Tragic Hartlepool fisherman Lee Renney remembered in seafarers' blessing

Lee Renney died at the age of 22 while on a fishing trip off the coast of Hartlepool.
Lee Renney died at the age of 22 while on a fishing trip off the coast of Hartlepool.

The tragic death of a Hartlepool fisherman was remembered today at a solemn ceremony in the town.

Lee Renney died almost exactly a year ago when his foot became entangled with ropes while he was setting fishing pots and he was dragged overboard and under the water.

The plaque unveiled at the Hartlepool Fish Quay by the Renney family. Pic@ Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI.

The plaque unveiled at the Hartlepool Fish Quay by the Renney family. Pic@ Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI.

A plaque was unveiled at Hartlepool Fish Quay by Mr Renney’s family to remember him.

The commemoration was held alongside a poignant blessing of the fleet ceremony attended by North East area officials of the Fishermen's Mission, local RNLI volunteers and Hartlepool Sea Cadets.

The blessing of the fleet, which was attended by about 100 people, is a tradition which began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities.

It is now practised widely in seafaring communities, and is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season.

Superintendent Peter Dade from the Fishermen's Mission spoke at the blessing of the fleet at Hartlepool Fish Quay. Pic: Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI.

Superintendent Peter Dade from the Fishermen's Mission spoke at the blessing of the fleet at Hartlepool Fish Quay. Pic: Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI.

Superintendent Peter Dade, area officer for the Fishermen's Mission, said: "We are here to remember the fishermen who do an extremely dangerous job and to offer support to their families’.

"Today was a show of support to the fishermen and their families, and it has been a privilege to be involved with everyone here.

"Earlier today we held a family service for the Renney family, who we have supported over the past year."

Hartlepool RNLI Coxswain Robbie Maiden added: "Today was a very sad occasion, but still nice to attend and show our support for the work of the Fishermen’s Mission.

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members at the blessing of the fleet ceremony held at the Fish Quay today. Pic: Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI

Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members at the blessing of the fleet ceremony held at the Fish Quay today. Pic: Tom Collins/Hartlepool RNLI

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Renney family at what must be a very difficult time for them.

"What made it even more poignant is that Lee's grandfather Ossie was a very respected volunteer crew member with Hartlepool RNLI.

"He served with both myself and my father for many years."

The Fishermen's Mission provides financial, emotional and pastoral support to fishermen and their families.

Its North East branch, based at North Shields, covers the area from Hartlepool to Amble.