A trawler in the North sea brought up a skull in December and after DNA testing it was revealed the skull belonged to a friend of the man who brought up the net. Three years earlier a friend of the fisherman had drown when his fishing boat was lost at sea. Barry Hunter, 58, made the gruesome catch in December and handed the skull to police.
DNA tests this week revealed it was part of the remains of fellow fisherman Brian Allison, 27.
Brian and step-brother Robert Temple, 34, vanished three years ago when their boat sank in the North Sea.
Barry, of North Shields, North Tyneside, said: “It was a very eerie feeling to be standing there on your boat with a skull in your hand.
“And then you find it’s one of your mates who went missing all that time ago.
“When I first saw it, the thought did cross my mind for a split second that it could be Brian or Rob. But I just thought, ‘What are the chances?’ It’s unbelievable.”
The 36ft steel-hulled trawler Jann Denise II sank off North Shields as the pair returned from a fishing trip in 2004.
Their mum Roseann Allison said: “It’s like living through it all again… But at least I do feel some kind of closure. I’m pleased Brian has come home. Now I will get to bury one of my boys.”