Many new safety measures were introduced, including every trawler employing a full-time radio operator.
Trawler tragedies were not unusual fifty years ago more or less.
Hull was a traditional sea-faring city and at one time the third largest port in the UK. The people of Hull were sadly used to news of trawlers 'going down' with all hands lost. Images of distraught family members waiting at the dock-side for news were commonplace.
In 1968 three ships were lost along with 58 men; men who were husbands, sons, cousins, uncles, nephews and brothers meaning their deaths touched many people. One man survived. "The first vessel to be lost was the St Romanus which went down in the north sea 110 miles off Spurn Point on January 11. All 20 crew members died. On January 26 the Kingston Peridot sank off Skagagrunn on the Icelandic coast, again with the loss of all 20 men. The final loss was the Ross Cleveland on February 4. The boat had sought refuge from a storm in the natural inlet of Isafjord in northern Iceland"
BBC News recounts the final message from the skipper of the Ross Cleveland, Phil Gay, was "I am going over. We are laying over. Help me. I’m going over. Give my love and the crew`s love to the wives and families".
Losing three ships in such a short space of time was a huge tragedy for the fishing community and the city. Enough was enough and four women with links to the industry decided to act. Their campaign was dubbed the 'headscarf revolution'.
Fishing communities centred on an area of west Hull, Hessle Road. Generations of trawlermen risked life and limb fishing the seas off Iceland; later the Cod wars added a new threat to the men. The men worked hard and when home too many 'boozed and scrapped' in local pubs; the wives also faced a tough life.
But when safety needed improving these 'wives' joined the headscarf revolution.
When the fishing industry all but ended in Hull part of the city died; recovery has been slow but, like 'Big Lil', the people of this city are tough and resilient.
Note: Lil was a controversial character too and she received more than her fair share of bad press and death threats. Read more about the fight at the Hull Daily Mail