Sea journey to reunite husband and wife in death after 27 years
4:00pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in News
A&P Falmouth, Brittany Ferries, the Royal Navy and The Mission to Seafarers, Falmouth have all teamed up to reunite a husband and wife in death, 27 years after he died at sea.
Captain Tony Lowe, A&P Falmouth’s dockmaster received the original request for assistance from Louise Allen, and set the wheels in motion.
Louise’s father, Kenneth Victor Allen, had been on the Erlenhain, a Panama-flagged general cargo ship carrying bagged fertiliser when the vessel went missing with the total loss of seven crew. The vessel had sailed from Gabes and passed Gibraltar on January 18 1986 for New Holland, and last reported the following day.
As a result of the tragedy, Louise’s mother, Joan Allen, was left to raise eight children.
Louise, who lives near Marazion, needed help to arrange to scatter her mother’s ashes and lay a wreath for her father at the last known resting place of the vessel and crew.
Captain Tony Lowe was able to plot the position of where the Erlenhain’s lifeboat and lifebuoy had been found and estimated that a Brittany Ferry en route to Santander would pass 11.5 miles to the west of 46° 55’N 004° 54’W. He contacted Penny Phillips of the Falmouth branch of the Mission to Seafarers, and between them they were able, with the help of Brittany Ferries, to arrange for Louise to undertake the poignant journey, on April 1 2013, from Plymouth to Santander, with the Captain of the Brittany Ferry’s Pont Aven liaising with Louise to identify where the ship was lost.
Lt Commander Mike Lynch, Falmouth’s Royal Naval liaison officer has arranged a biodegradable wreath to be laid on the spot where the Erlenhain went down.
Louise said: “I very much appreciate all the assistance I have received from everyone involved and look forward to reuniting my parents after all these years apart.”
Brittany Ferries said: “We were delighted to work with A&P Falmouth, the Royal Navy and The Mission to Seafarers to make this visit possible, and will do all we can to assist Louise on this very poignant crossing.”