Cook Welton & Gemmell
Off Number
Length Ft
Tons Gross
Yard Number
Breadth Ft
Tons Net
20 03 1937
120 HP
01 05 1937
Engine Builder
C D Holmes
12 K
Registered   Owners 01 05 1937 Jutland Amalgamated Trawlers Ltd Hull
Fate : 08 Mar 1939 Sank in Humber overturned after grounding on sandbank in River Humber waiting to enter St Andrews Dock during gale



In circumstances very similar to the loss of the Hull trawler Edgar Wallace H262 only four years previously, would be almost repeated as the Hull trawler Lady Jeanette H466 would turn over with the loss of nine lives as she attempted to anchor, to await entry into St Andrews Dock. After leaving Hull on the 27 Feb for the Norwegian fishing grounds,the Lady Jeanette arrived back in the Humber just after 1.50pm on Mar the 8th after a successful 15 day fishing trip having approx 1,500 kits of fish aboard. As she made her way to St Andrews Dock around 4pm there were several other vessels already anchored in the river, awaiting high tide at around 8.15 pm to enter into the dock, the Lord Hotham been the furthest up river around Strickland St Bridge. There was a very strong 4 knot tide running and after passing the Lord Hotham the Lady Jeanette let her anchor go to which the cable ran out at too fast a speed, and comming towards the end of the cables length, the cable came taught and parted. After the cable parted the vessel moved up the river towards Hessle in the tide and shallower water, where she swung round and quickly took to the ground, working her engines forward and astern she tried to get off the sandbank, but drove herself further on untill she turned over on her beam ends, very close to the same place as the trawler Edgar Wallace met a similar fate. On the previous night the The Hull trawler Brontes had become fast on the same sandbank but had managed to get herself off.

With the sounding of the trawlers whistle and witnesses on shore, vessels immediately went to the assistance of the Lady Jeanette, the first arrival was a tug from Goole (Triune ) followed by a power barge the Cite de Paris which had come across from the Lincolnshire side of the river. They found men on the bow and others desperately clinging to the starboard side of the vessel. At great risk the rescue vessels went close in to the vessel which had sunk into the mud up to its foremast, to get the men off. The ferry Winfield Castle Capt E Coombe also altered her coarse to render assistance but with the Cite De Paris close to the trawler, could not do so without putting it`s own passengers in jeopardy, so made her way to the New Holland pier. The gathering crowds which lined the riverside quay could see the fore part of the stranded vessel showing above the surface as the events unfolded. Vessels searched the river for anyone who had been taken by the tide, after two hours news of the men had started to reach the shore, female relatives of the crewmen were in tears, as it was unclear if there were survivors that had been picked up by the ferry or other vessels and landed in New Holland. Arthur Cargill and one of the owners went to the vessel in a tug but there was no more signs of life, it was dark when the Cite de Paris ( 8 survivors taken from the vessel including the skipper ) and the Triune ( 1 survivor C Neilson taken from the water ) would return to the dock entrance with the survivors. The men were taken to the Insurance building for a roll call, where one female relative made her way to the room "Where`s our Stan?" she asked. Officials could not answer as Stan Harvey was one of the missing men.

Skipper Gilbert Parkinson married with a 3yr old son comes from an old Hull fishing family, deemed as one of Hulls finest younger skippers he had held his skippers certificate for the past four years. There also been five skippers in the family his younger brother been the most recent to receive his certifiacte. He told the Mail that so quickly after the cable parted did the disaster take place, that the crew had no time to realise what had happened. Even he had but a short space of time to prepare himself for the heeling over of the vessel, and what time he did have he spent in warning the crew to launch the boat and save themselves.  Some of the survivors who had also had no warning of the impending fate of the vessel, spoke of  the crew playing cards below deck minutes before the disaster, they had had a good trip and were looking forward to getting ashore. The Mate E Fell who had been going to sea for 16 years was with the skipper in the wheelhouse when the vessel capsized " I felt her begin to go, and scrambled up the tiled floor of the bridge towards the door. Just as I reached it the door slammed, but I managed to force my way out and climb over on to the side of the ship." The skipper climbed out of one of the bridge windows. Most of the crew had come on deck when we had touched the bank, and as she turned over some of them jumped for it into the water. There was no hope for them. The tide was too strong and swept them all away except Neilsen, who`s been very fortunate. "I don`t remember very clearly what happened after she turned over. There were other men scrambling on to the ship`s side, and I shouted to them:`stay where you are! She won`t go any further!` Those who satyed were saved, being taken off by a tug with a red funnel.  As the trawler touched the chief engineer Gerald Doncaster told the Trimmer A Middleton to go on deck and see if the trawler had freed herself, this was the last order he gave and saved Middletons life, as just as he reached the deck, the trawler heeled over trapping them left in the engine room. J Rial third hand was in the galley with the cook Norman Ward when the trawler began to turn over he followed the cook out who was first on to the deck but was lost, Riall clammbered onto the ships side by climbing through the rigging on the way finding the bosun D Maguire held fast having his oilskins caught in the small boat, which Rial cut with his gutting knife, freeing him.  Bill Greening the deckie learner on only his second trip lost everything but arrived home safely without even getting wet. Charles Hayward was with Bosun Maguire trying to get the boat out after hearing the skipper yell, when the vessel turned trapping both men, they managed to get free and Hayward ended up on the ship`s side. Up to his neck in water he threw his lifebelt to his pal Jack Foster. After hanging on for an hour Hayward was rescued by the Cite de Paris it then made it`s way towards Foster hanging onto the lifebelt, but just as they were going to pull him aboard he let go and sank. Charles was bitter about been wrecked so close to home and devastated that his pal had died so close to rescue. Jack Foster wanted to go to sea with his pals and had not come from a fishing family. E H Newton the Second Engineer trapped in the engine room was making his first trip aboard the trawler after been on big boats. He was the holder of the Royal Humane Society vellum award for rescuing a ship mate who had been washed overboard in the North Sea. Bosun D Maguire said " Most of us were on the boat deck at the time, launching the ship`s boat. She threw the sparehands off the boat deck, and they hadn`t a chance. I was trapped under the small boat untill Riall came along and cut me adrift. We had the boat launched but it was still in the davits at the time, and the trawler simply heeled over onto that side." Deckhand C Neilson had been with the trawler for two years "It seemed as if I had been in the water an hour before I was picked up," I picked up a lifebelt which was thrown to me and was practically numbed when taken aboard ship. I lost all my gear and came home in trousers lent to me on dock." After been in the water he was washed towards hessle when the tug picked him up. On June 29th the body of Thomas Smith was washed up at Paul.

For over a month a German Salvage company worked day and night attempting to salvage the Lady Jeanette but after two attempts to lift her all further attempts were abandoned as the salvage company moved onto the salvage of the St Delphine which had sunk in a collision the day after the loss of the Lady Jeanette.


Birth Pl
Date/ Scource
. . . . . . . .
DONCASTER GERALD 46 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Chief Engineer 08 Mar 1939 .Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen
. . . Park St Hull . . . Previously sailed in the Lady Adelaide third trip on Lady Jeanette
. . . . . . . .
08 Mar 1939
Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen - Brother landed the same morning on the trawler Italia Caesar- only 19 a week ago
. . . St Georges Rd . . . .
. . . . . . . .
FOSTER JAMES E 18 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Trimmer 08 Mar 1939 .Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen
. . . 53 East Grove . . . .
. . . . . . . .
08 Mar 1939
Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen - Third trip on vessel - Brother on Lady Beryl - been at sea since 15 - Lost brother on St Attalus four years previously
. . . Colenso Ave Holland St Hull . . . Lodging with Aunt and Uncle - Married two years but not living with wife
. . . . . . . .
Second Engineer
08 Mar 1939
Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen
. . .
Eastbourne St Hull
. . . .
. . . . . . . .
SMITH THOMAS 27 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Sparehand 08 Mar 1939 Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen - 3rd trip aboard vessel Father at sea for 35 years
. . . 89 Walker St Hull . . . 29 June Body was washed up at Paul
. . . . . . . .
08 Mar 1939
Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen
. . . Dingley Close Cranbrook Ave . . . .
. . . . . . . .
08 Mar 1939
.Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen
. . . 7 Bonfield Tc Walcott St .   . .
. . . . . . . .
WEBB ROBERT 22 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Sparehand 08 Mar 1939 Lost when vessel sank in Humber with 8 other crewmen - Brother at the time was a Deckie Learner on the Norse - Another brother was lost two years previously from his ship
. . . 52 Dorset St Hull . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
PARKINSON GILBERT 30 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Skipper 08 Mar 1939 934 Hessle Rd - Survivor of sinking
FELL E . LADY JEANETTE H466 . Mate 08 Mar 1939 Alliance Ave Hull - Survivor of sinking
MAGUIRE D . LADY JEANETTE H466 . Bosun 08 Mar 1939 Melsrose St Hull - Survivor of sinking
MIDDLETON A . LADY JEANETTE H466 . Trimmer 08 Mar 1939 Cranbrooke Ave Hull - Survivor of sinking  Walters Tce Brighton St
RIALL J 24 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Third Hand 08 Mar 1939 Hawthorn Ave Hull - Survivor of sinking
NIELSON C 22 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Deckhand 08 Mar 1939 Hessle Rd, Hull ( NEILSEN) - Fahter was 40 years at sea now ashore. Two brothers at sea
GREENING WILLIAM E 18 LADY JEANETTE H466 . . 08 Mar 1939 Havelock St, Hull ( Bill )
HAYWARD CHARLES 18 LADY JEANETTE H466 . Deckhand 08 Mar 1939 18 East Grove, Hull - Father a skipper one brother a skipper and another brother a sparehand
FULTON S . LADY JEANETTE H466 . Wireless Operator 08 Mar 1939 Batchelor St, Hull
. . . . . . . .
GREEN FRANK . LADY JEANETTE H466 . Chief Engineer . Frank had taken the fatefull trip off and did not sail on the Lady Jeanette, his replacement for the trip perished in the sinking. Frank later became the Chief Engineer aboard the Lorella but again changed vessel before her loss the following trip.
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . .






In the matter of a Formal Investigation held at the Guildhall, Hull, on the 11th, 12th and 13th days of May, 1939, before Kenneth Carpmael, Esq., K.C., assisted by Commodore B. Shillitoe, Captain G. L. Stout and W. Addy, Esq., D.S.C., into the circumstances attending the loss of the steam trawler "Lady Jeanette."

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons stated in the Annex hereto, that the "Lady Jeanette" was lost by reason of the fault of the skipper, Gilbert Parkinson, and suspends his certificate for a period of twelve months from this date and recommends that he be granted a second hand's certificate at the expiration of six months.

Dated this 13th day of May, 1939.



We concur in the above Report.

G. L. STOUT, Assessors.

Annex to the Report.

This Inquiry was held on the 11th, 12th and 13th May, 1939, at the Guildhall, Hull. Mr. H. L. Holman (instructed by the Solicitor to the Board of Trade) appeared on behalf of the Board of Trade; Dr. T. C. Jackson, of Messrs. Andrew M. Jackson & Co., appeared on behalf of the owners and underwriters of the "Lady Jeanette"; Mr. H. M. Loncaster, of Messrs. Dawson Loncaster & Co., appeared on behalf of the skipper of the "Lady Jeanette"; Mr. B. Pearlman, of Messrs. Pearlman & Rosen, appeared on behalf of the dependants of Stanley Harvey, spare hand of the "Lady Jeanette"; and Dr. A. E. Jackson, of Messrs. Andrew M. Jackson & Co., held a watching brief on behalf of the Humber Conservancy Board.

The "Lady Jeanette" was a large steel single screw steam trawler of the Iceland type, built in 1937, of 471.85 tons gross, 163 feet 6 inches in length and 27 feet 2 inches in beam and fitted with triple expansion engines of 120 H.P. nominal. She carried two stockless and one iron stock anchors but she had only one hawsepipe where one of the stockless anchors (which were each of the weight of a little over 9 cwt.) was carried permanently with 135 fathoms of 1 3/16-inch stud link cable. Anchors and cable were supplied new when the vessel was built and the cable was surveyed and passed in May, 1938, when the cable was ranged on deck and the shackle pins were withdrawn.

At the time of her loss the "Lady Jeanette" was returning from a fishing voyage laden with a catch of about 1,400 or 1,500 kitts of fish and was drawing about 17 feet aft and 10 feet forward.

The "Lady Jeanette" arrived at the Spurn Light Vessel on the conclusion of her fishing voyage at about 1.50 p.m. on the 8th March, 1939. The tide at the time was slack, the wind, W.N.W. veering to N.W., a strong breeze, there were rain squalls and the visibility was poor at times with visibility then of about one mile.

The "Lady Jeanette" proceeded up the Humber at her full speed of about 11¾ knots on the early flood tide and arrived at a position between the Lower and Upper West Middle buoys shortly before 4. p.m., which was about 4¼ hours before high water. At about the position indicated the speed of the vessel was reduced. According to the evidence of the skipper the telegraph at this time was rung to "Stand by" which would have indicated to the engineers that the engines were to be worked at dead slow ahead giving a speed of one knot. The Court was satisfied that the speed of the engines was reduced but did not accept the skipper's evidence that the engines were reduced to dead slow. The engines were probably reduced to slow ahead giving a speed of about 4 knots. The tides were spring, the particular tide being a very high one and the rate of the tide at the time was at least 3½ knots and increasing.

Above the position indicated when the reduction of speed took place, there were several vessels at anchor off the Riverside Quay. The Court was satisfied that none of these vessels was in any way an obstruction or difficulty in the way of the "Lady Jeanette," which was bound for the St. Andrew's Dock a little over a mile further up the river.

The approach to the St. Andrew's Dock is by way of the main channel to the port of Hull on the north side of the river which extends as far as the entrance to the St. Andrew's Dock.

At the Upper West Middle buoy the width of the channel between the buoy and the quays and piers on the north side is about 1,200 feet, but towards the end of the channel the width narrows to about 700 feet. There are no buoys or other marks indicating the channel further west or up-river than the Upper West Middle buoy. The depths grow progressively shallower and along the north quay wall towards the St. Andrew's Dock entrance there is a bank extending at varying depths to a maximum extent of about one cable out from the wall. The bank extends from about the west end of the Riverside Quay to just above the St. Andrew's Dock entrance. On the south side of the channel and at its west end there is shoal water.

In consequence of the nature of the channel and following various casualties, the Hull Steam Trawlers' Mutual Insurance and Protecting Company, Limited, issued two circulars to skippers of trawlers, the first on 26th January, 1935, and the second on 13th August, 1937. That of the 26th January, 1935, indicated amongst other things that trawlers arriving early on a flood tide, particularly during springs, should turn to stem the tide before coming abreast of St. Andrew's Dock entrance. Further casualties having occurred, the circular of 13th August, 1937, was issued in which there was a warning of the danger of proceeding too far to the westward and cautioning skippers that large trawlers should not proceed to the westward of the Clock Tower on the Riverside Quay (which is about seven cables below the dock entrance) earlier than three hours before high water.

In view of the terms of the circular of 13th August, 1937, the Court is of the opinion that it would be unnecessary for the channel to be further marked. The part of the channel recommended on the early flood is adequately marked with plenty of water, and the presence of a buoy off, for example, the dock entrance would hamper the manoeuvring of trawlers on the later flood.

The Court is satisfied that the skipper of the "Lady Jeanette" was well aware of the notice of 13th August, 1937, but in spite of that fact he elected to proceed to the westward of the Clock Tower with the intention of anchoring off Strickland Street bridge some 3½ cables further up.

As stated above, there were vessels at anchor off the Riverside Quay, the uppermost being about off the Clock Tower. Between the Clock Tower and Strickland Street bridge there were some trawlers at anchor, the uppermost one, the "Lord Hotham," being about off Strickland Street Bridge or a little below. There was apparently room for the "Lady Jeanette" to have come to anchor below the trawlers and above the vessels off Riverside Quay.

After passing the "Lord Hotham" the engines of the "Lady Jeanette" were rung to stop. According to the evidence of the skipper the wheel was put hard to starboard and the engines were put full speed astern as the result of which the vessel's head turned to about N.N.W. when the anchor was dropped, at which time there was no way through the water. The evidence, however, of the mate and boatswain was that the anchor was dropped when the vessel was about stern on tide. The Court is satisfied that the evidence of the mate and boatswain was preferable to that of the skipper and has come to the conclusion that the anchor was let go while the vessel was stern on tide and while she had way through the water. As a result of this the cable ran out too fast and eventually ran out to the end and parted. In the course of doing so the vessel's head probably went off a couple of points to starboard.

The Court was satisfied that both the cable and the windlass were in good condition.

After the cable parted the vessel's head swung up-river and she was taken by the wind and tide into the shoal water to the southward and westward and first touched the ground a few minutes after the cable parted. The Court rejects the theory put forward by the skipper that the cause of the parting was the heel of the vessel touching the ground on the south side. The Court, however, points out that even if this theory were correct it would be impossible to exonerate the skipper for getting so far to the southward and that he would have been seriously to blame for so doing.

After taking the ground on the first occasion the engines were worked ahead and astern but the vessel drove further on and eventually turned on her side as a result of which nine of the crew were drowned.

The Court is clearly of opinion that the skipper was seriously to blame first of all for going too far up and secondly for the method he employed to bring his vessel to anchor. As there was room for him to do, he ought to have swung his vessel head to tide before letting go his anchor, and it was wrong to let go his anchor when stern to tide and with way through the water.

Having fully considered all the circumstances the Court suspends the certificate of the skipper, Gilbert Parkinson, for a period of 12 months from this date, and recommends that he be granted a second hand's certificate at the expiration of six months.

The Court's Answers to the Questions submitted by the Board of Trade are as follows:?

Q. 1. By whom was the s.t. "Lady Jeanette" owned at the time of the casualty?

A. Jutland Amalgamated Trawlers, Limited, of Hull.

Q. 2. When and at what time did the vessel pass Spurn Light Vessel on her return voyage from the Norwegian coast fishing ground to Hull in March, 1939?

A. About 1.50 p.m. on the 8th March, 1939.

Q. 3. What was the state of (a) the weather; (b) the visibility; (c) the wind; (d) the tide when the vessel was proceeding up the River Humber?

A. (a) Rain squalls; (b) variable, poor at times; (c) W.N.W. to N.W., a strong breeze; (d) slack at Spurn Light Vessel. First quarter flood when off Hull.

Q. 4. At what speed did the vessel proceed up the river?

A. Full speed 11¾ knots until between the Lower and Upper West Middle buoys.

Q. 5. Was the vessel's anchor let go? If so (a) what was her position at this time; (b) how was she heading; and (c) what engine movements were ordered and carried out?

A. The vessel's anchor was let go. Her position at the time was between Strickland Street Bridge and the entrance to the St. Andrew's Dock. Her heading at that time was about up-river. The speed was reduced to about slow ahead between the Lower and Upper West Middle buoys. The engines were probably stopped at some time after passing the Clock Tower and were put astern at about the time the anchor was dropped.

Q. 6. If the anchor was let go, did it hold the vessel? If not, why not?

A. The anchor did not hold the vessel because it was let go when the speed of the vessel plus the tide prevented the cable being checked by the brake and thereafter the cable parted.

Q. 7. Was any, and if so what, further action taken to bring the vessel to rest in safety?

A. The engines were worked ahead and astern.

Q. 8. Was the vessel navigated with proper and seamanlike care?

A. No.

Q. 9. When and where did the vessel strand?

A. The vessel probably first touched the ground on the south side of the channel about abreast of the entrance to the St. Andrew's Dock. Thereafter she drifted further to the westward and finally grounded and turned on her side to the southward and eastward of the dock wall end light.

Q. 10. Does any, and if so what, authority attend to measures for the protection of navigation in the River Humber?

A. The Humber Conservancy Board is the Authority for the protection of navigation in the River Humber.

Q. 11. Were there any obstructions in the River at or near the position in which the "Lady Jeanette" stranded, and if so in what way, if any, were they brought to the notice of those navigating the River?

A. There was shoal water on the south side and on the west side of the channel leading to the St. Andrew's Dock to which the "Lady Jeanette" was bound. This shoal water was clearly defined on charts issued by the Humber Conservancy Board which were issued to those navigating the river including those on board the "Lady Jeanette." There was no evidence of any other obstructions at or near the position in which the "Lady Jeanette " stranded.

Q. 12. Was the portion of the river in the vicinity of the position in which the "Lady Jeanette" stranded properly and adequately marked?

A. Yes.

Q. 13. Had any dredging operations been carried out in the river in the vicinity of the position in which the "Lady Jeanette" stranded, and if not why not?

A. No, because dredging there was unnecessary and useless.

Q. 14. What was the cause of the stranding of the "Lady Jeanette"?

A. The cause of the stranding of the "Lady Jeanette" was the parting of her anchor cable and thereafter the vessel getting out of control.

Q. 15. How many members of the crew lost their lives as the result of the casualty?

A. Nine.

Q. 16. Was the stranding and subsequent loss of life caused or contributed to by the wrongful act or default of her skipper, Gilbert Parkinson?

A. The stranding of the "Lady Jeanette" and the subsequent loss of life were caused or contributed to by the wrongful act or default of her skipper, Gilbert Parkinson.



We concur in the above.