R.F.A. Swin

1st July 2005, 15:18
I served as 'Sparks' aboard Swin in 1952. RFA salvage tug. We were picking up wreckage off Sheerness. News and a photo much appreciated

1st July 2005, 21:13
Will check, I may have one taken on the Clyde Not exactly a salvage "tug" but salvage vessel with lifting horns.

2nd July 2005, 01:27
I served as 'Sparks' aboard Swin in 1952. RFA salvage tug. We were picking up wreckage off Sheerness. News and a photo much appreciated
Hi, link to a tug site and you may find an answer to your query. Ken.
(1952, not sure of year but could be Truculent submarine wreckage).


Tim Webb
3rd August 2005, 23:54
SWIN was built as a Coastal Salvage Vessel for the Royal Navy, she was launched on the 25 March 1944 as HMS Shipway, being remnamed Swin in August 1944, completed Oct 1944
She was built by A.Hall of Aberdeen.
She was one of the Dispenser Class of vessels, her sisters being DISPENSER, HELP, KINBRACE, KINGARTH, KINLOSS, LIFELINE, SUCCOUR, UPLIFTER, two further vessels intended to be built KINGGUSSIE and RESTFUL were cancelled.
SWIN was 950 tns displacement
Dimensions 150feet (pp)/176feet(oa) x 35.75feet beam x 11feet draught.

She was sold out of service August 1973.

She is listed as being built for the Royal Navy and reference books refer to her as HMS Swin, but make no mention of operational changes during her life.

4th August 2005, 14:00
When I first came over to the UK as a young seafarer I did six months on the Swinn,I always thought she had two N`s in her name ,she was crewed by mechant seamen but it was not through the pool system ,I got the placement going to a Royal naval dockyard ,I think the office dep was the RNSO or something like that,they were also responsible for manning the deep-sea tugs as I was waiting to go to South Africa to join the Prospector all this was back in 48/49 so I may have one or two names wrong.When I was on her we were blowing up the forts at the bar in Liverpool doing a tidal lift with them and out in to deeper water to dump them,we also worked on a wreck just up river a bit from the liberty ship Montgomery near Sheerness.That is where i paid off and joined a Norwegian shipThere were quite a lot of men from Liverpool in the crew,she carried about nine or ten on deck plus bridge and enginroom staff, and catering must not forget them.We came into Wallasey i hope that is how u spell it, every two or three weeks for bunkers/stores we used to lay in a dock off the West float,there used to be Isle of Man ferries laid by in the same basin what it was called i do not know,but it was not very far to Conway St

4th August 2005, 14:08
Forgot to mention I think she was chartered from Beaslys [not sure how its spelt]of Southhampton on a bare boat basis,not too sure but there was a connection

Tim Webb
4th August 2005, 15:14
I have just come across the following site which briefly mentions Swin's involvement in the Suez crisis

http://www.britains-smallwars.com/suez/untis.html (http://www.britains-smallwars.com/suez/units.html)

HMS Swin part of UK salvage unit. Along with HMS Uplifter was commissioned to clear Nasser's block ships. Commanded by Lt. Cmdr. Scrivener left Chatham late Oct.56. With a max speed of 8 knots it took some time to make Tobruk. Sailed for Port Said but after a day at sea was recalled to Tobruk. Stayed Christmas & New Year. Was then told that for political reasons the salvage contracts had been given to the Germans. Returned UK and paid off at Plymouth Feb.67. I believe HMS Uplifter was returned from Port Said.

30th May 2006, 08:04
My Dad, Eric Mutton, served as ships carpenter on Swin around 1949 - 1950, at the time Swin was demolishing Maunsell Forts in the Thames and at Liverpool. He was also on board during the salvaging of the submarine Truculent and the search for the Affray.

If anyone's interested I can send you his memoirs of that time.


Graham Mutton

30th May 2006, 13:18
Sometime between 1965 and 1967 an American Freighter of (I think) Sealift Command went aground on Bloody Point where the Rivers Stour and Orwell meet in Harwich Harbour. Although she was well and truly on the mud, the 'Swin' turned up (probably from Chatham) and pulled this 7,000 tonner off with very little fuss indeed.

2nd May 2016, 12:11
Francis A Holmes (RFA Swin) is on beach at Zueitina ,Libya.(2016 )She was used for port maintenance.Several men were killed when there was an explosion on her and she was abandoned and ended up on her final resting place.Abt 1976.She can be seen on Google Earth and there is a referece to her on website http://historicalrfa.org/rfa-swin-ships-details