5th October 2005, 20:39
Just found me this:
At quarter to nine yesterday morning Thames Coastguard Maritime Rescue coordination centre were informed by the master of the vessel ‘Torksey’ that they had lost all power and were drifting off Sizewell, Suffolk.
The vessel is an ex 49 metre gravel barge on passage from Hull to Plymouth with five persons on board.
Thames Coastguard requested the launch of the Aldeburgh RNLI all weather lifeboat to assist the vessel. The lifeboat managed to place a line on the vessel and assist them to a point where they could anchor. The vessel was taken to an anchorage off Southwold.
At eight o’clock this morning, Thames Coastguard were further alerted by a member of the public that this vessel was aground on the beach at Dunwich. The vessel had taken on water and dragged its anchor, but without any power, the tide placed it on the beach.
The vessel is disabled with no main engine, no working generator, no navigation lights and no VHF communication. Thames Coastguard were informed some men, an electrician and a plumber, were recruited from a pub in Bridlington to make up the crew.
Robin Middleton, Secretary of States representative said:
“The ships owners have been directed by myself to remove the vessel to a place of safety.
A Marine Casualty Officer from the Maritime and coastguard Agency has been despatched to the scene.
The owners have informed the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that they have contracted salvage resources to remove the vessel. The Enforcement Unit of the Maritime and Coastguard has been informed.”
Here seen in better days: (

6th October 2005, 13:59
There was once a small Shell/BP bunkering tanker operating on the Thames called Torksey, I think she dated from the 1950s/60s. I wonder if it is the same vessel? The size is about right and the ship in the photo looks a little similar, but it's not really a good enough image to tell for sure.


Bob S
6th October 2005, 19:47
Shell-mex & BP tanker TORKSEY was built 1964 of 230 grt. I'll have a look to see if I have a photo.

6th October 2005, 23:46
Thanks Bob. Looking at another pic on the BBC site, I'm more inclined to think it's a different vessel.

31st January 2013, 12:07
I attended the Torksey when she grounded at Southwold as a Coastguard. She was being navigated by a gentleman with a Panamanian ticket. He had 3 names, one of which was on the ticket, he explained his name changed as to here he was in the world. He had a hand held Garmin GPS and a road atlas for navigation. When I approached he hailed me and asked where he was and which way was North. I explained.
The Torksey was taken into Southwold Harbour and moored on the Walberswick side. I have never seen so many leaks, the hull was like lace. The "captain" explained that the leaks were very small but there were so many of them. The Torksey was given a last voyage to Lowestoft to the scrap man. If you look on Google Earth you can see the Torksey moored up in Southwold harbour.