Saturday, May 17, 2008

FV Trident

The Trident was a Peterhead-registered seine-net trawler which sank on 3 October 1974 with the loss of seven lives.
The first Formal Investigation into the sinking of the Trident held in Aberdeen, in 1975, found that the probable cause of the loss was that “Trident took aboard a sea or a succession of seas and foundered” and that “the precise causes of the casualty” were “unascertainable”, although design deficiencies relating to her stability could have contributed to her foundering.
The wreck of the Trident was discovered in 2001 thereupon the MAIB was able to collect and examine new material evidence in respect of her loss.
On 22 March 2002 (!), Stephen Byers, then Secretary of State for Environment and Transport, ordered the re-opening of the Formal Investigation.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, further surveys were carried out.
The RFI is under the jurisdiction of the Advocate General for Scotland. Solicitor for the victims’ relatives is Max Gold (who also represented the families of the Gaul’s crew, during the 2004 RFI).
Today, 6 years since the decision to re-investigate the loss of the Trident was taken, the RFI is still nowhere near its conclusion.
Recently, the Department for Transport advised the victims’ families that the latest delays were related to the wave tank tests on a model of the vessel.
The Trident investigation, as was the case with the Gaul, bears commercial implications for the parties involved. We are curious to see how these are going to be dealt with.
We do not wish to presume anything untoward about anybody, but only hope that the delays in the Trident RFI are not caused by the government’s desire to see first which way the wind is blowing in the Gaul saga (and whatever else might come to light), and then decide on how to handle the Trident.

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