21 August 1949 Mr W A Canton appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

13 January 1950 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard steaming east with a tow

17 January 1950 sailed from Portsmouth Harbour

6 October 1950 sailed Cairn Ryan

7 October 1950 berthed at Pembrook Dock

5 September 1951 at Milford Haven alongside HMS MANXMAN assisting her sail




23 March 1952 The Western Mail newspaper reported …


26 3 1952 Western Mail Empire Netta


11 January 1954 passed the Lloyds Signal Station on the Lizard sailing west bound

18 January 1954 towed RFA WAVE VICTOR which had caught fire in the Bristol Channel towards Swansea Bay.

16 June 1954 Captain W C Martin appointed as Master

25 October 1954 was involved with RFA EMPIRE ROSA and various RN ships in the search for a Gloster Javelin aircraft which had crashed in the Bristrol Channel off Flatholme.

3 April 1955 Captain T G Hewitt appointed as Master

21 January 1958 steam ship CALCHFAEN stranded on Arklow Bank when on voyage Port Talbot to Londonderry. Refloated by tug Empire Netta but sank following day near Arklow Bank

9 September 1958 Mr W A Canton appointed as Chief Engineer Officer

10 September 1958 the Liverpool Echo newspaper reported –


10 9 1958 Liverpool Echo Empire netta plus one


9 December 1961 Dutch coaster Weimar sank 2 nautical miles (3.7 km) north of the South Bishop Lighthouse, Pembrokeshire. Assistance was offered by the Empire Netta but refused. She sank following engine failure, all five crew were rescued by the Trinity House vessel Argus
29 January 1962 at Devonport moved from Plymouth Sound to No: 4 jetty
2 February 1962 at Devonport moved from No: 4 jetty to No: 3 jetty
23 February 1962 at Devonport moved from No: 3 jetty to Plymouth Sound then later moved to No: 2 jetty on RFA ADVICE
26 February 1962 at Devonport moved from No: 2 jetty on RFA ADVICE to South Lock
28 February 1962 at Devonport moved from South Lock No: 1 buoy and later to Plymouth Sound

1964 owners became Secretary of State for Defence under RFA conditions


Netta Dry dock Milford Haven


25 May 1964 Captain M B Price appointed as Master

29 September 1965 damaged the ferry CLEDDAU QUEEN at Pembroke Dock while assisting RFA WAVE BARON to change berths

June 1966 at Cardigan Bay Trawler Lydia Eva YH89 experienced engine problems – taken in tow by Empire Netta and delivered to Holyhead

Empire Netta

27 June 1966 towed Watchmoor to Holyhead with engine faults

1967 on the Disposal List at Pembroke Dock

28 August 1967 advertised for sale in the Times newspaper

Empire Netta for sale 29 8 1967

17 October 1967 purchased for £3,600 by Jos de Smedt, Antwerp

9 November 1967 handed over and sailed Pembroke Dock

17 November 1967 passed Antwerp en route to demolition at Burght