In memoriam – the men of The Gaul
Hessle Road came together once more today. This time they gathered to mark the 44th anniversary of the sinking of The Gaul.
Two floral tributes shaped like anchors were laid at the bethel board on the corner of the Boulevard after a brief service from Fr. Phil Lamb.
Mr Brian Chambers, representing the fishermen of North Shields, who had sailed with many Hull men in his career, paid tribute to the lost crew and the comrades with whom he had sailed.
The Gaul was originally called the Ranger Caistor and sailed from North Shields before she was brought to Hull.
She was built in Lowestoft.
Gaul left Hull on January 22, 1974. She perished at an unknown time between February 8-9, 1974 in the Barents Sea during an intense storm.
All thirty-six crew were lost.
The official explanation was Gaul was capsized by a succession of huge waves and sank before the crew could issue a distress call.
However, as the Gaul was modern (fewer than eighteen months old) and specifically designed to operate in harsh waters like those of the Barents Sea many were skeptical.
The fact this was a tragedy at the height of the Cold War – meant many conspiracy theories emerged.
Many folk (including members of the crew’s family) believe that the truth about the vessel has yet to be told.
Today, those families and other Hessle Roaders simply gathered to remember and pay tribute – as they have done for forty-four years – to another crew who left this great port never to return