Before being requisitioned and converted into a minesweeper by the Admiralty, HMT Albion II, like many others, was originally a small fishing trawler. Even before the outbreak of war the skill and knowledge of fishing boat crews had been recognised as a valuable asset by the military. Fishing trawlers, such as Albion, were particularly suited for many naval requirements because they were robust boats designed to work heavy trawls in all types of weather and had large clear working decks. One could create a mine sweeper simply by replacing the trawl with a mine sweep. Great Britain used these vessels to maintain control of seaward approaches to major harbours. No one knew these waters as well as local fishermen, and the trawler was the ship type the crew understood and could operate effectively without further instruction.
On the 13th January 1916 when on duty in the Portsmouth for Needles area to sweep for mines she was mined by German submarine UC-5 and sunk about 1.5 miles from the land.
Qualification: Advanced Open Water and DSMB or Equivalent.