Ocean Puller

6th October 2007, 23:51
I recal a tug being berthed at Newhaven for a short time several years ago called the "Ocean Puller". she was black hulled with white super structure and a red funnel. Appearance said she was a powerful tug.
Anyone have any info on this one?? (Thumb)

7th October 2007, 01:40

Photo of such named ship here: http://www.photoship.co.uk and lok for the 'O' section and the picture is there.

It must have been a few tyears ago because I found this in the Marine Investigation Board (MAIB) files.

'Ocean Puller'. Tug Aug 29 1978 Stranded and Constructive total loss. Age of vessel 45 years. 146 GRT.

She looks wartime built - but apart from that, can't seem to find any more. Maybe someone else can help?


7th October 2007, 04:04
thank you for your help Jonty. I have this interest in tugs that i have seen in the passed.. think she could have been owned by metal recovery's for a short while.

7th October 2007, 11:34
She was an old 'un, that was for sure!

No problem, Billy Boy - wish could have been of more help.


8th October 2007, 18:20
Another trip to the museum called for, BB. I'll let you know what I find. Looking at that picture, it's at the East Quay of course, with part of Railway Road behind and B shed? to the left. Funny, I recall her being blue hull, but that may be a senior moment!

Incidentally, I'm going to speak to one of the pilots, Aubrey Durham, about the Metrec. he may have some information.


8th October 2007, 19:24
Here you go Billyboy.

German Navy Geier-class
Registered: LR50-51:74183 /LR56-57:75444 /LR60-61:77758 /LR66-67:529717
IMO 5297177 /(GBR)ON 182292
145 GRT, L28,50m(24,85), B7,37m, D3,07m (84.0'x24.2'x8.5' or 93'6"x24'2")
1 scr, diesel 4tew 8cyl Wumag, 450bhp, sp 10,5kn

1943: Built by "Gutehoffnungshütte Sterkrade AG" at Walsum (DEU) (YN 857)
1943 -xx/12: delivered to the German Kriegsmarine, "Marineausrüstungsstelle Wesermünde" (DEU)
1945: seized as war prize by the Allied forces (GBR)
1948: To "Risdon Beazly Ltd" at Southampton (GBR), renamed TOPMAST No 9
(GBR flag, regd Southampton, ON 182292)
1949: To "Ipswich Dock Commission" at Ipswich (GBR), renamed RIVER ORWELL
(GBR flag, regd Ipswich, ON 182292, c/s MAUG, 145 GRT, 6 NRT)
1973: To "R.K. Wood" at Ipswich (GBR), renamed OCEAN PULLER
1978 -29/08: ran aground East of Oran, sank afterwards


8th October 2007, 22:28
Riverman: Great struff well done and thank you very much. sold to R,K wood eh! I reckon that would be "Roger Wood", son of the late Ken wood who was an engineer at Newhaven harbour for many years. well known local family 9in those days.

Meechingman: Aubrey Durham eh! now that name rings a bell. wonder if you would remember the late Mr Cross who was a pilot there for long years Andy?

9th October 2007, 11:25

I didn't recognise her as this class and should have! Holyhead Towing's first 'Afon Goch' was the 'Hengst' - though modified in appearance some.


9th October 2007, 17:14
Jonty, I didn't recognise it either in fact I cannot remember the first Afon Goch without looking through the pics. Thats what happens when you see so many tugs over a long period of time.


16th October 2007, 19:00
And me a little to young.


20th July 2009, 12:30
Riverman: Great struff well done and thank you very much. sold to R,K wood eh! I reckon that would be "Roger Wood", son of the late Ken wood who was an engineer at Newhaven harbour for many years. well known local family 9in those days.

Anyone still interested in this vessel? I have a few photographs (somewhere) if so.
Yes Ken Wood skippered the tug when Roger was elsewhere.

20th July 2009, 22:09
Just revisited this old thread. Small world, I went to school with Guy Wood. IIRC, he was Roger's brother.

20th July 2009, 23:01
I remember this tug towing a landing craft up to Stromness in Orkney in 1975,It was for the same guy that owned the Celtic Surveyor ex Earl of Zetland that was on charter to occidental when they were building the Flotta oil terminal.

24th July 2009, 14:08
Guy now lives in the USA, Michael is mainly in the UK, still Newhaven area, Roger's son and Michael were featured (?) on a salvage program on Sky recently. (2009).

24th July 2009, 14:21
Photograph of Ocean Puller in Newhaven (Copyright R.H.Finch) after towing Commodity into port with a failed pump. Roger Wood was skipper on this trip. Here Ken Wood is parking her the next day next to the Ferry Buffet.

2nd September 2009, 14:37
My husband actually works for Guy Wood here in the USA. Do you mind if I copy this picture and send it to him in email? It's neat that I found this. I googled his name and Titan Salvage and came across this thread. I am sure he would find it very cool to see it. thanks!

-Mandy Clark

2nd September 2009, 23:24
Hi Mandy, Bet Guy would remember my older Brother George then. I knew roger well at one time and his Father ken.
George is retired and living in Cornwall now

Arthur Binns
3rd May 2010, 16:37
My research suggests this boat was a Tender Ship to HMS Vernon after seizure as war prize. I assume until sold to the Southampton firm in 1948.

Can any one confirm this please?


29th May 2012, 10:49
I'm amazed to find reference on the internet to the Ocean Puller , which I suppose demonstrates the internet's reach these days. I actually went to sea on the Ocean Puller during the early 1970's, and remember Ken and Roger Woods, as well as Guy and Michael. Great bunch of guys. Ken and Roger skippered her alternately.

She certainly was a solid old vessel, roomy and comfortable at sea. She had indeed been originally part of the German navy during WW2, and I believe she had once been attached to the Scharnhorst.

In the engine room the notices were all still in German. I think she was fitted with a four or six cylinder engine. I remember having to lubricate the top end gear by hand from an oil can. And one of the other duties was to check at regular intervals the stern compartment because there was some leakage of sea water into it. One had to go up on deck and lift the hatch then shine a torch in to check the level, return to the engine room and switch the bilge pump to evacuate the stern department. This had to be done otherwise eventually the water level would rise and could disable the electrics serving the steering, which would not have been advisable.

We towed RN scrap vessels from the west country to the London yards where they were cut up.

I did hear about the grounding of the Puller on a beach in Oran. Not quite sure what happened there?

If any of the Woods happen to read this, then my very kind regards to you all.