Many people assume that shipwrecks are a thing of the past. In the 1800's wrecks were expected especially in the era of the sailing ship as vessels were driven onto the shore by huge storms. Nowadays it is surprising how many boats are lost. If a boat gets trapped on rocks it is easily lost. If a boat flips over the crew stand little chance. The life of a fisherman is still the most dangerous occupation. Often helicopters can lift fishermen off their boats but in bad weather and on a dark foggy night anything can happen. Crews are attached to their boats and will often take risks in trying to save a boat.
THE SCORESBY: The Scoresby went down on the 8th June 2000 off the Shetland Islands. Noone died but it was an example how easily things can go wrong. The loss of a boat will not be accepted easily by a skipper and they will often stay on board as long as possible risking danger. The pump failed with the Scoresby and despite help from the Shetlands Coastguard in flying in another one the vessel was lost. They were taken off just four minutes before it suddenly turned over and sank. Had they been on board they wouldn't have stood a chance.
The crew stayed with her as long as they could and lives could easily have been lost. They had had sent out a mayday. The Shannon, a local fishing boat help tow her. A stand by vessel from an oil rig took two of the crew off. Complications set in and the other two crew members were taken off. Minutes later the vessel turned over. The crew were a little shaken up and were taken to the the mission in Lerwick were they changed their clothes.
The crew of the Scoresby were:
- Danny Normandale,28 years old, Castle Gardens, son of Freddie Normandale, skipper
- Billy Cappleman,27
- Mark Firman, 20
- Steve Young, 40
The Scoresby, a 68 foot trawler, named after the famous Whitby whaling Captain, was owned by Freddie Normandale. He had bought it in April 1994. It was built in 1980 and its first owner was Bob Mainprize who named it Margaret Jane. It was sold to the Whitby Fish selling company in 1986 skippered by Tal Bennison.
SINCERE III: The loss of the Sincere III was a sad loss - it had only been launched two years previously by the skippers Granddaughter (two years old Terri Lee Hunter). The 38 foot stern trawler was fitted with new radar, auto pilot and radio. Noone expected any problems from such a boat.
The Sincere, SH 154, sailed out of port at 05:31 on 28th October 1991 - logged out of the harbour by Walter Eves. The skipper spoke to his wife at 11:40am by VHF radio and that was the last that was heard.
The boat was obviously overdue and this caused great concern. Lifeboats came out from Scarborough, Filey, Bridlington and Staithes. Graham Taylor, coswain of the Filey Lifeboat refuelled in Scarborough and went back to continue the search. The Coxswain of the Scarborough Lifeboat, Staurt Ogden, kept searching most the the night. The search was joined by a Seaking helicopter from RAF Leconfield and a Royal Navy Minesweeper.
It was a worrying time. All they could do was watch and wait. They could hope that the crew might turn up on the shore somewhere. As time passed by any hope that remained was extinguished. Personal effects and fragments from the trawler were found at Petard Point.
The body of Ken Harrop was never found. But Bill Messruther, a friend and fellow fisherman, found the body of Terry Hunter. He had gone out to search even when the official search was called off. He had searched ever since the accident waiting for first light.
The inquest found that the vessel had snagged its nets on the seabed. She had been turning to port when the accident occured and the seas had gradually worsened throughout the day. Marine Accident investigator, Jim Lee stated that the accident would have happened in seconds and they would have had no time to send out a Mayday.
The crew were:
- Mr Terry Hunter, Newlands Park Crescent
- Mr Ken Harrop
THE ADMIRAL VON TROMP: This vessel was lost in 1976. It was trapped on rocks on Saltwick Nab, near Whitby. In fog and heavy seas the crew were forced to take to the wheelhouse. The RNLI Lifeboat was unable to get close in and even when it did they could not rescue the crew imprisoned in the wheelhouse.
The crew members lost were:
- Mr George Edward Eves, East Mount Flats, fish hand.
- Mr John 'Scotch Jack' Addison, Spreight Lane Steps, Drowned in the wheelhouse.
The story is dealt with in greater detail here - The story of the Admiral Von Tromp
LINDA LOUISE: This keelboat sank 27th May 1983. It was returning from a seven days fishing trip and caught fire 58 miles East-North-East of Scarborough. They made attempts to put out the fire in the engine room. Seven fire extinguishers were emptied but the fire could not be fought. The engine room was now full of steam and smoke and nothing could be done. No one panicked and they fought the fire with everything they could throw at it. The crew were taken off by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer.
The St Kitts, an oil rig supply vessel, helped tow the stricken vessel, but the line parted when the Linda Louise became unstable. A fishery protection vessel, the Orkney, took it in tow but it unfortunately sank.
The fishing boat was only bought two and a half years previously. It was built in 1977 at a cost of £440,000. The boat was originally built at Eyemouth for Newington Trawlers (Mike Burton) and she fished out of North Shields (H343). Robert Mainprize had her at sea before after he lost the "Pathfinder" in Tees Bay and was waiting for his new boat "Margaret Jane" to be built at Frazerburgh. Her Scarborough owners paid less for her but took on her White Fish Loans from Newington Trawlers. It was known as the Burton Lonsdale then and renamed Linda Louise.
The crew were:
- Mr John Swift, 27 years old, Tennyson Avenue, skipper
- Mr John Stockhill, Wykeham Street
- Mr Hardy Thompson, Hull
- Doug Brady, Hull
- Mr Douglas Pike, Brough.
THE CONGENER: Sunk by fire on 22nd September, 2002. This Scarborough boat was just finishing a 100 day stint in Cornwall. They had been a guard ship warning other ships of cables. Communications cables were being laid right over the Atlantic from Bude. The Congener caught fire and the crew were winched to safety by a Sea King Helicopter. A coastguard tug attempted to tow the stricken vessel to Falmouth but it sank along the way. When they landed at the Royal Navy Air station at Culdrose, Cornwall, they were taken to the local seamans mission.
The crew were:
- Mr Bob Mainprize, Hunmanby
- Mr Syd Powdrill, Hull
- Mark Smelt, Hull
- Scarborough Evening News 27th May, 1983.
- Scarborough Evening News 6th July, 1989.
- Scarborough Evening News 29th October, 1991.
- Scarborough Evening News 8th May, 1992.
- Scarborough Evening News 9th June, 2000.
- Scarborough Evening News 23th September, 2002.