The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Home Ships Built in Leith 1918 to 1939 OCEAN COAST - Yard No 215 - Motor Cargo Vessel - Coast Lines - Built 1935

Leith Shipyards

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OCEAN COAST - Yard No 215 - Motor Cargo Vessel - Coast Lines - Built 1935

 Photograph shown below

The Motor Vessel OCEAN COAST
one of 4 such ships built in the
Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.
Owners    Coast Lines Ltd
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Coaster Launched    31/07/1935
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    250' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Moulded     22' 9"      
G.R.T.    1173 tons      
Engines    Twin 5 cylinder British Polar oil engines      
Props    2      
Speed    12 knots      
Other known names        
Current Status        
Content on the MV OCEAN COAST will be added as and when available. 



Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to
pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.

To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her
on just like any other disposable commodity.

Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was
hoped for a long and successful working life.

The classic lines of the Coaster's such as the  "OCEAN COAST" were a frequent sight around the coasts of the British Isle's and further afield from the 1930's right up to the 1960's.
In the days before container ships were thought of every port in the country relied on the "Coaster's" as much as we rely on trucks today to move the goods around that keep a country functioning.

The Motor Vessel OCEAN COAST was the third of such ships built, designed and launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Shipbuilders.
She was typical for the time with her two holds for cargo with three hatches, hence the slightly forward of mid-ships bridge arrangement and her funnel aft.

Owned and managed by the famous Coast Lines Company who at one time were one of the largest ship owner operators in the British Isles.


Wartime Service

M.V. "Ocean Coast" This ship, which at the outbreak of war was probably the best equipped and fastest vessel in the British coastal service, after a long period of service in home waters made several voyages to Gibraltar, and like her sisters, served the West African coast before returning to take part in the invasion of Normandy. On occasions she received attention from the enemy, but fortunately escaped damage.

The OCEAN COAST made two cased petrol trips to the coast ports of France, she also participated in the invasion of North Africa in 1942, aiding in the landing operations on the Algerian coast.

Then again in 1944 she was on duty landing petrol to the invasion forces on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, all in all a very eventful war for this little coaster.

 The M.V.OCEAN COAST served the U.S. Army beaches of "Omaha Beach" and "Utah beach" with deliveries of cased petrol.

And she was to continue serving the supply of cased petrol for a long time after D-Day as the demand for petrol on the Continent was insatiable.

OCEAN COAST then continued on with her peace time duties around the coasts of the British Isles again.

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.



Underway in a calm sea the Motor Vessel "OCEAN COAST" (photo courtesy of Gary at Oceania Shipping Forum)

Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.

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0 #6 Andrew Doherty 2017-07-27 07:14
I wrote a short blog post on my fathers recollection of an event when the Ocean Coast came to the rescue of fellow sailors from the Bann Prince in November 1955
0 #5 Philip Evans 2017-07-26 20:54
My uncle, Alun Evans, was an AB aboard MV Ocean Coast when he and others were involved in the rescue of 6 crew members from the sinking SS Bann Prince. He and the others involved were awarded illuminated addresses by the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society. Alun (1923 - 2011)initially joined the Royal Navy but subsequently joined the Merchant service. He hailed from a seafaring family from Glan Conwy in North Wales.
0 #4 regryder 2015-03-29 10:39
i can r ember my dad telling me about the crew man who saved those men in the sea as it was the chief engineer life boat that they got away i believe she was in a collision with a Swedish ship caring timber in the Mersey just after she left the lock and started her turn to take up her correct side of the river
+1 #3 reg ryder 2015-02-12 00:57
My father was chief engineer when she had both collision i knew capt Clark well the engineer who died i believe was a person called Harrison not long married . My dad stayed on her when she was laid up waiting to be sold were she went i do not know. i believe both mates were called Campbell both ended up as captains
0 #2 Andrew Doherty 2014-08-09 15:34
My father was a crewman on her, when in Nov 1955 he launched a lifeboat from her with other members of the crew and picked up survivors from the Bannprince. He got an award from the Liverpool Shipwreck society, I'm currently trying to research it further. Thanks for the info above
0 #1 Brian J Chaplin 2013-10-05 04:17
Sailed in her in 1958 when she was in collision in the River Thames resulting in the loss of life of an engineer. Skippers name Captain Clark.

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