The Sincere, registered in Aberdeen as A555 but fishing out of Scarborough, was lost on 28th May 1968. At 3 a.m. in the thick fog she ran aground onto rocks just south of Cayton Bay in an area called Black Horse Rocks under the sheer 300 foot cliffs that stretch from here to nearer Filey Brigg and are notorious for people falling over to their deaths as their heights are very grassy and wet.
The crew of the Sincere was:
- Terry Hunter (skipper)
- Frank "Rusty" Drydale
- Bob Walker
- Jim Johnson of Filey
Eventually the crew saved themselves using a small life raft. Local fishing boats were stood by waiting to help but they had been unable to get close in. The Lifeboat could not get near to the sticken boat either. The coxswain, Bill Sheader and second coxswain Tom Rowley tried to get close to the sticken boat. But the boat was washed over a rocky ledge on the shore which prevented boats getting in. They had got only within about 200 yards of the boat. They stood by realising that the crew was not in any immediate danger. The Filey rocket crew was also despatched to the scene. The boat was about 100 yards offshore and the waves were quite rough. The boat was holed and being pounded against rocks.
The loss was especially deeply felt as the boat had just been refitted just eight days before costing £3,500. The boat itself was worth between £10,000 and £12,000.
The keel had been torn out of the boat and so any attempts to refloat her would be doomed to failure.
Derek Watson (of Albert Sutton and Co) organised the salvage. Derek Watson was well known around town as he was a director of Scarborough Football Club in its haydays in the 1970's. He also had various race horses. One was called BAKEWA after his sons (BArry and KEith WAtson).
It was decided that the boat was now a total lost and attempts should be made to recovery whatever gear they could before she broke up and gave her contents to the sea.
The situation was also not helped by the gathering of local sightseers and scavengers. Fifty or sixty people were stood around at about 7pm on the evening of the grounding. They were after whatever they could get which was either washed ashore or pulled from the wreckage. The women wanted to fill their bags up with all the fish they could. Attempts had been made to remove the dynamo. Some even were talking about cutting up the nets to use on their strawberry patches! The skippers shoes and socks had even gone.
Derek Watson had reason to complain to the local constabulary who reacted by sending two policemen to keep an eye on the situation. They monitored the local roads during the night, Albert Sutton Fish Merchants placed two of their shore staff onboard the vessel to keep an eye on the situation and Warning notices were displayed in the local area and paths leading to the beach.
Eventually gear such as the new brace propellor was dismantled and taken off. The Sincere's wooden hull and decking was left to the sea to break up and nothing can be seen of her now.
Black Horse Rocks has always been a tricky spot and as various rocks lie just offshore lying just under the surface and can only be detected on low tides. This area can be extremely hazardous to unsuspecting ships, and in this case, in thick fog. The Sincere was not fitted with radar as the older boats were not fitted with such luxuries in 1968.
Terry Hunter was later to be lost at sea in the Sincere V just north of Scarborough.
Written by John Swift.