Local Skipper sees Icelandic Eruption

Provided by Les Howard

Some trawlers at Iceland, when the underwater volcanic eruption starved of the Westmann Islands a fortnight ago, thought that a vessel had struck a mine. There was a loud explosion and a cloud of smoke covered the area.

Skipper Alex Middleton, of Fleetwood, who commanded the trawler Wyre Majestic, told of the 600 ft mushroom cloud similar to pictures of atomic explosions. Later they received orders to keep away from the area. Skipper Bob Rawcliffe of the Boston Monarch said the warnings about the eruption were put out by the Icelandic Government and the Naval gunboats on the radio. At the time they were fishing off the west coast of Iceland and saw nothing of the eruption but a large black smudge on their radar screens when they passed the area three days later on their way home.