Heartbroken Family Of Former Yacht Builder Appeal For Help After Asbestos-Related Death

Expert Industrial Disease Lawyers Investigating Asbestos Exposure


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The heartbroken family of a former yacht builder are appealing to his former colleagues to come forward with information they need to help them understand how and where he was exposed to asbestos that caused him to develop mesothelioma, a terminal cancer.

John Hazelden, from Southend, died at the age of 79 after a short battle with the disease, which is caused by exposure to asbestos decades ago.

Now, his widow Joyce, 74, has instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how and where John was exposed to the deadly substance and if more could have been done to prevent him from inhaling asbestos dust and fibres at work.

Joyce told her legal team at Irwin Mitchell that John thought he was exposed to asbestos while working for Essex Yacht Builders Limited at the company’s premises on Wallasea Island.

The father-of-one worked for the company from 1968 until 1972 and he was involved in building a wide range of yachts. Joyce explained that he also worked alongside employees who fitted engines to the yachts and that asbestos was commonly used as insulation.

She also said John would make repairs to the roof of the building, which was made from corrugated asbestos. John told Joyce that dust and fibres were released into the atmosphere while he prepared and repaired the asbestos sheeting.

Joyce believes John was never warned of the dangers of asbestos and was never provided with protective equipment during his time at Essex Yacht Builders Limited.

Now, Joyce, is appealing to John’s former colleagues to come forward with any information they have about the presence of asbestos at the company’s Wallasea premises and what measures, if any, were in place to warn employees of the dangers of asbestos or to prevent their exposure to the substance.

Helen England, an expert asbestos-related disease lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Joyce, said: “Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive, and incurable, form of cancer that causes a significant amount of pain and suffering for victims like John, as well as their family, who watch the health of their loved ones deteriorate so quickly.

“Sadly, due to the fact symptoms do not present themselves for decades after the exposure to asbestos victims and their families can’t recall the exact nature of their exposure. We are now appealing to John’s former colleagues at Essex Yacht Builders Limited to come forward with any information they may have that can help us provide Joyce with the answers she needs.”

Joyce, who was married to John for 52 years, said: “John was always a fit and healthy man who loved to care for his family, his home and our garden. It was absolutely devastating to see how quickly his health deteriorated after he was diagnosed with mesothelioma.

“We tried everything we could to make him comfortable but just two months after his diagnosis he passed away and our family is still struggling to come to terms with his death.

“I can only hope that those who remember working with him in the 60s and 70s at Essex Yacht Builders will come forward with the information we need to get the answers we need about John’s exposure to asbestos and why more wasn’t done to protect him and his colleagues.”

Anyone with information on the working conditions at Essex Yacht Builders Limited or the presence of asbestos should contact Helen England on 0207 421 3856 or email Helen.England@IrwinMitchell.com

If you or a loved one has been affected by an asbestos related illness, our solicitors can help you to claim compensation. See our Asbestos Claims page for more information.