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Saturday, 20 March 2010


Ship No 212

Was an order for a single screw tug, the first in a long line of tugs to be built for the Manchester Ship Canal. A canal that runs from the centre of Manchester out to the Wirral estuary at Liverpool for a distance of some 7 miles.

The Firefly was built for service on the canal but equal to D.o.T. requirements for an ocean going vessel. The equipment consists of two Merryweather combined steam driven fire and salvage pumps, each capable of pumping 2000 gallons of water per minute at a pressure of 120lbs/inch sq. These pumps were used for fire fighting during the Second World War. A complete system of foam apparatus for fighting oil fires was also fitted of the suds type consisting of two suds generators each having a capacity of 500 gallons. She had a length overall of 90 feet with a beam of 24 feet.

A displacement of 176 tons with a service speed of 10 knots, she was powered by a single screw triple expansion engine. She was launched from the Leith yard of Henry Robb on 2nd of May 1935.

She was sold for breaking up in 1965. A sad but enevitable end to a proud working life of 30 years.

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