Written By Martin Lambert
First Published

Indipup - her Life and Times (so far…)

The trawler St Gerontious
Can you spot our Indipup, the St Gerontius Lifeboat,
in this painting by R Moss? Click to enlarge.

Our lifeboat was originally named St Gerontius after her mother ship, the St Gerontius H350, which was a deep sea sidewinder trawler, fishing for Cod off Iceland between 1961 and 1980. During this period she saw action in the 3rd Cod War of 1975/76.

In 1972, Iceland had unilaterally declared an Exclusive Economic Zone extending beyond its territorial waters, announcing plans to reduce over-fishing and to protect their fish stocks. It policed its quota system with the I elandic Coast Guard which led to a series of net-cutting incidences with British trawlers fishing in that area. As a result, a fleet of British Royal Naval Frigates along with tug-boats were deployed to act as a deterrent against any future harassment of British fishing crews by the Icelandic craft.

The trawler St Gerontious stems Odin
Photos of the dramatic events in the North Sea.
Click to see more.

In all, twenty two Royal Naval Frigates, of which only nine were deployed at any one time, protected the British Fishing Fleet in the then illegal 200 mile fishing limit from the Icelandic coast. The British Fishing Fleet consisted of approximately 40 plus trawlers from the ports of Hull, Grimsby, and Fleetwood. Iceland deployed only two Polish built ships plus six Icelandic Coast Guard Ships.

No shots were actually fired but ramming occurred and became frequent and serious. St Gerontius actually rammed the Icelandic Coast Guard Vessel Odin causing serious damage in her stern starboard quarter, as you can see by the three action shots to the right. Whilst all this was going on our little life boat was quietly sitting on the stern of her mother ship, St. Gerontius.

Industry H443
Industry H443. Click to see more Flamborough boats.

In the early 1980s the St. Gerontius life boat was bought by the Emmerson Fishing Families of Flamborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire; there she was used for driftnet salmon fishing and was renamed Indipup. The reason behind the change of name was that the trawler the Emmerson Families owned at the time was called Industry H443 (pictured right), hence the name Indipup (Industry's Pup).

Her last days at Flamborough's North Landing were as the ferryboat taking passengers from the shore to the fishing cobles named Prosperity, Summer Rose and Spring Flower.

These vessels take bird watching, fishing and geological trips around the small bays and caves on the Flamborough Head peninsular during the summer months and are still going on to this day. A great day out if ever you find yourself there.

Indipup at Burton Stather
Indipup at Burton Stather. Click for more pictures.

I (Martin Lambert) acquired the vessel in 1992 and used her off Barton Haven, South Ferriby, and now I use her as the Safety/Workboat for the Burton Stather Heritage Group. Indipup is a favourite of BSHG and after catching the eye of Humberside Fire and Rescue's Watch Manager John Armson when he attended our Tank Ramp Open Day in Summer 2011 at Burton upon Stather, she and BSHG were invited to attend Rescue Day at 7 Lakes, Crowle.

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© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group

© Background Photograph by Sam Ablott.