BRIDLINGTON, England — British officials, investigating why the crew members of a fishing trawler were regularly out of work, called in a priest to exorcise what the sailors said was a ghost on board.
Skipper Derek Gates said he and his four-man crew stopped sailing and started claiming state unemployment benefits because they were convinced that the trawler Pickering was haunted.
The radar would go wrong at the same time each night when the boat was at sea, the steering regularly went haywire, sending the vessel into circles, lights would go on and off and cabins stayed freezing even with the heating full on, the crew said.
After hearing the crew's complaints, officials called in Tom Willis, a local Anglican priest who is also a recognized exorcist.
Willis traced the history of the boat to Ireland, where he was told a man had been lost overboard and his body never recovered.
Since the exorcism, in which Willis scattered holy water through the trawler and called on the restless spirit to depart, Skipper Gates has reported a totally different atmosphere.
"It is a warm and friendly boat, and we are having very successful catches," he said.