Thursday, December 09, 2004

Lady Jane - her history as I know it today

Lady Jane was launched in Ostend, Belgium on 27 April 1963. Since she has been around for forty odd years she, like her owner, has had an interesting and diverse life.

Many thanks to Urbain Ureel for the pictures and additional information on Lady Jane.

Lady Jane was originally known as Z.431 Judith, after St Jude - a statue of whom remains on board to this day, and was built to fish in the difficult conditions of the North sea.

Judith's launching at Chantier et Armement Seghers Slipway in Ostend was attended by several officials. The Mayor of Brugge at the time, Mr.Van Damme, should have acted as 'godparent', but was ill and was replaced by Mrs.Vanderhaeghe who cut the ribbon. Judith apparently worked as one of a 'triple pair' of trawlers based in Zebugge.

Her first owners were H.Cattoor of Zeebrugge. In 1988 her owners were Vantorre J.P.-Brouckaert from Knokke-Heist. On 6 April 1988 they changed the owner's name into NV.Mattanja. On 29 SEP 1988 she was sold to Bvba Alfrijhofra and renamed O.431 JUDITH (Ostend). On 3 February 1993 she was sold to Bvba Caroline.

On 7 September 1994 the Humber coastguard sent a lifeboat out to Judith in response to a 'tricky situation' at posn.53.41.7N/01.31.5E about 50 miles east of Spurn Head. Her nets had fouled and she was at risk of capsizing. She managed to free herself without incident.

Once Judith had finished her fishing career, she was used as a stand off for the oil rigs, she was then left unused in Ireland for a few years. While in Ireland she had various items 'removed', including her portholes.

Judith was bought some four years ago, for use as a survey vessel, and was brought to England. At that stage she was re-named Lady Jane. She was sold and left unused for a few years before being bought by her previous owners, Joe and Charlotte Mearns.

Joe and Charlotte began the work of converting her from a fishing vessel to a live aboard. When Lady Jane was lifted out of the water she weighed in at 182 tonnes. After removal of the fishing gear and stripping out the fish hold etc. she weighed just 155 tonnes.

Note that there are differences between the information from the previous owners and that sent to me by Urbain Ureel, so I have made a 'best fit' with the combined set.

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