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Pathetic circumstances attended tLfate of Skipper Martin, of the Grimsby trawler King Stephen, who declined t" rescue the crew of a, Zeppelin in th; 1 North Sea. The adventure preyed on his mind, and ho died after a nervous collapse caused by the mistaken beli. i that lie had been poisoned. He had received, a number of anonymous letter* containing threats apparently from Germans in and when he became ill aftor smoking a cigarette from a packet which had been sent to him by post he was convii.eed .^thst tha cigarette had contained poison. Analysis proved that his fears were unfounded, but he never recovered from tinshock. "He died from sheer fright," was the verdict of the medical attendant.

The Zeppelin incident occurred on ■ February..-1, 1916, and public opinion in this country held that Martin acted rightly. The trawler discovered the disabled airship in tho sea, with its linge. envelope rising about 50ft out of the water. The crmmander offered to handsomely reward Martin and his <-,rew ;if they would save them, but Mai-tin declined on tho ground that ho rould 'not trust tho Germans.

"I had," said Martin, "talked it over with Denny (the mate) as'we were drawing noar. nnd. aftor considering all the pros and cons, both of v" nirrced that if we lowered a boat and sent some of the cr«s\v to the Zeppelin thov would at once be secured and kept as prisoners until we should have them take charge, of the ship if they came on board, or if we refused to fetcli thorn off they would carry our boat, and th^ crow of it down with them. I had all mv own safe and wind, and I wn« d" termined ( to- take :u> risks. I know what the 'Germans hnd done in my fli'--in the North Sea, nnd, besides, Zeppelin crews dropping brenbp on hmi'v: mil "killinrr women and c^ildr^n didnM rr.peal to me. Even if tho Huns hadn'i nrtjved barbarous> would cfn !vv ieen a bice risk, because th°re wre 1^ Germans and only 10 of v. o.:k1 v.mi could searcelv imapcino th^ir f»]lr-''-ir!rr take them to Grim°K' .°<= :ir: y^) . Nothine we could have done vonM !. r .' prevented their taking pharrr"- n f 'J.. trawler, seeing'they were tvo --nt-."

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TRAWLER AND ZEPPELIN. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9539, 3 March 1919

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