Family Of Boat Builder Killed By Asbestos Launch Appeal For Information

Loved Ones And Lawyers Urge Former Workmates To Come Forward


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

The family of a former boat builder from Washington who died from asbestos-related disease has teamed up with specialist lawyers to appeal for his former colleagues to come forward with information regarding how he was exposed to the deadly material.

Grandfather-of-five George Young died aged 76 in December 2014 from mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of the lung linked with asbestos exposure, just months after doctors discovered he had fluid around one of his lungs during a hospital appointment.

Following his death, his widow Stella, 73, instructed specialist asbestos lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate how he came into contact with the deadly material during his life.

As part of their work, the legal experts are now calling on anyone who worked with George during his employment as a shipwright at Swan Hunter’s Neptune Yard between 1959 and 1960 to come forward and provide detail on the working conditions he may have faced.

Expert Opinion
“George’s story is another tragic reminder of the terrible consequences that asbestos exposure has on so many lives. It is also sadly common that the condition of someone diagnosed with mesothelioma can deteriorate at a significant rate.

“Following our instruction, we are keen to gain a greater understanding of George’s working life and as part of this would be keen to hear more about the conditions he would have faced at Swan Hunter’s Neptune Yard at the end of the 1950s.

“Any detail could prove vital in helping his family to understand if more could have been done to protect George from the risks of asbestos exposure.”
Roger Maddocks, Partner

George worked in boat building for the majority of his life and after being paid off following a six-year stint at Robsons Boat Builders in South Shields, joined Swan Hunter as a shipwright. However, his employment only lasted a year before he once again returned to Robsons.

Discussing his illness, Stella Young said: “George was being treated for a heart condition when doctors noticed the fluid on his lung and it was then drained.

“It was incredibly difficult to see him battle mesothelioma and I cared for him at home with support through the final weeks of his life.

“The whole family miss him every day and we are all now desperate for answers regarding why he faced such a terrible illness. We would urge anyone with information on working conditions at Swan Hunter during the time George was there to come forward and help us.”

Anyone with information should contact Johnny Coulthard at Irwin Mitchell’s Newcastle office on 0191 279 0130 or email

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.