BREXIT: French fisherman’s threat to HANG British naval officer exposed
BREXIT means the UK has an opportunity to take back control of its fishing waters - but maritime disputes have got so heated in the past that one French fisherman threatened to hang a naval officer of the United Kingdom!
In the past, there have been numerous disputes over fishing between the UK and its neighbours, especially during the Cod Wars of the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies.
As things hotted up between the UK, Iceland and other countries, the Royal Navy was forced to send warships to protect its fishing boats.
After one incident in the early Eighties, when a naval officer found evidence of illegal activity on a French boat, things escalated at an alarming rate.
Documents unearthed at the National Archives reveal that Lieutenant Simon Hambrook, from Balderton, boarded a French trawler in the North Sea in July 1981.
He found evidence to suggest the trawler had been using illegal nets and HMS Alderney was ordered to escort the vessel to Grimsby.
However, the three Frenchmen on board – trawlerman France Barbary, his shipmate Pierre Boulet and skipper Jean Blanpain of Equihen near Bologne – were furious.
After the boat was towed, Barbary assaulted the officer, and threatened to hang him, a court heard.
Both Barbary and Boulet also assaulted Sub-Lieutenant Christopher Taylor.
An article from the Advertiser on July 17, 1981, read: “A French trawlerman threatened to hang a Newark naval officer from the yard-arm when his vessel was taken in tow by a Royal Naval fisheries protection vehicle.
“And the Frenchman, France Barbary, assaulted Lieutenant Simon Hmabrook, 28, who had led the boarding part from HMS Alderney, Grimsby Magistrates were told last week.”
The skipper, Blanpain, apparently tried to make a dash for it, but later gave up his ship after a collision with HMS Alderney.