Great Yarmouth History

Yarmouth's Sandy Grave

To discover the fate of a Belgian trawler named Yarmouth we will have to go back in time to 1950, the 5th of December to be precise. The location was Scroby Sand in view of the ship's namesake, Great Yarmouth. The trawler managed to ride up the sandbank and become high and "not so" dry as the ship was pounded by the waves.

The Gorleston lifeboat Louise Stephens attended the Yarmouth to what was thought to be 'just another rescue'. After several attempts, with the assistance of the tug Richard Lee Barber, the crew of the Yarmouth were rescued. The rescue was effected during the night in a snow squall. The sea was breaking over the Yarmouth as the crew had to jump for their lives on to the Louise Stephens. Bert Beavers, the coxswain of the Louise Stephens described the rescue as 'tricky' - understatement or what? The crew were now safe but what about the trawler itself.

All efforts to move the trawler failed. She was stuck fast. The ship was returning from a successful fishing trip in Icelandic waters and had 37.5 tons of fish on board, which may have been reason she could not be moved. This haul was removed during a lull in the weather but still the Yarmouth refused to budge. Over the next six months there were a number of attempts to move her but all failed. Although the Yarmouth was sitting upright on Scroby Sand and looked undamaged this was far from the truth. This made her a rich prize as she could be claimed for salvage.

Finally the inevitable was accepted and attempts to haul her from the sand finally stopped. She must have been a tantalising sight to the salvage men of Great Yarmouth. This was to end during the great storm of 1953 when the Yarmouth sank into the shifting sands and only the top of the cabin was left visible. The Yarmouth is now gone, but forever who can say, she may one day rise from her sandy tomb!!!