Trashed Trawlers

10 02 2013

There are 2 boats that have been built into the superstructure of the isthmus of Ísafjörður. Built into the rock armour, they are only visible when the tide is out.

Here you can see in an old photograph the trawler Notts County, which stranded the Snæfjallaströnd weather in February 1968 and was scraped in Isa.

Here you can see in an old photograph the trawler Notts County, which stranded the Snæfjallaströnd weather in February 1968 and was scraped in Ísafjörður.

At super low tide you can see the wreck of  Arnarnes ÍS 204.

At super low tide you can still see the wreck of the British Trawler Notts County.

This boats is tied to the Hull trawler tragedy (from the British fishing port of Kingston upon Hull) during January and February of 1968 in the Arctic waters off the coast of Iceland. A total of 59 crew members died, with just one survivor. The three sinkings and one stranding brought widespread national publicity to the conditions in which fishermen worked, and triggered an official inquiry which led to major changes to employment and working practices within the British fishing industry.

The 659-ton Ross Cleveland was riding out the hurricane with seven other trawlers. Hull coastguards last heard from the Captain, Phil Gay: “I am going. Give my love and the crew’s love to their wives and families.” Minutes later the boat vanished from the radar and her lights were no longer visible. The Ross Cleveland went down in Isafjord, an inlet on the north-west cape of Iceland, in a force 12 gale with a crew of 19. The 40 men on board the missing trawlers Kingston Peridot and St Romanus lost in the week prior, were all dead with the exception of one.

Icelandic gunboat Odinn – made infamous during the Cod War – rescued 18 survivors from the Notts County – another Hull trawler – which had run aground at a cost of one life. This boat was towed to Ísafjörður, where it lies today.

Caption

The Guðmundur Júní was junked at the tip of the isthmus. In the background, you can see the other trawler Notts County.

P1040297

This is the remains of the Guðmundur Júní ÍS-20.

The Guðmundur Júní caught fire in a nearby port on 18th May 1963. Considered useless 29th July 1963, the wreck was pulled Ísafjörður and placed at the bottom of Suðurtanga. At this time there were no environmental laws and it was cheaper to strand or sink a boat than to scrap it for metal.

Old Photos from Guðmundur Stefán Valdimarsson

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