From today's featured article
Girl Pat was a small fishing trawler based at the Lincolnshire port of Grimsby that caused a media sensation in 1936 with an adventurous transatlantic voyage using a sixpenny school atlas as its main navigational aid. The escapade ended in Georgetown, British Guiana, with the arrest of the trawler's captain, George "Dod" Orsborne. On 1 April 1936, Orsborne, with a crew of four, took the vessel out on what its owners authorised as a routine North Sea fishing trip. Nothing was heard of them until mid-May, when the owners received invoices relating to repairs and reprovisioning in the Spanish port of Corcubión. Subsequent sightings placed the trawler in the Savage Islands, at Dakar in Senegal, and at Îles du Salut off the coast of French Guiana in South America. After the vessel's capture and detention on 19 June, the crew were hailed as heroes by much of the world's press. Orsborne returned to England and was tried and imprisoned for the theft of the vessel. Years later he made an uncorroborated claim that the Girl Pat voyage had been an undercover mission carried out on behalf of British Naval Intelligence.