Home. Miranda's Role. The Full Story. Cod Wars. Albatross. Tour of Duty. Photos. Video's.
Miranda Web site 2015
Home. Miranda's Role. The Full Story. Cod Wars. Albatross. Tour of Duty. Photos. Video's.
View Full Image. View Full Image.
The Full Story Page 4
Iceland and Greenland

In February 1977, in a desparate search for new grounds, the fishing industry mounted a limited operation in East Greenland waters in the notorious Dohrn Bank, Clog Bank, Gauss and Angmaksalik Bank areas. By this time the MAFF support ships had been paid off and Miranda was again firmly under the aegis of the Department of Trade with operational control resting on the coastguard.

The fishing venture however proved a failure. The area lived up to its reputation for bad weather and the ice was thick on all banks. Shelter in the Icelandic fjords was a long way off and the new areas were unfamiliar to the skippers.

The Trawler Kingston Beryl hauls her net

Had the fish been there then no doubt they would have persevered, but by mid April they threw in the sponge. Miranda held on a few days to be sure no other ships were coming out and then followed in the trawlers’ wakes. Even so, in the few short weeks in those unfriendly waters an impressive list of services to the small fleet was chalked up. Broken men and ships repaired, and the vital and continuous weather service maintained.

By the autumn of 1977 it was clear that the only distant water area in which the trawlers were going to be able to operate in any numbers in the future was off Northern Norway and Bear Island, where Miranda sailed that November.

Northern Norway and Bear Island

That year the full season ended on 30 April, but in the successive seasons the time on the grounds was steadily whittled away at both ends as licensing agreements, quotas and financial contraints reduced the time available, and the number of trawlers able to fish.

By Miranda’s final season, 1979/80, the operation was limited to two months and the average numbers of trawlers on the grounds at the time was in single figures.

The writing was on the wall. Various possibilities to cover the support requirement were considered and eventually the decision was taken to charter a trawler as and when needed, and to sell Miranda.

Over the years Miranda has been used on a number of occasions on duties other than fishery support. She carried out several traffic surveys in the English Channel and Irish Sea in conjunction with the National Maritime Institute.

In 1977, at the invitation of the Ministry of Defence (Navy), Miranda proudly took her place in the Jubilee Review of the Fleet by Her Majesty the Queen at Spithead.

In 1977 she carried out the calibration of the North Hebridean Decca chain in the Minches and west of the Outer Hebrides.

On all these voyages personnel from HM Coastguard were embarked and proved extremely useful.

So ended an era. Miranda was a strange vessel; her sea-keeping qualities were superb despite her desperate lack of power. Her appearance was, to say the least, unusual, but with almost no exception those who served in her developed an affection for her which few other ships engendered.

Equally she was able to acquire an unparalleled place in the heart of the working trawlerman, some of whom survived appaling injuries because of the early care received in Miranda’s sick bay.

But perhaps the accolade for much of this should rest on those who served in the ship; the devoted doctors and meteorologists, the skilled technicians, radio officers and engineers and the seamen who themselves took great risks in serving their fellow men. Not least in this chain of support were those coastguard officers at Gorleston and the Post Office radio officers at Portishead who provided the constant link that day and night responded so quickly and cheerfully to the ship’s radioed requirements and so ably assisted the support commanders in their administration.

Miranda in Reykjavik Iceland

Narrative for this page was thanks to Commander David Roberts (sadly now deceased) and his article "Farewell Miranda" published in April 1981 'Coastguard' Magazine.

Full Story Page 3.
Crew of Miranda at Spithead Review 1977

Countless fishing voyages were made safer and more successful because of Miranda’s services.

Back To First Page.

Iceland And Greenland

Trawler Kingston Beryl hauls her net

Crew of Miranda at Spithead Review 1977