Memories of the 1953 floods: 'A crewman came to us covered in blood and said we were going down'
Your memories of the 1953 floods are a fascinating insight into what it was like to be at the heart of one of the East Coast’s most devastating natural disasters. Dan Russell reports.
FORMER trawlerman Mick Wright was on board the steam trawler Liberia in the North Sea at the very moment the floods hit.
At the time, the 75-year-old was a deckie learner who had only been out to sea twice before.
Mick, of Warwick Road, Cleethorpes, said: "In 1953, I was 15 and I had finished six weeks of training at the nautical school.
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"I had got a job on a steam trawler called the Liberia.
"I had only been out on the boat twice before and only then on short ten-day trips into the North Sea.
"It was my role to haul the catch, gut the fish and repair the nets.
"On my third trip out, everything seemed normal but during the night of January 30, 1953, it all changed.
"We were all in bed until a crewman came down to us covered in blood and said we were going down.
"The top of the bridge of the ship had been hit by a wave and was carried away.
"I wasn't involved in the floods of 1953 – I was in the actual storm that caused them.
"I was the youngest of 12 on board and I was sent down to the engine room to help pump the water out.
"The storm also damaged the lifeboat so we couldn't use that to get off the trawler.
"The skipper, Jack Harness, managed to get us to safety by finding a light ship and following others in the area back into the Humber.
"The ship was taking in a lot of water but the pumps were working even though waves kept pouring in.
"It really was the perfect storm but unlike in the film we all got back safely.
"I was not scared at the time because I don't think I realised the severity of the situation.
"We are lucky to have all made it back because others didn't.
"A Grimsby trawler called the Sheldon was unlucky and all 14 men on board sadly died.
"I went back to sea after the storm and never saw anything like that again.
"It is so important to remember what happened.
"If any of the crew of the Liberia are still alive I would really like to get in touch."
If you sailed on the Liberia in 1953, call Telegraph reporter Dan Russell on 01472 372236 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. We also want to hear your flood memories.
View a picture gallery of the 1953 floods online now at www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk