Statement by JAMES CHAMBERS MEWSE 29 Dec 1880

I am the owner and master of the drift net boat "Unity". On 30th November last when riding my nets about 9 o'clock at night, with about a mile of nets out, about 14 miles south east of Lowestoft, an Ostend trawler, O 133, trawled into my nets about 10 or 12 yards from my vessel; she parted them and sailed through. We got our mast up and sailed round her two or three times, and saw her letter and numbers on her bows, but she had no letter or number on her mainsail; she carried away 25 nets, 25 bowls, and two warps and a piece of another. I estimate my loss at 50., I never recovered my nets, but had to come into harbour and lay up and make up the boat for the season because I had no other nets to replace those I had lost, so that in addition to my los of 50 I also lost three weeks fishing.

After the trawler had struck my nets, he pushed on, and it was the pressure of his warp upon ours that ultimately broke it.

Signed by the said James Chambers Mewse this 29th day of December 1880 in the presence of me, W H HIGGIN, QC, Commissioner.

Report in the Ipswich Journal of 1 Jan 1881

James Chambers Mewse, master of the "Unity" said (to a tribunal) thet a trawler, O 128 on 8 December last inflicted such damage upon his nets that he was obliged to make up his boat 3 weeks before the proper time. His loss in nets and fish could not be less than 50.

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