Wreck of lost Grimsby trawler found Published: 08 September, 2010
DIVERS in Northern Norway have found the wreck of the Grimsby trawler Laforey which sank 56 years ago with the loss of 20 lives.
It was one of Grimsby’s worst fishing disasters at a time when British trawlers distant waters trawling was the most dangerous job in the country.The Laforey (GY 85) , which was owned by Derwent Trawlers, sank in the early hours of the morning of February 8th 1954 after hitting a reef near the port of Floro in heavy seas and driving snow. The vessel was heading home from the Barents Sea area when she capsized with the loss of all hands.
The skipper was a man called Billy Mogg, described at the time as a highly experienced trawlerman. Most of the crew were from Grimsby, although one man, George Scott, came from Fleetwood. His body was recovered and is now buried in the town.
As with many trawler disasters there were stories of lucky escapes and it happened to one young deckhand called James Thurston who, at the 11th hour, decided not to sail on the vessel. There is now a thoroughfare in Grimsby called Laforey Road in memory of those who died and the incident is re-enacted in the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby.
It seems that the Norwegians had know that the wreck was somewhere in the area where divers found, but had been unable to pinpoint the exact position until very recently.
Many British trawlers, mostly from Grimsby, Hull, Aberdeen and Fleetwood, were lost in the years immediately after the war, either due to bad weather or stray mines.