Scottish trawler inquiry adjourned –

Scottish trawler inquiry adjourned Published:  23 February, 2010

AN official inquiry into the sinking of a Scottish trawler more than 35 years ago has been unexpectedly adjourned. The Peterhead registered Trident foundered in October 1974 with the loss of seven crew members in what was Scotland’s worst fishing disaster for many years.

An original inquiry ruled that the vessel had been hit by a large wave, but the relatives have always maintained that it was a defect with the Trident rather than the weather which caused the tragedy. The trawler was en route from Troon to Peterhead for a survey at the time. She was last sighted by another fishing boat, the Faithful 11, but then she disappeared and was not seen again until the wreck was discovered by amateur divers about eight years ago.

A second inquiry opened in October last year when the names of the dead were read out in an emotional address and was due to resume yesterday in Aberdeen City Chamber after an adjournment of several weeks. But legal discussions resulted in the inquiry being adjourned again because further work was needed to respond to legal documents lodged by the new legal team representing the families of the men who died. The lost fishermen were Robert Cordiner, Alexander Ritchie, George Nicol, James Tait, Thomas Thain, Alexander Mair and Alexander Summers. The inquiry should get underway again either later today or later in the week.

The original verdict might have stood had the Trident’s wreck not been discovered by the diving team. An underwater survey was carried out and the call for a second inquiry intensified. The relatives have always claimed the Trident was unstable because a sister trawler failed to pass a stability test around the same time.