11 February 2022






4 mins

One of the British built tugs trading in the United Kingdom (UK) Area seen in Malta was the 1958 built tug BEAUFORT SPIRIT.

She was built by Henry Lobb at Leith, Scotland as yard number 467 launched on 3rd April 1958 and completed during May the same year of which she was delivered to Leith Dock Commissioners at Edinburgh as CRAIGLEITH homeported at Leith (GBR Flag). In 1979 with the same name she was managed by the same company but under new brand – The Commissioners for the Harbour & Docks of Leith at Poole and homeport was changed to Poole.

During 1980 she was sold to Frank Pearce (Tugs) Ltd and renamed as PULLWELL LIMA. In 1984 she was sold to East Three Marine, Canada and renamed as BEAUFORT SPIRIT of which she was seen in Malta berthed at Crucifix Wharf.

Rumours of conversion to a yacht was around and in 1994 she was involved in a drug bust and laid up at Victoria BC, Canada. During the court case –

The appellant, Lewis Anthony Wiggins, was the owner of a vessel, the BEAUFORT SPIRIT, which the Crown alleged was used by him in the execution of a scheme for the importation of narcotics into Canada.  Evidence at trial showed that the appellant had contacted a person by the name of Mr. Seed, who, unknown to the appellant, was a police informer, and asked him if he would like to invest in the scheme.  The informer told police about this conversation and, at their request, had further conversations with the appellant while wearing a “body pack”, i.e., an electromagnetic transmitter, which transmitted the conversations to the police who simultaneously recorded them.  The informer was given “seed money” by the police which he, in turn, gave to the appellant as an “investment” in the scheme.  In one taped conversation, the appellant told the informer how the narcotics were obtained, that they were welded into the hull of the vessel, and how they were transported and hidden upon his reaching British Columbia.  The police conducted searches of the appellant’s vessel but found no narcotics and no evidence to support the appellant’s detailed account of how the narcotics had been hidden in British Columbia.

   At the conclusion of the trial, counsel for the appellant explained to the jury the defence theory that the appellant was lying to the informer about the narcotics being welded into the hull of the vessel and about the manner in which it had been hidden.  The appellant did not testify.  The trial judge gave his charge to the jury on the same day the defence made its submissions.  He indicated that he would not repeat the theories of the parties as they had been well covered by the parties’ counsel.  The appellant was convicted of conspiring to import a narcotic contrary to s. 423(1)(d) of the Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1970, c. C-34.

   The appellant then appealed to the British Columbia Court of Appeal.  He first sought to introduce fresh evidence, but this request was refused on the basis of the principles enunciated in Palmer and Palmer v. The Queen, 1979 CanLII 8 (SCC), [1980] 1 S.C.R. 759.

   The appellant’s various grounds of appeal were similarly rejected.  The first -‑ that the trial judge erred in failing to put the theory of the defence to the jury -‑ failed because the court found this to be one of those rare cases recognized in Azoulay v. The Queen, 1952 CanLII 4 (SCC), [1952] 2 S.C.R. 495, where it was not necessary for the judge to do so.  The second issue -‑ whether the trial judge erred in admitting the appellant’s passport into evidence on the ground that a passport deposited with the police under the terms of his judicial interim release does not become available as evidence -‑ was disposed of on the simple ground that it was too late to raise the objection.

   The third ground of appeal was that the appellant’s privacy was invaded by the recording of his conversations with the informer.  The court cited with approval the decision of the Ontario Court of Appeal in R. v. Sanelli (1987), 1987 CanLII 175 (ON CA), 60 C.R. (3d) 142, in which it was held that s. 178.11(2)(a) of the Criminal Code did not contravene s. 8 of the Charter and that there was no “reasonable expectation of privacy in the course of a conversation where one party to it has consented to it being intercepted and recorded”.  The court noted that the law does not require that “when the police are aware that someone is about to divulge a private matter to another they must seek judicial authorization before that other person may listen to what is said or secretly record what is said”.  The court also rejected this ground of appeal.

Full report is here –

She was broken up in 2004 at Canada.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. Do not use these images without my permission. © All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –

Published – Friday 11th February ,2022.

All Photographs with others in archives are AGAINST PAYMENT so feel free to email us with your requirements.

Watermarked Photos are by Capt. Lawrence Dalli otherwise stated. NO PHOTOS can be used or manipulated without our permission.
© All rights reserved. Malta Ship Photos & Action Photos –