Fisherman Colin Dolby from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, was lost at sea in 2008 when his trawler ‘Louisa’ capsized in a freak storm off of the Shoeburyness coast. The Dolby family had been fishing in the Thames for over 300 years, a tradition which came to an end with Colin’s passing. His widow, Jane, soon began a campaign to improve safety for trawlermen, and in 2012 set up ‘The Fishwives Choir’ to raise funds for the Fishermen’s Mission charity. Mrs Dolby said she had received “the most incredible support” from the charity following the disappearance of her husband, whose body was not recovered until eight months after the sinking. “They stayed central to our lives for the whole time. They supported us spiritually and financially,” she said. “Because Colin’s body was missing I couldn’t get a death certificate to prove he was dead, so I couldn’t claim any benefits and had no income. “The Fishermen’s Mission provided us with money and food. They helped us to survive.” The members of the choir are all related to fishing families or are involved themselves and their charity single – When The Boat Comes In/ Eternal Father – was released in the spring of 2012, and they continue to tour up and down the country.
Jane has published her story in a book titled ‘Song of the Sea’ which was launched today at The Fishermen’s Chapel in Leigh-on-Sea, and is available through Orion Publishing: ‘Song of the Sea’