The Italian Sunday magazine Domenica del Corriere (The Sunday Courier) had an interesting story from Tórshavn on a British trawler that jumped the pier.

Domencia del Corriera  ran from 1899 to 1989. In the fifties, it was the largest weekly magazine in Italy with when it was largest circulated  1,3 mil. copies. This number declined in the seventies when the competition with other magazines increased.

The story below is from 1964, e.g. when Domenica del Corriere still was in the lead. In addition, the story was presented on the back page, so plenty of people are likely to have seen it.

The story is as follows:

An unprecedented port entry was made by the trawler “Hull City” at Tórshavn in the Faroes. The boat was manoeuvring to enter the harbour when a long wave lifted it by weight, hurling it over the pier next to the other ships already moored. The incredible thing is that the “Hull City” suffered only minor damage. (Drawing by W. Molino)

Walter Molino, 1915-1997, was a famous Italian illustrator, cartoonist and painter.

The available documentation

This story has limited documentation, but some short notices have been written. On the homepage “Ships Nostalgia”, they mentioned the story when writing on “Hull City”, although now it was not in the harbour of Tórshavn, but rather in the straight between Eysturoy and Streymoy, and it was not jumping the peer, but the reef:

In January 1964 there were reports from the Faeroe Islands that the HULL CITY had “jumped” a reef in the dangerous straight between Oesteroe & Stroemoe Islands. It was later revealed that she had remained water tight despite hitting the reef hard, and was making her way home to Grimsby with 1600 kits of fish onboard.[1]

The Faroese paper “Dimmalætting” also wrote a small note on the incident, confirming that it was not in the Harbour of Tórshavn and that what happened was that the boat touched the bottom at the shallow water in the Northern part of the straight between Eysturoy and Streymoy, and hence didn’t jump at all:

Grimsby-trawler stranded north in the “Straights” On Monday at noon, a large Grimsby-trawler, “Hull City”, came for full speed south through the “Straights” and stranded in the shallow water north in the “Straights” – and continued through the shallow water due to the high speed it had. This was at high tide. When free from the bottom, the trawler sailed northwards again and moored north of Langasand, where they checked whether it was leaking. Apparently, it didn’t, and the skipper decided to stick to sea again and continue the journey directly to Grimsby.

“Hull City” (711 brutto tonnes, built in 1953) came from fishing in Icelandic waters and had 1700 kits. It is one of the larger long-distance trawlers of the company Consolidated Fisheries Ltd. in Grimsby.[2]

Regarding the amount of catch, the Faroese report 1700 kits, while the English report 1600 kits. One kit corresponds to 140 pounds.

Conclusion: It all started with a trawler sailing full speed through shallow waters and touching the bottom. In England, the story went to jumping a reef. In contrast, the story became breaking news in Italy with the trawler jumping the pier and luckily avoiding colliding with working people and other boats moored.

The Italian story might be more dramatic than what happened in reality. However, the impressive drawing by Walter Molino and the lively description in the Italian paper is worth some exaggeration to illustrate the drama that probably has been for a brief moment.

[2] Dimmalætting, 22. January 1964, p. 4 (under local news)