Latitude 50° 19.774 N
Longitude 004° 10.327 W
Depth 15m
Accuracy 5m (SHIPS)
Location Description SW of Breakwater light
Reference UKHO 17658
Craft type Trawler
Date built 1933
Date of loss 10 November 1940
Manner of loss Mined
Outcome Abandoned
Construction Steel
Propulsion Steam
Nationality British
Departure port Plymouth
Destination port Plymouth
Hull length 151ft
Hull beam 25ft 9"
Hull displacement  
Built Cook, Welton & Gemmell
Master R. A. Read, RNR
Owners Royal Navy

HMT Kingston Alalite

The Kingston Alalite was a fishing trawler built in November 1933 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell (Yard no. 583) in Hull for the Kingston Steam Trawling Co. Ltd., Kingston-upon-Hull, registered as H538 and with official Number 163172. She was 412 tons gross and 166 tons net with a 111 hp triple expansion steam engine driving a single screw.

The ship was requisitioned by the Admiralty as an anti-submarine vessel in August 1939 as FY 136 and joined the 9th anti-submarine group based at Devonport.

The Kingston Alalite was sunk by a mine on 10th November 1940 when her commanding officer was R. A. Read, RNR. Chief Engineman Smith was in the engine room of the ship when they were coming in to harbour at full speed, he heard a big explosion, the lights went out so he quickly rushed up on deck. Smith cut away the Carley floats and jumped into the water, joined by some of his crewmates. The ship broke in two and sank in just two minutes, with the boiler exploding as she went down. The Alalite was blown up by a mine in the main shipping channel even though it had been swept by numerous vessels that day.

Six people died in the explosion including Ernest Sparkes (52) from Grimsby who was the mate on board and Buchan John Mair, a seaman in the Royal Naval Patrol Service, seaman S. Collins R.N.R., telegraphist R. H. Cutler, Ordinary seaman J. C. Eastland, Leading Seaman A. J. Rogerson R.N.R., while ten others were wounded.

The position of the sinking is cited as 242 degrees 5.7 cables (1056m) from the Breakwater light which is at the western end of the Breakwater. Salvage operations on the wreck were completed in February 1946.

This wreck is reported to be at the same location as the site known as the ‘Two Trawlers’, described in 1979 as 'the remains of one or two trawlers, mostly wood, standing 12-15ft high and covered with nets with cork floats'.

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Kingston Alalite

The Kingston Alalite at sea before the war

Kingston Alalite

The shattered remains of the ship on the seabed (SHIPS Project)

Kingston Alalite

A builder's model of the Kingston Alalite