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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Gaul families hear of submarine
Former chief petty officer Derek
Derek claims he overheard the concerns of a warrant officer
The relatives of men lost when the Hull trawler Gaul sank in the Barents Sea in 1974 have heard a submarine may have become entangled in its nets.

A former Royal Navy chief petty officer identified only as Derek says he heard a Polaris captain say his submarine had become trapped in the Gaul's nets.

The former chief petty officer spoke to relatives of the seamen and government officials at a meeting in Leeds.

Relatives of the trawlermen have been searching for answers for 30 years.

Official Secrets Act

"Derek" claims that in 1983 when on a course at the Royal Navy Submarine School in Hampshire, he heard a conversation between a warrant officer and another serviceman in the officers' mess.

He told BBC Look North: "I heard the warrant officer say to the army guy that there was something bothering him that he wanted to get off his chest.

"He said to the guy that back in 1973, when on board the Polaris, they had come into contact with a trawler which was sunk.

"He specifically named the trawler as being the Gaul."

In 1996, I contacted a newspaper about the information I had but I was not taken seriously
Derek said he felt compelled to come forward with the information and contacted the families concerned.

He said: "At the time I was tied by the Official Secrets Act so I could not say anything until I left in 1995.

"In 1996, I contacted a newspaper about the information I had but I was not taken seriously.

"I then asked a friend to do some research to find out anything they could about the Gaul tragedy and it was then that I decided to contact the Gaul Families Association."

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11 May 04  |  Humber
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27 Feb 04  |  Humber
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26 Jan 04  |  Humber

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