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Trawlerman saved after being entangled in nets overboard

Year 1929

Read by Dan Mallinson – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Tomlinson, John W., Master, Trawler Ben Ardna.

The vessel was fishing about 136 miles east from the Tyne on the night of Sunday, the 7th July, 1929, at 10 p.m., with a strong wind and nasty sea. The gear had just been hauled in and preparations were being made to shoot the trawl again, when a heavy sea came along; the vessel gave a quick lurch and the net went over into the sea, taking Andrew Burgon with it, and in his struggles he became entangled in the netting and was drawn under water.

Orders were at once given for the hauling of the gear, and when near the surface Burgon’s body was seen beneath the net.

Mr. Tomlinson at once plunged in fully clad, and by diving got underneath the gear and seized Burgon, and managed to get him to the surface and hold him there. A line was then thrown in; Tomlinson caught it and they were both hauled alongside and Burgon recovered after treatment.

Great risk was incurred by diving beneath the net, and then having to swim with the man till clear of the gear.

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