Another Story In The Life of Endeavour - Dave Spurgeon

When Peter Wexham and I were partners in the Endeavour, one of the places that we fished for Dover Sole was in the approach to Sheerness harbour. The water there was a lot deeper than most other places and we fished about 60 to 70 feet and up to 90 feet in some places. We had been working these grounds for about two weeks.

Early one Monday morning, just as it became daylight, we shot the trawl net away and started towing towards the harbour. There is a very strong tide that runs out of the river Medway through the harbour so it takes time to tow the net any distance. About one hour later we started to haul the net in and as we started to pull the net over the side of the boat, we could see what looked like strips of metal hanging in the net. As we got the net further inboard, we could see that the metal objects were in fact rifles, first one, then two and then even more came into sight as we pulled. If I remember correctly, we had about 10 rifles and two hand guns in the cod end of the net.

Over the next two days, we had pulled in all sorts, knives, bayonets, machine guns, shotguns, a sword, army pistols and rifles – all in all about 35 pieces.

When we came ashore that afternoon, I put all the guns and knives into the boot of my car and went to Leigh Police Station thinking that they might have been stolen from a military museum or something like that.

To my surprise the Police sergeant at the desk didn’t want to know about them and suggested that I dump them back where they came from. He did take my name and ‘phone number and that was that.

The next time we went to sea, we dumped most of the haul somewhere nobody would find them, although I did keep two daggers as a memento and still have them to this day.

About two weeks later, the Police ‘phoned me and told me that the weapons had come from a weapons amnesty in London and a company had been paid to dump them in deep water in the North Sea. We were still catching the odd one a month later.

Funny the things that come up in fishing nets, but that might be another story.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your message. I'm afraid that to prevent spam, all comments are moderated but we will aim to approve it quicker than it takes to redo Endeavour's anti-fouling...