Fisherman hauls human skull into trawler while off Hartlepool

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A SEASONED fisherman has told how he was not fazed when he hauled up a skull off the coast of Hartlepool.

Alan Jenkins was on his trawler three miles off the Headland when he noticed the skull that was on top of a haul of fish he and crewmate John Giddes had netted.

The pair then brought the 36ft trawler, named Trustful, into Hartlepool’s Fish Quay, where Fish Quay manager Keith Williams informed the police.

The skull is believed to be human and historical.

Police were called after the find and say they are not treating it as suspicious.

Alan, 60, who has been fishing for 46 years, said: “I first realised it was there when I saw it on top of the haul.”

But he said he was not daunted by the experience, as “I have seen a few in my time”.

“I saw one 60 to 70 miles off the North-East coast a few years ago,” added the dad-of-two and grandfather-of-one.
“You have to learn not to let it daunt you in this job – you don’t know what you are going to pull out of the sea.”

Alan, who is originally from Hartlepool, but lives in Dunbar, Scotland, returns to the town weekly to fish.

He said aeroplane engines and torpedoes have been among the more unusual items he has hauled up in his time.

Mr Williams, who has managed the Fish Quay for 17 years, said: “Hartlepool boats have tragically trawled up the remains of people who have lost their lives at sea one way or another, but it’s been quite some time since the last one.”

The skull, which is missing its jawbone, was discovered around 5.30am on Monday and police attended the Fish Quay at around 7am.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: “On Monday morning, what is believed to be an archaeological human skull was found caught up in the fishing nets from a boat on the Fish Quay at the Headland.

“The skull has now been transferred to the anthropology department of Teesside University where it will be examined, to determine whether it is in fact human and how old it is.”

A university spokeswoman confirmed: “Forensic experts at the university have been called in to help investigate.”