Latitude 50° 19.451 N
Longitude 004° 10.018 W
Depth 12m
Accuracy 20m
Location Description South of Knap buoy
Reference NMR 880825
Craft type Brixham Trawler
Date built 1926
Date of loss 25th October 1940
Manner of loss Mined
Outcome Abandoned
Construction Wood
Propulsion Sail / Oil Engine
Nationality United Kingdom
Departure port Plymouth
Destination port Plymouth
Armament None
Crew 4
Built Brixham
Master Wellington, Hector
Owners Unknown


The 54 GRT Brixham trawler Encourage (BM63) was built in 1926 by the well known shipyard R. Jackman & Sons in Brixham, Devon, with registered number 148998.  Encourage was the last of this sailing vessel type to be built along with Vigilance built by Uphams in the yard next door.

When first built the Encourage was owned by Harry Lang in Brixham but she was sold in November 1937 to Robert Leach of Brighton then sold on a few months later to an owner in Shoreham.  By October 1940 the Encourage was operating out of Plymouth and on 25th of that month was leaving for the fishing grounds when she was blown up by a mine and sank with all hands.  On the same day the much larger armed trawler HMT Lord Inchcape (H102) was also sunk by a mine but this vessel was later salvaged. The mines are suspected to have been two of many dropped by parachutes from German aircraft.

The memorial on Tower Hill in London to Merchant Navy sailors and fishermen lists four crew lost in the explosion; 55 year old deck hand Arthur Clarke, Peter Moxey the 22 year old engineer, deckhand George Pettitt who was 58 and Hector Wellington, the 54 year old skipper.

In July 1941 the Encourage was a hazard to shipping as the mast was still visible at low water, but by 1982 the wreck had completely broken up with only a few timbers and the engine remaining on the seabed.

Diving the Encourage

The Encourage lies in 12 metres of water approximately 170m south of the Knap buoy and for a time, her mast protruded above the surface at low water. Now she is totally broken up and the engine block and guardrailsare all that remain, as well as plenty of broken pottery.  She is scattered over a reasonably large area and the bottom is rocky with deep gulleys.

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