JENS Bojen,one of Grimsby’s most successful North Sea fishing skippers, has died at the age of 74.
His vessels were consistent high earners for many years and he played a major part in developing pair trawling, a method where two boats fish together towing the same net.
But his most remarkable achievement came late in life when, at the age of 62, he became the oldest man to climb Mount Everest.
Although his previous experience was little more than climbing in the Lake District, he set out as part of a British led expedition in 2005 with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, but the famous explorer had to pull out of the climb for health reasons.
Despite encountering treacherous conditions, such as avalanches and falling rocks, the veteran Bojen reached the summit of the world’s highest mountain on June 4, 2005, raising money for the Grimsby St Andrew’s Hospice.
Sir Ranulph went back up Everest later, taking over the oldest climber title from his Grimsby friend.
A modest, highly respected man, skipper Bojen was born in Denmark and part of a large Danish community which played a huge role several years ago in making Grimsby one of the world’s leading fishing ports.
It was a legacy from the war when hundreds of Danish fishermen fled to England, sometimes with their entire families, to escape Hitler’s army.
At one time, Grimsby had its own Danish church and shops – even a Danish consulate – and it was possible to go into dockside pubs in the 1970s and hear nothing but Danish (or Icelandic) spoken.
Bojen came from a traditional fishing family, sailing regularly out of Grimsby on seine net vessels, most of which he had built from new.
He later gave up active fishing to go into the fish sales business on the Grimsby Market, of which he was a big supporter. Jens Bojen leaves a wife, Diana, and three sons.