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 1939 to 1945 HMRT MEDIATOR - Yard No 335 - Bustler Class Rescue Tug - Royal Navy - Built 1944

Leith Shipyards

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HMRT MEDIATOR - Yard No 335 - Bustler Class Rescue Tug - Royal Navy - Built 1944


Bustler Class Tug HMS MEDIATOR

Ship No 335


 HMS MEDIATOR seen here on her trails on the Firth of Forth  
Owners   Royal Navy
Registered     Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Ocean Rescue/Salvage Tug Launched    21/04/1944
Ship Details          
Length Overall    205' 0" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    190' 0" Weather    
Beam    38' 6" Time to Water    
Depth Mld     19' 0"      
Draught    16' 11"      
G.R.T.    1100 tons      
Complement      42 Officers and Men      
Engines    2 x 8 cylinder Diesels (Atlas Polar)

producing 3020 bhp

Props    1      
Speed    16 knots      
Armament      1 x 12 pdr AA gun, 1 x 2 pdr AA, 2  x 20 mm AA  and 4 x Lewis .303 machine guns      
Other known names   1965-NISOS ZAKYNTHOS    
Current Status        
Content on will be added as and when available. 


(Photo from RFA Plymouth)

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, in the case of a ship for the Royal Navy this meant she also had to be commissioned as fit for purpose, once commissioned she was then considered ready for action and would take her place in the fleet.

 His Majesty's Rescue Tug MEDIATOR was the fifth such "Bustler Class" tug to be built and launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

MEDIATOR spent her time based at Malta from 1959 manned by a Royal Navy crew until returning to Plymouth in 1964

In 1965 she was sold to Tsavliris (Salvage and Towage) Ltd. Piraeus, Greece and renamed NISOS ZAKYNTHOS. 1975 resold to Maritime Commercial Enterprises Ltd.

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.

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.


 MEDIATOR seen here in the Med with her canvas bridge cover to offer some protection from the sun.

(Photo credit unknown)

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0 #7 alan lewis 2017-07-26 13:17
my father Alan Lewis served as a navigator's yeoman and Qm on board from 1949 to 1951. Now aged 86 still fondly remembers LT CDR C Stamford and served in the middle and far east
0 #6 Colin Davies 2017-05-23 17:08
My late Father, John Davies, served on her I beleive when she was HMS.He would often say they were some of his fondest 12yrs of RN service
+1 #5 richard a judd 2017-04-21 17:27
I served as the REM on her from november 1962 until she went back to Plymouth. she had a ships dog ,Cholmondely, we had to raise money for him to be quarantined in the UK, the crew were Maltese stokers and seamen.
0 #4 Clive Reynolds 2016-12-27 18:43
I served on Mediator during my national service as stoker/mechanic 1st class 1949 - 1950. I have loads of tales to tell and would love to hear from anyone who is interested in knowing more or anyone who was there when I was. I remember a colleague called Munton who came from Rutland.
+1 #3 david lane 2016-05-24 19:32
Mediator was used for launching PTA as targets for HMS Aisne in SeaCat trials in October 1962, Lieutenant Bob Fenton in charge of the PTA team, based I believe at Hal Far.
0 #2 Tom Mayfield 2015-11-16 21:10
In 1963 I was a newly qualified RN Electrical Artificer based with the minesweeping squadron at Msida Base and then HMS St. Angelo, Malta. Mediator shared the support ship duties with RFA Sea Salvor, when the minesweepers were on their regular sweepex's around the Med. One particularly memorable night in the midst of a full gale off the Italian coast, we were woken when the engines stopped and we lost all power. Mediator, like her sisters, was prone to heavy rolling in even a slight sea, and it was a somewhat nail biting few hours before the engines came back on and power was resumed. I did at least two trips in her and it was always a pleasure to join her crew.
+1 #1 Joseph Chircop 2015-09-26 06:01
My father Alfred Chircop know as Alf, served on this ship till his retirement and subsequently migrating to Australia in 1963. This ship was involved in the Suez Canal conflict. My father had served 6 years in the army and 21 years in the Navy in Malta.

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