The Tug


The tug MEDUSA  -  at Inverness

Launch of MV Kaitoa from Henry Robb's Yard at Leith Docks in February 1956

  Daniel Earl                                                                                                                     Photo taken probably between 1998 and 2002



Dan Earl

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Daniel Earl, Aberdeen, for allowing me to reproduce his photograph of the tug, MEDUSA, above.  This is one of many photos of tugs in Dan's collection.

Dan wrote:



"I am trying to trace the history of the tug MEDUSA, referred to in Renny Robertson's comments.

I took this photo myself in Inverness, some time between 1998 and 2002, I think!

Maybe you might have or know of someone that has a photo of the MEDUSA."

Dan Earl, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:  November 5, 2009

If you have any more information about the tug, Medusa, or  know of any other photos of MEDUSA, please email me, then I'll pass on the news to Daniel.    Thank you.

Peter Stubbs:  November 5, 2009




Dan Earl

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Thank you to Dan Earl for writing again to let me know that he had discovered a little more about this tug.

Dan wrote:

The Same Tug

"My Thames-based contact, tells me that the tug in this photo WAS the same tug as Renny Robertson mentions on the EdinPhoto web site.


   The tug Medusa, photographed in Inverness, probably between 1998 and 2002

50ftx14ftx6.5ft,   single screw  Crossley Diesel  150 bhp.
1952:  Built by James Pollock  Faversham Kent
1953-70:  A P C M Ltd London
-  1970:  to J T Palmer & sons Gravesend
1972:  to J Dinwoodie & sons Granton
-  1974:  Sank
1994:  Broken up at Inverness.

Dan Earl, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland:   November 5, 2009




Colin Ashton

Thank you to Colin Aston who wrote:

Storm in Firth of Forth


"I can  confirm that the tug MEDUSA sank during a storm in the Forth about two miles east  of Inchkeith in 1974, unfortunately with the loss of at least two lives.

Some time after the search was abandoned, it was snagged by a fishing trawler and when divers went down to free the net the wreck was found."

Colin Aston:  December 7, 2009




Don Macleod

Thank you to Don Macleod who wrote:

Kessock Bridge


"I worked as a deckhand on the Medusa in Oct - Dec 1978 when she was on contract for the building of the Kessock bridge.

I was working for the owner of Medusa, Jimmy Kelman, who had salvaged and rebuilt the tug following her loss in the Firth of Forth. She was a great working boat and I have fond memories of my time on her."

Don Macleod:  April 7, 2012




David Ross

Granton, Edinburgh

Thank you to David Ross, who later went on to work for John Dinwoodie, shipping contractors and owners of 'Medusa' for writing with:

-   some of his memories of working for John Dinwoodie and

-   more information (below) about the sinking of 'Medusa'.

John wrote:

Sinking of



"When 'Medusa' sank in a storm in the Firth of Forth, John Dinwoodie, had been going out to pick up equipment from an oil supply ship beyond Inchkeith in the Firth of Forth.

'Medusa' was not licensed to go beyond Inchkeith but as she was John's favourite boat, and as he was the Boss,  he used her.

There was also a first-time worker on the boat, who had worked his first week and would have been paid that day on return, but the young lad never returned home that Friday night.

John Dinwoodie Jn took over the business.  He wanted 'Medusa' to be brought ashore after the accident, but she broke up before they got her near land.

I went out, a year to the day after the sinking of 'Medusa',  to the same oil supply ship with John Dinwoodie Jn, to pick up submarine cable.  We went in the 'Inchmickery' boat.  That's the boat that I used all the time.

I could sense that he was on edge.  By 10pm, when we left, he had told me what had happened the year before, but I still went."

David Ross, Granton, Edinburgh: 15 November 2015 (2 emails)



Leith  Docks

Recollections:  Edinburgh at Work