A Royal Navy frigate and a tug were today (Sunday, May 27th) aiding the British trawler Everton -- damaged the previous day by gunfire from an Icelandic gunboat.
AERIALS Frigate and trawler Everton (3 shots)
AERIALS Trawler and tug
AIR TO AIR Nimrod aircraft
AERIAL Gunboat Aegir
"By the time the naval frigate Jupiter reached Everton, the worst was over, and enough water had been pumped from her flooded hold to lift her higher in the water. It was then clear that Everton was not going to sink. She would have done had she been alone. The Icelanders' shells had punched holes through the trawler's steel plates, some of them below the water-line, and at one stage the trawler settled low in the water. The incident brought a frenzy of activity to this patch of sea just inside the Arctic circle, with British trawlers, the tug Statesman, the frigate Jupiter, an R.A.F. Nimrod and smaller Icelandic aircraft carrying newsmen congregating around and above the scene. And for some time, the gunboat Aegir herself remained in the area. One Icelandic report said that at one stage during the shooting she'd offered the trawler assistance, which was rejected."
Initials BB/0338 TH/DW/BB/0347
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Background: A Royal Navy frigate and a tug were today (Sunday, May 27th) aiding the British trawler Everton -- damaged the previous day by gunfire from an Icelandic gunboat. Though holed below the waterline by non-explosive shells from the gunboat Aegir, the Everton was able to make repairs and is now reported to be in no danger of sinking.
Yesterday's incident marked a grave new development in the Cod War over Iceland's 50-mile fishing limit. It was the first time that live shells had been fired at a British trawler fishing inside the limit.
British Broadcasting Corporation reporter Michael Sullivan flew over the area shortly after the shelling and reported on the scene. His commentary is transcribed below. An alternative is provided overleaf:
Iceland's Prime Minister Olafur Johannesson defended the shelling and said that gunboats would take similar action if they had the chance. But in Britain, Foreign Secretary Sir Alec Douglas-Home called for new negotiations to avoid an escalation of the Cod War.