Skulls to mines... the weirdest things caught off Hartlepool’s coast

The skull bone from a 40-tonne sperm whale. Pic: Stan Laundon.

The skull bone from a 40-tonne sperm whale. Pic: Stan Laundon.

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Today we reported how Hartlepool fisherman Keith Fletcher caught a wallet belonging to a woman from Holland among his fish.

The wallet has been returned to the owner who dropped it on a ferry crossing between the Netherlands and Newcastle.

Andrew Withy (left) and Michael Renney pictured with the shark they caught off Hartlepool

Andrew Withy (left) and Michael Renney pictured with the shark they caught off Hartlepool

But it is not the only unusual item that has been fished out of the sea off the Hartlepool coast by Keith and others over the years...

Skull bone from a 40-tonne sperm whale

In May, 2012, Keith Fletcher got more than he bargained for when he hauled in a skull bone from a 40-tonne sperm whale.

The massive bone was quickly snapped up by the Hancock Museum, in Newcastle, where it was put on display.

The cards retrieved from the wallet found by fisherman Keith Fletcher and his letter to the owner

The cards retrieved from the wallet found by fisherman Keith Fletcher and his letter to the owner

The sperm whale can grow to up to 67ft long and is the largest living toothed animal.

Look out... shark!

It was not quite Jaws but you would still not want to tangle with a 10-feet long porbeagle shark landed by Hartlepool fishermen Michael Renney and Andrew Withy in August 2012.

Michael was about a mile and a half out to sea when the shark got caught in his nets.

Keith Fletcher on board his fishing boat JJ.. Picture By FRANK REID

Keith Fletcher on board his fishing boat JJ.. Picture By FRANK REID

It was so hefty he had to tow it back to the Headland’s fish quay.

A 200-year-old anchor

It’s that man again. Keith and crew mate Paul Stewart were fishing three miles off the Hartlepool coast in 2008 when they dragged up a 200-year-old anchor when it got caught in the trawler’s net.

Tests showed it was made partly of wood, rather than iron, and was dated as far nback as the early 1800s.

A Second World War mine

Specialist Royal Navy divers were called in to carry out a controlled explosion on a British sea mine left over from the war after it got caught in the nets of a Hartlepool fishing boat in 2006.

It was pulled to a shallow point near to the fish quay where it was blown up, causing a 40ft splash.