Empire Homer

11th May 2009, 21:11
How one thing leads to another in ship tales -

I was browsing the 'Clydebuilt' website recently and, intrigued by the location of the loss of the Baron Ardrossan on Sandray Island in December 1940 - where is it, I wondered - I did some more browsing and this led me to the above ship which must hold the record for the vessel with the shortest life ever. Can another member come up with any other?

Empire Homer, 6996 GRT, built by Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd, Greenock. Launched 19/11/41, completed December 1941, wrecked Sandray Island, Outer Hebrides 15/1/42, less than 2 months after her launch, possibly her maiden voyage.

But this, in turn, led me to a tale of 12 days in the life of Barra Lifeboat during January 1942, in itself, possibly an epic, with no fewer than 3 wrecks plus a possible 4th which turned out to be 30 miles away on Tiree. Amazingly there was only one death, sadly one of the lifeboatmen, who died of pneumonia after being thrown into the sea. More details of all this here:


I've managed to find that all these vessels, including the Ingrid, ashore on Tiree, were part of Convoy ON57, Liverpool - various destinations, but it would seem that many ships, for one reason or another - wrecked (and there were others besides the above), returned to Loch Ewe or elsewhere, taken in tow etc., - never made it. The weather must have been horrendous.