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Map ReferenceSM93NE
Grid ReferenceSM9756138008
Unitary (Local) AuthorityMaritime
Old CountyMaritime
Type Of SiteWRECK
Period20th Century

A copper pin has been recovered and reported to the Receiver of Wrecks. The full character and extent of archaeological remains is presently unknown.

Event and Historical Information:
The HERMINA was a wooden schooner built in 1917 by Gebr. G. & H. Boduwes, Martenshoek. Technical and configuration specifications are given as 351gt, 260nt; 141ft length x 25ft 4in breadth x 11ft 6in depth; single deck; 3 masts, machinery by Steyaard & Walen, Rotterdam, including the 2cylinder oil engine which produced 37hp. The schooner was owned at time of loss by Vrachtv. Maats. Neerlandia. The schooner had left their mooring in Fishguard harbour, but was forced back by the deteriorating weather and came to anchor outside the breakwater. By 6.40pm on the 3 December 1920, the situation had worsened with the schooner riding heavily at anchor and Captain Vooitgedacht launched distress flares to call out the Fishguard lifeboat CHARTERHOUSE. The lifeboat managed to get to windward and veered down towards the schooner which by now was grinding heavily on the rocks at the base of Needles Cliff. It took over an hour to save seven of the crew, her Captain, chief and 2nd mates refusing to leave. The coxswain of the lifeboat then decided to return to Fishguard leaving the three men on board, but when their engine refused to start they were forced to row and sail the vessel back to their station. The passage took three hours after the mizzen sail was blown to ribbons, leaving only the main and jib sail. The survivors from the HERMINA were no sooner landed and the boat tided up and the local Coastguard reported more flares seen from the direction of the wreck, but with their engine unserviceable there was no hope they could return to sea. Of the three men still on board, the 2nd mate was washed overboard and lost, the other two reaching the rocks at the base of the cliffs where a member of the rocket apparatus team, William Morgan was lowered down by a rope and saw them safely to the top. Both coxswain and William Morgan received gold watches from the Dutch Government. The lifeboat crew comprised coxswain John Howells, second coxswain Thomas Oakley, motor mechanic Robert E Simpson, and lifeboat men Thomas Holmes, T Perkins, J Rourke, P Whelan, T Duffin, J Gardiner, W Devereaux, H W Mason, W Thomas and R Veal. Howells received a gold medal; Simpson, Holmes and Oakley received silver medals, the remainder received bronze medals from the RNLI. William Morgan received the Thanks of the RNLI on vellum.


Sources include:

Bennet, T, 1987, Shipwrecks around Wales, pp.53-4
Gater, D, 1992, Historic Shipwrecks of Wales, pp.100-101
Goddard, T, 1983, Pembrokeshire Shipwrecks, pp.23-6
Larn and Larn Shipwreck database
Lloyd's Register Casualty Returns, 1 October - 31 December 1920, p.7 (g)
MV Hermina, Wreck Site EU
Receiver of Wreck Droits Database 2007, RCIM6/2/5
Western Telegraph, 5 January 1921 and 4 May 1921

Maritime Officer, RCAHMW, February 2008.

This record was enhanced in 2020 with funding from Lloyd's Register Foundation as part of the project ‘Making the Link: Lloyd's Register and the National Monuments Record of Wales’. Visit Lloyd’s Register Foundation Heritage and Education Centre for more resources.