hartlepool history logo

Kathleen Burton - HL 30 - A Lucky Catch

Northern Daily Mail: 1st April, 1919

Salvage in a Gale - Hartlepool Trawler’s lucky “catch” - A Mysterious Craft

The Hartlepool trawler Kathleen Burton has just made a lucky catch, picking up and towing into port a large German ship, the Gernot, of Hamburg, which had apparently been abandoned in a gale.

It was on Sunday morning when about 170 miles off Hartlepool that the trawler came upon the Gernot. A gale was blowing at the time and the vessel was drifting about helplessly in the seas. Her boats were gone and there was no-one at all on board. Steps were at once taken to get a tow rope aboard her. This proved a difficult and dangerous business and in the course of it the trawler’s small boat was capsized, whilst further trouble was caused by the tow rope parting. However, the prize was finally secured and she was towed into Hartlepool this afternoon.

The Gernot, which is built of iron, is a sailing ship about 250 feet in length. Only her foremast is standing and her boom has also been cut away. Houses have been built on deck and these and her holds are fitted with beds, everything indicating that she had been used as a hospital ship attached to some German depot. It is believed that originally she was a Sunderland vessel.


Northern Daily Mail: 5th April, 1919

Hartlepool Trawler’s Prize - History of the Derelict - Story of a Brilliant Rescue

New facts have come to light, writes a London “Daily Chronicle” representative, concerning the German mystery ship found derelict in the North Sea. These go to show that the vessel, formerly used by the Germans to “house” strike-breakers at Hamburg, was utilised during the war to accommodate British civilian prisoners prior to their being sent to Ruhleben.

While being towed in the North Sea the vessel – the Gernot of Hamburg – encountered such heavy weather that the cable parted. By a brilliant piece of seamanship an Admiralty vessel succeeded in rescuing all but five of the German crew on board, and the survivors were so impressed by the handling of the Government vessel that they conveyed to the commander their high appreciation of his fine feat.

The Gernot was subsequently picked up by the trawler Kathleen Burton and brought to Hartlepool.

Related items :