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Boston Fury GY 153

Boston Fury Built 01/06/1950 John Lewis & Sons Ltd Aberdeen & Montrose Scotland for Boston Deep Sea Fishing & Ice Co Lowestoft 08/10/1950 The Boston Fury was outward bound for the White Sea fishing grounds on only her second trip. There had been a southwest gale blowing and visibility was bad At 11.40am the trawler’s radio operator Frank Earl handed Skipper Hobbs an SOS which he had picked up from the Fred Borchard saying she was in distress in a position near Scomvaer, the southernmost tip of the Lofoten Islands The Boston Fury was about 30 miles away from the stricken cargo vessel which was carrying timber and immediately altered course to head for the scene The shocking visibility made it necessary for the trawler to navigate by using the direction finding apparatus The SOS picked up from the Fred Borchard made it clear that the vessel’s pumps were clogged with coal dust and the engine room and stokehold were filling with water Another message was to follow confirming that the situation had deteriorated The engine room and stokehold were completely flooded and the deck cargo of timber was moving At 1.34pm the trawler got the ship in sight Then at 1.36pm came the message from the Fred Borchard “We can see you Think too late Going quickly…” Just four minutes after that Skipper Hobbs radioed “Can you take a line by rocket?” Then the Fred Borchard radioed “Please hurry…stand by.” The message then faded out At 2.03pm the signal was picked up again but the Fred Borchard simply said it was too late for a line Deck cargo of rough timber was being washed overboard by the heavy seas and stretched for more than a mile around the ship, presenting yet another formidable hazard for the would-be rescuers Crewmen from the stricken cargo ship had jumped into the surging icy waters and were clinging to the timbers The mate of the Boston Fury Tom Baskcomb’ rocketed a line to the Fred Borchard and succeeded the first time By this time the Fred Borchard had a 45-degree list to port Her portside lifeboat had gone and owing to the severe list the starboard lifeboat could not be launched Then suddenly the Fred Borchard listed to starboard and started to go down The starboard lifeboat floated free but there was only one man in it Aboard the Boston Fury Skipper Hobbs realised something drastic had to be done. Ignoring the danger from the floating timber he began to steam slowly among it picking up the survivors The first safely aboard the trawler was the man in the lifeboat But the Fred Borchard was past saving As Skipper Hobbs went ahead with his heroic rescue the cargo ship turned turtle her keel protruding above the surface of the water Conditions were so bad that many of the crew were so cold they were having difficulty clinging to the floating timbers To help them five of the Boston Fury’s crew the mate Tom Baskcomb William Swallow David Cavanah Robert Winter and Bernard Finnegan jumped into the water They managed to keep the Fred Borchard crewmen afloat until the trawler could pick them up It was 3.45pm by the time the trawler had got the 27 men aboard Two men were still missing and a long search failed to find them Those rescued were given a tot of rum and the Boston Fury set a course for Haastad Norway where they were put safely ashore 
Afterwards Skipper Hobbs said “If it had not been for the sea qualities of the Boston Fury we would never have done it Each member of the crew there are 20 was marvellous.”

04/1955 To Faeroese owners and renamed Fiskenaes.  07/1966 Bought by Weelsby Trawlers, Grimsby, renamed Brandur, and registered as GY 111  25/04/1967 Brandur was arrested by the ICV Thor for alleged illegal fishing three-and-a-half miles off Eldey on the south- west coast of Iceland and taken into Reykjavik
29/04/1967 Skipper Bunny Newton made an amazing dash for freedom by breaking out of the harbour with two Icelandic policemen still aboard the trawler But just 11 hours later Skipper Newton and his crew were back in custody The Brandur had been stopped 43 miles off Iceland She had painted a new number on her side, replacing the original GY 111 with H 52 when she slipped the harbour A coastguard plane was sent up to hunt the trawler and a sloop was also diverted It had orders to use force, if necessary, to arrest her inside or outside Icelandic waters Earlier the court had heard that the Brandur had been arrested when she was spotted fishing inside Iceland’s 12-mile fishing limit 
Skipper Newton who pleaded not guilty agreed the trawler had been inside the limit but denied she had been fishing He argued that a big boulder had been caught in the trawl The 23-man crew thought at first it might be a wartime mine and as they were hauling it gingerly aboard the trawler drifted inside the limit 
Skipper Newton tried to make it back to Grimsby because he was annoyed with the legal proceedings dragging on Back in Reykjavik Judge Armann Kristinsson ruled that the skipper should be kept in custody for the length of the case or 30 days It was some months before the appeal court met in Iceland to hear Skipper Bunny Newton’s case and when it did they doubled the prison sentence to six months and increased the fine to just over £2,500

Her Details are 

  • Official Number 182661 
  • Yard Number 222 
  • GT 760 NT 269 
  • Dimensions 185 x 32 x 16.7  
  • Quarter deck 101 Foc’sle 30  

Scrapped in 10/1968