A message was flashed on to the screen at a Sunderland cinema asking Radio Officer Peter McCreech to report for duty aboard one of the tugs.
A taxi waited outside the cinema for half-an-hour, but Mr. McCreech was not located before the 260-ton Joffre sailed. She carried neither radio operator nor doctor.
The trawler is believed to the Ermoa, of North Shields, which was bound for South Shields with a fair catch of fish.
Early today there was no news of tugs having got into touch with the trawler. First news of the mishap came through Cullercoats Radio Station at 7.15 p.m.
The trawler asked for medical assistance after an explosion in the boiler-room in which least one engineer was scalded.
Mr. A. Dutton, of Lawson-Batey Tugs. Ltd., said last night that he believed the explosion in the trawler had crippled her, with the result that she might be difficult to locate.
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