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  1. #1
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    Default Trident families receive report

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/8051726.stm

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    The families of seven men who died when a Peterhead trawler sank more than 30 years ago have received an experts' report, BBC Scotland has learned.

    It follows an underwater survey of the Trident, which sank in 1974 off Caithness.

    A procedural hearing will be held in the summer, paving the way for an expected public inquiry in Aberdeen later this year.

    The wreck of the Trident was discovered by amateur divers.

    Lawyer Max Gold, who represents some of the families involved, told BBC Scotland of the development.

    "It's absolutely vital, we have been waiting for this for some time," he said.

    He said of the procedural hearing: "Dates for the inquiry should be set.

    "This is a major step forward."


  2. #2
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    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1276351

    Quote Originally Posted by Press and Journal
    Trident families near the truth of sinking after three-decade wait
    Relatives to meet law chiefs today in preparation for formal inquiry into incident

    By Jamie Buchan

    Published: 24/06/2009

    YEARS OF PAIN: Relatives of the lost trawlermen, front, Jeannie Ritchie with, back from left, Marjory Mitchell, Mary Nicol and Irene Hall
    More Pictures

    The families of seven trawlermen who died in one of Scotland’s worst fishing disasters will today take a step closer to learning the truth about their final moments.

    Following a campaign spanning three decades, preparations for a formal inquiry into the sinking of the Peterhead-registered Trident will finally begin in Aberdeen this afternoon.

    The 86ft trawler sank off the coast of Caithness in 1974.

    Relatives have never accepted the findings of an original investigation, which ruled the boat sank after she was hit by a massive wave.

    They got the chance to fight for a fresh inquiry when the wreck of the Trident was discovered by amateur divers eight years ago.

    Today, representatives of Scotland’s advocate general, who is co-ordinating the £3million probe, will meet with family members to discuss the next step forward.

    They are likely to set a date for the formal inquest to begin and draw up a timetable.

    Last night Jeannie Ritchie, 68, who lost both her husband and father in the sinking, said: “This has been a very long time coming.

    “The past eight years have been very stressful and the waiting and the delays have been awful.”

    Mrs Ritchie, of Arbuthnot Terrace in Peterhead, said: “We are glad we are finally getting to the end.

    “We have known all along that the Trident was unstable, but we want to hear that officially.”

    The families have been given a new report from an expert panel re-examining the sinking, which it is understood confirms the boat had stability problems.

    The confidential 165-page document contains evidence of the vessel’s instability, as well as concluding that the weather at the time of the accident was not a cause for concern.

    The men who died were Robert Cordiner, Tom Thain, Alex Ritchie, George Nicol, James Tait, Alex Summers and Alexander Mair.

    Three underwater surveys have been carried out on the wreck to gather video evidence and measurements.

    Tests on a scale model of the boat, which was carried out in the Netherlands, took place last year.

    Today’s hearing and the subsequent inquiry will be held at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

  3. #3
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    Default Advocate warned ahead of Peterhead trawler inquiry

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1427355

    Quote Originally Posted by Press and Journal
    He is urged not to delay evidence

    By Ross Davidson

    Published: 06/10/2009

    CLAIM: Jeannie Ritchie insists the Trident sank because of instability. Kevin Emslie
    More Pictures

    THE sheriff who will hear an inquiry into how and why a north-east fishing trawler sank has accused representatives of some of the families who lost loved ones of trying to “ambush” the investigation by not providing enough information.

    Sheriff Principal Sir Stephen Young made the remark at a preliminary hearing into the loss of the Peterhead trawler Trident at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, but the accusation was denied by their advocate, Richard Anderson.

    Some of the families appeared in front of the sheriff principal yesterday to explain who and what they believe was responsible for the loss of the boat, which claimed the lives of all seven men on board when she sank in 1974.

    It is part of a new £3million inquiry into the tragedy which was reopened by the Department for Transport in 2002 after amateur divers discovered the Trident lying on the seabed off Wick in Caithness.

    Relatives have always refused to believe the findings of an original inquiry.

    It ruled that the boat sank after being hit by a massive wave.

    The families of six of the Trident crewmen were given the chance to submit criticisms of any “person, persons or party” associated with the accident.

    Representatives of the vessel’s designer, Andrew Cumming, and its majority owner, David Tait, who both faced criticism from the families, said the allegations made against their clients lacked enough detail and that they had not been given fair notice of the accusations to respond in their defence.

    The sheriff principal agreed, and warned Mr Anderson against trying to “surprise” the other parties with new evidence during the inquiry.

    He said: “It seems to me you are trying to ambush people.

    “We want to find out what happened and why, and as a result of that what lessons can be learned.

    “If you wish to add into that substantial criticisms of other parties then you are entitled to do that, but you have to let them know what those criticisms are and give them fair notice in respect of that.”

    Mr Anderson said the advocates for the people facing criticism should already have enough information based on the dossier which had been produced and the findings of the first inquiry into the accident in 1975.

    He said: “My learned friends are in a position to respond to the criticisms with the productions before them and from what has gone before at the first investigation.

    “I do not intend to surprise or ambush anyone with new information.”

    The sheriff principal gave Mr Anderson until this Friday to submit a new dossier outlining who and what the families he represents believe was at fault.

    Speaking after the preliminary hearing, Jeannie Ritchie, 69, of Arbuthnot Terrace, Peterhead, said: “Our advocate has a tremendous amount of work to do now.

    “They keep asking for more and more information. When is it going to end?

    “They want more specific detail about who and what we are criticising, but we did not go through any of this at the last inquiry in 1975.”

    Mrs Ritchie – who lost both her husband and father in the accident and maintains that the Trident sank because of instability – added the families were willing to take their case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg if they feel the inquiry has not revealed the true cause of the sinking.

    Another preliminary hearing to discuss the criticisms put forward by the families will take place at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Tuesday, October 13. The inquiry is scheduled to begin on October 19.

  4. #4
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    Default Trawler inquiry details ordered

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/8290353.stm

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    Families bereaved by a trawler sinking in 1974 have expressed disappointment at having to provide more information before an inquiry can go ahead.

    Seven men died when the Peterhead trawler Trident sank off Caithness.

    A public inquiry is due to begin in Aberdeen in two weeks but the families have been ordered to provide further details on their concerns.

    Many relatives have always believed the Trident was unstable, rather than it solely being swamped by a wave.

    At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on Monday, Sheriff Principal Sir Stephen Young ordered the legal team for the families to come up with more information by Friday.

    That includes indicating whether or not they intend to criticise anyone and what the nature of that criticism is.

    Another hearing will take place next Monday and the inquiry itself is expected to begin the following Monday.

    The wreck of the Trident was discovered by amateur divers five years ago.

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    http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/c...-silver-lining

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6877242.ece

    Sunk trawler probe gets under way
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/8313864.stm
    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    An inquiry into the loss of a trawler and its seven crew 35 years ago has got under way.

    The Trident was heading home to Peterhead when it sank off Caithness in October 1974. The wreck was discovered by amateur divers several years ago.

    Many relatives have maintained that the Trident was unstable, rather than it solely being swamped by a wave.

    The public inquiry, being held in Aberdeen, is expected to last for at least 10 days.

    The opening of the inquiry heard it was understood the Trident started its final voyage from Troon to Peterhead in the early hours of 2 October, 1974.
    Relatives at inquiry
    Relatives of the men who were lost hope for answers

    Skipper David Tait was returning to Peterhead by car so Robert Cordiner assumed command.

    Radio contact was lost in the afternoon of 3 October.

    An oil film was reported on 6 October in the original area of the last known position of the Trident.

    Mr Cordiner, Alexander Ritchie, George Nicol, James Tait, Thomas Thain, Alexander Mair and Alexander Summers were lost.

    Six of the crew were in their 30s, and Mr Nicol was in his 50s.

    Jeannie Ritchie lost her husband and father when the Trident sank.

    She told BBC Scotland before the inquiry started: "We want the truth, we need to know how they died."

  6. #6
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    Default Trident wreck survey was 'flawed'

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/...st/8318645.stm

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    A £1m survey of the wreck of a fishing boat which sank in 1974 was "flawed", an inquiry has been told.

    The Trident was heading home to Peterhead when it sank off Caithness. The wreck was discovered by divers.

    The second day of a public inquiry in Aberdeen into the sinking heard evidence that the underwater survey was affected by equipment problems.

    Relatives of some of the seven who died claim the Trident was unstable, rather than solely being swamped by a wave.

    Experts were commissioned to assess the wreck after it was found by amateur divers several years ago.

    The inquiry heard that the project was hit by problems.

    Breakdown problems

    Mark Kennor, head of the joint of panel of experts tasked with gathering evidence for the inquiry, told how all nine men on the panel signed a certificate saying they were dissatisfied with the project.

    Mr Keenor, a master mariner, said: "We had to ask to squeeze an extra two days out of the contractor but those days were flawed by further breakdowns, equipment which wasn't working and a video ray which failed to function.
    Trident victims
    Relatives of the men who died hope for answers 35 years on

    "As you can tell by the letter each of the experts signed, shortly before the survey finished, we were still not happy with it.

    "We gave consideration as to whether another survey would be guaranteed to provide additional vessel information but of course no-one could ever guarantee that it would."

    Radio contact was lost with the boat on the afternoon of 3 October, 1974.

    An oil film was reported on 6 October in the original area of the last known position of the Trident.

    Mr Cordiner, Alexander Ritchie, George Nicol, James Tait, Thomas Thain, Alexander Mair and Alexander Summers died.

    Six of the crew were in their 30s, and Mr Nicol was in his 50s.

    The inquiry continues. It is expected to last at least 10 days.

  7. #7
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    Default Film of sunk Peterhead boat shown for first time

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1453197

    Quote Originally Posted by Press and Journal
    bereaved families see final resting place of crewmen

    By Stephen Christie

    Published: 24/10/2009

    Video footage of the trawler Trident resting on the seabed was shown in public for the first time yesterday during the new inquiry into the sinking.

    The images, captured by a camera mounted on a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) as part of an underwater survey, showed the wreck lying in more than 200ft of water.

    The Peterhead-registered vessel is nearly 13 miles off the coast of Caithness, where she came to rest on October 3, 1974, after going down with all hands.

    Alexander Mair, 30, of Portknockie, and Peterhead men Robert Cordiner, 36, Tom Thain, 32, Alex Ritchie, 35, George Nicol, 59, James Tait, 32, and Alex Summers, 35, all died.

    At yesterday’s hearing, master mariner Graeme Bowles talked the inquiry through the video from the ROV.

    He is part of the joint panel of experts (JPE) appointed to review evidence after the discovery of the wreck of the trawler eight years ago.

    As the camera swept past the hull of the ship, faded white lettering spelling out Trident’s name could be seen.

    The wheelhouse, with the skipper’s window slightly open, was also filmed, and empty nets could be seen disappearing into the darkness of the fish hold.

    At one stage the camera looked through a window with its glass missing and into the wheelhouse, which appeared scattered with rotten wood panelling that once lined the walls of the room. The outside windows of the sleeping quarters were also shown, and ropes and nets could be seen strewn across the deck.

    The man-overboard light – still in its holster – was attached to the outside wall of the wheelhouse.

    Mr Bowles told the inquiry this would suggest a man-overboard scenario had never been exercised.

    Afterwards, Jeannie Ritchie, 69, of Arbuthnot Terrace, Peterhead, who lost her father, Mr Nicol, and her husband, Mr Ritchie, said seeing the final resting place of the men was “overwhelming”.

    “It brings everything right to the front of your mind, and although we have to live with the reality of the sinking of the vessel, it’s hard to see these pictures up close,” she said.

    Earlier in the hearing at Aberdeen Town House, Ailsa Wilson QC, appearing for the advocate-general, asked Mr Bowles why an underwater survey of the wreck was the preferred option over raising the vessel, to which he replied: “After the length of time she lay on the seabed there was a chance she would fall apart if lifting had taken place.”

    The original 1975 investigation into the sinking concluded a wave or succession of waves sank the Trident.

    The inquiry continues.

  8. #8
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    Default Trident stability test was not done

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1451680

    Quote Originally Posted by Press and Journal
    inquiry told trawler which sank with loss of lives was approved to leave yard before final check

    By Joanna Skailes

    Published: 23/10/2009

    A test which could have revealed a stability problem on the trawler Trident never took place, an inquiry heard yesterday.

    The Peterhead-registered fishing vessel, which sank off Wick in October 1974, was approved to leave her boatyard before a final check was carried out.

    An inquiry held just nine months after the accident ruled that the boat sank after being hit by a wave, but the families of the seven men who died in the accident believe it was caused by the trawler’s instability.

    Alexander Mair, 30, of Portknockie, and Peterhead men Robert Cordiner, 36, Tom Thain, 32, Alex Ritchie, 35, George Nicol, 59, James Tait, 32, and Alex Summers, 35, all lost their lives.

    An inclining test, which examines the vertical centre of gravity and its effect on a vessel’s stability, “never took place” on Trident, despite the fact that the test revealed a 5in discrepancy on the hull of her sister boat, the Silver Lining, which would have been made from the same template.

    The third day of the new inquiry into the fishing boat sinking heard the small change between the design and the completed vessel might have had a significant effect on the vessel’s stability.

    Advocate Richard Anderson, representing the crew’s families, said the results of the test did not stop the Silver Lining from being commissioned.

    He said the skipper later raised concerns with safety regulators about the ship’s behaviour at sea, however, and 10 tonnes of ballast – used to control buoyancy and stability – was loaded on to the Silver Lining.

    The inquiry, in front of Sheriff Principal Sir Stephen Young at Aberdeen Town House, also heard that the Trident – designed as a multi-function fishing vessel but used as a trawler – had been designed to carry two fuel tanks containing a total of 13 tonnes of fuel, but the tanks actually had a 22.5-tonne capacity.

    Anthony Tait, marine services manager and senior marine manager for Seafish Marine Services, a department of the Sea Fish Industry Authority, said that he could not suggest a reason for the “error”.

    He said fuel usage during a trip would have had “an effect” on the boat’s stability but did not know if it would have had an “adverse or beneficial effect”.

    He said the White Fish Authority (WFA), a predecessor of Sea Fish, signed off “satisfactory completion” on the Trident’s construction but he added that it was “ not uncommon practice” that boats were approved before they were finished.

    He added that the White Fish Authority’s role at the time was not to check the boat’s stability, although it would have been fair to presume the test would be carried out shortly afterwards.

    The inquiry continues.

  9. #9
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    Default Stability of Trident is ‘finally being addressed’

    http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1457166

    Quote Originally Posted by Press and Journal
    inquiry told trawler’s sister ship grounded after inclining test

    By Lori Reid

    Published: 28/10/2009

    Families of the men who died aboard the Trident said last night that questions about the trawler’s stability were finally being addressed.

    The issue was discussed yesterday at the new inquiry into the loss of the vessel more than 35 years ago.

    Master mariner Graeme Bowles said a static test on the boat would not have correctly assessed her stability when at sea, and that a dynamic stability test was usually done to check this.

    He is a member of a joint panel of experts appointed to review evidence after the wrecked trawler was found by chance eight years ago.

    The inquiry had previously heard that an inclining test, usually done when the boat is static, had not been carried out. It examines the vertical centre of gravity and its effect on a vessel’s stability.

    When asked by Ailsa Wilson, QC for the advocate general, to explain the difference between static and dynamic tests, Mr Bowles said: “Dynamic takes into account everything to do with the ship’s behaviour when she is at sea.”

    The test takes into account the risk of capsizing and the threat posed by violent winds and waves.

    The inquiry also heard evidence about the Trident’s sister ship, the Silver Lining, which was built from the same template.

    An inclining test carried out after the Trident sank revealed a 5in discrepancy on the hull of the Silver Lining and she was grounded.
    designer

    Stuart Gale QC, representing Andrew Cummings, the ship’s designer, told the inquiry that the Silver Lining was used in different areas to catch different types of fish and carried wooden fishing boxes rather than plastic ones and also carried more ice.

    He asked Mr Bowles if weight distribution should be a factor when comparing the two vessels and if these differences would have an impact on stability.

    The master mariner said: “Absolutely.”

    Alexander Mair, 30, of Portknockie, and Peterhead men Robert Cordiner, 36, Tom Thain, 32, Alex Ritchie, 35, George Nicol, 59, James Tait, 32, and Alex Summers, 35, all died when the Trident sank nearly 13 miles off Caithness on October 3, 1974.

    Speaking after yesterday’s hearing, Jeannie Ritchie, 69, of Arbuthnot Terrace, Peterhead, who lost her father and husband on the Trident, said the men’s families were happy that stability was finally being addressed.

    She said: “There is a lot of detail coming out. Since the Trident sank 35 years ago, the majority of the families of the men who died have always said the ship sank because of instability. The night after Trident sank her sister ship was grounded and she had to be greatly modified to give her stability. Going back to the night when the families were waiting in the harbour for our men to come home, we knew the weather was not weather to sink the Trident.

    “There were smaller boats made of wood, steel – dozens of different kinds – coming into that harbour so what happened to the Trident?

    The inquiry, at Aberdeen Town House, continues.

    Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Art...#ixzz0VGX4DjS9

  10. #10

    Default

    Dear all

    The dynamic stability test that is mentioned in the above article is something that I am not familiar with. This gentleman is not talking about the old roll test or the inclining tests that are usually carried out for the MCA but about something new and possibly 'hi-tech' that he implies is common practice for fishing boats??.

    "Master mariner Graeme Bowles said ..........that a dynamic stability test was usually done to check this.
    .............................Mr Bowles said: “Dynamic takes into account everything to do with the ship’s behaviour when she is at sea.”


    Has anyone heard of such a test being carried out on a small trawler and if so how would a boat pass such a test and who checks the results?

    Any info on this appreciated

    regards

    Ronda

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