Teamwork Makes Poignant Reunion Possible

by tocle on April 16th, 2013 - Comments Off

Teamwork Makes Poignant Reunion Possible

A&P Falmouth Limited, The Mission to Seafarers, Brittany Ferries and the Royal Navy have teamed up to reunite a husband and wife after 27 years. Captain Tony Lowe, A&P Falmouth’s Dockmaster received the original request for assistance from Louise Allen, and set the wheels in motion.

Louise’s father, Kenneth Victor Allen, had been on the Erlenhain, a Panama-flagged general cargo ship carrying bagged fertilizer when the vessel went missing with the total loss of 7 crew.  The vessel had sailed from Gabes and passed Gibraltar on 18/1/86 for New Holland, and last reported on 19/1/86. Louise’s mother, Joan Allen, was left with eight children to raise, following the tragedy. Louise needed help to arrange to scatter her mother’s ashes and lay a wreath for her father at the last known resting place of the vessel and crew. Captain Tony Lowe was able to plot the position of where the Erlenhain’s  lifeboat and lifebuoy had been found and estimated that a Brittany Ferry en route to Santander would pass 11.5 miles to the west of 46°  55`N  004°  54`W.   With this information to hand he then contacted Penny Phillips of The Mission to Seafarers, and between them were able with the kind assistance of Brittany Ferries, to arrange for Louise to undertake the poignant journey on 1 April 2013 from Plymouth to Santander, with the Captain of the Brittany Ferry’s Pont Aven liaising with Louise to identify where the ship was lost.

Lt Commander Mike Lynch, Falmouth’s Royal Naval Liaison Officer has arranged a biodegradable wreath to be laid on the spot where the Erlenhain went down. Louise said:  “I very much appreciate all the assistance I have received from everyone involved and look forward to reuniting my parents after all these years apart”. Brittany Ferries said:  “We were delighted to work with The Mission to Seafarers, A&P Falmouth and the Royal Navy, to make the reunion possible, and have been pleased to assist Louise on this very poignant crossing”.

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