The fishing profession remains one of the most dangerous today – and a poignant reminder came yesterday, on the anniversary of a wreck in west Cornwall that cost the lives of four fishermen.

It was at 7.40am on January 11, 1937, that police reported a wreck under Tregiffian Cliffs, near Tater Du Point between Mousehole and Porthcurno. There was a strong south south-westerly breeze blowing, with heavy sea and thick foggy weather.

The Penlee lifeboat W&S launched from Penlee Point at 8am, steamed down the western shore and found the motor trawler 'Vièrge Marie,' of Ostend in Belgium, ashore and being pounded heavily by the rough seas.

The lifeboat crew discovered three men in the water and hauled them onboard, with each given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Sadly only one of the men could be revived and he died later after arriving back in Newlyn.

Falmouth Packet:

The Belgian crew of the Vièrge Marie. Photo: Penlee Lifeboat

The trawler had been heading for Newlyn from the fishing grounds with a crew of six. With no sign of the remaining crew being found, the lifeboat returned to port, passed over the bodies of the three fishermen to authorities, and returned to station at 9.30am.

It transpired that of the other three crew, two managed to scramble ashore - skipper Emil Lus and a deckhand, who were saved by a rocket apparatus crew when they were trying to climb the cliffs. The remaining crew member sadly drowned.

Remembering the tragedy this week, a spokesperson for Penlee lifeboat said: “The skipper later said that the trawler had developed engine problems off Land's End and they could not avoid going ashore - a very tragic and sad story for all involved.”