There were 8 diesel rescue tugs built during WWII by Henry Robb’s Yard: Bustler, Samsonia, Growler, Hesperia, Mediator, Reward, Turmoil and Warden.
Bustler, Growler, Mediator, Samsonia, Hesperia and Reward were ordered by the Admiralty to dimensions of 190 x 38.6 x 19 with a deadweight of 538 and speed of 16 knots.
They were built with “British Polar” diesel engines of type M 48 M with 8 cylinders. The GT of Bustler, Samson, Growler and Hesperia was 1100 and of Mediator, Reward, Turmoil and Warden 1136.
The keels began to be laid on 31st January 1941, the first launch was on 4th December 1941 and the first to sail was on 21st May 1942.
It is quite a muddle in the order book, with an attempt to record all of these orders on one double page spread, and so it’s not absolutely clear when each and every one was lauched and sailed, nor whether the trial trip recorded was for the Bustler or another.
Whichever one it was, the trial recorded in the order book was carried out at the Isle of Arran and the speed made was 16.01 knots under conditions of a slight sea and a northerly force 4. She is recorded as having achieved full ahead to stop in 2-3 seconds and stop to full astern in 1-3 seconds.
Below are a few details about these 8 fine little work-horses, only one of which did not manage to make it through the war. Some are very famous for their struggles at sea to rescue other shipping, more of which in some future posts.
You may also be interested in: Bustler Tug Model in Museum
Copyright: Ruth Patterson 2011