Colin Frank Vine DSC, RD, RNR
09/11/15 to 10/05/07


It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that our dear friend Captain Colin Frank Vine DSC, RD, RNR passed away on Thursday 10th May 2007.

His funeral was held at Farnham Crematorium on Thursday 17th May. The service was held at St Thomas-on-the-Bourne Church, Swingate, Road Farnham, Surrey.

Education : Preparatory School Cadetship HMS Worchester

1932 - 1939   Merchant Navy

1939 - 1944   Served afloat throughout the war in Royal Navy as 1st Lieutenant
(2nd in command) Awarded D.S.C and R.D

1944 - 1956   Suez Canal Pilot, promoted 1st Class Pilot in 1949.

1957 - 1964   North Sea Pilot. The companies for whom I have piloted include the following : Port Line, Blue Star Line, Ellerman Lines, Bank Line, Company National Portuguese, Flota Mercante Estada Argentine.

1964 - 1975   Succeeded Commander Hough as Captain Superintendent of the Prince of Wales Sea Training School. Rank Commander RNR. Promoted to Captain RNR.

After the closure of the PWSTS he returned to pilot and finally retired on his 70th birthday, November 1985

Member of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners and the Institute of Navigation.

Colin's obituary in The Pilot Magazine

Colin Frank VINE was born in November 1915 and died in May 2007.
After prep school he went to HMS WORCESTER from 1928 to 1932 and joined BP Tankers as a cadet, reaching 2nd Officer by 1939.

He had joined the RNR and was mobilized in 1939, being appointed to command HMS CRESCENT MOON and as Senior Officer 400th Minesweeping flotilla, serving overseas until 1943.

In 1943 he was appointed First Lieutenant in HMS CHELMER, a newbuilding frigate commanded by (then) Commander Peter Gretton (later Vice Admiral Sir Peter Gretton KCB DSO OBE DSC) of the 37th Escort Group. In a full North Atlantic gale he took a whaler with the surgeon from CHELMER to a merchant ship with an injured seaman, being awarded the DSC shortly after.

Released from RN service in 1944 he became a Suez Canal pilot, where he remained until it was nationalised in 1956.

Colin then completed the Long Naval Course, becoming a North Sea pilot from 1958 to 1964. Promoted to Captain RNR. From 1964 to 1975 he was Captain Superintendent of the Prince of Wales Sea Training School and returned to piloting when that school closed down in 1975. He was elected an underwriting member of Lloyds in 1964.

Colin was elected to The Honourable Company in 1955, admitted to Livery in 1969 and served on the Court from 1971, as a Warden from 1985 and was Master 1985/86. He was a Founder Member of The Nautical Institute and became a Fellow in 1985.

Colin married in 1959, Elizabeth Jo Colpoys, daughter of a well known submariner and was widowed in 1986. There were two sons, Michael, an Oxford MA who took Holy Orders and is a Vicar in Newcastle area and Christopher who qualified as a mechanical engineer ay Bristol and now works for Rolls Royce Aero Engines.

Always my “choice pilot”, Colin’s last ship was with me in “WORLD TRUTH”, an obo vlcc and the younger officers were fascinated to look at this ‘grand-dad figure’ and think of him at sea in a whaler in a convoy under attack in an Atlantic gale.

On that last trip, Colin’s sandwiches had been put in the frig in the pilot cabin, but I had forgotten to tell him. Late in the first watch he asked my Chinese 3rd Mate, Robert Wong, if there was any chance of a sandwich. Robert led Colin to a quiet corner of the wheelhouse and said “Mr Pilot, I’ve been here for three months and I have never had a sandwich. You only came today and have no chance.” Never mind all the packets of instant noodles.

Captain Eric Beetham