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Wednesday, 19 January, 2000, 08:35 GMT
Body spotted on sunken trawler

Mansal 18 The Mansal 18 has returned to harbour


Investigators believe they have discovered a body on the wreck of the fishing vessel Solway Harvester, which sank in the Irish Sea with the loss of seven crewmen.

The team began using remote-controlled cameras on Tuesday to try to find out why the Kirkcudbright-registered vessel sank.

Inspectors from the Marine Accident Investigation branch (MAIB) said families of the crew had been told of the suspected find.

Solway Harvester crew
Skipper Craig Mills, 29
Robin Mills, 33
David Mills, 18
John Murphy, 22
Martin Milligan, 26
David Lyons, 17
Wesley Jolly, 17


A spokesman added: "There are indications of what appears to be one body inside the vessel's gutting shelter, but it has not been possible to provide any form of identification."

Pictures relayed to ship

Underwater footage was transmitted to the Mansal 18 survey vessel which was chartered by the MAIB and sailed to the scene 11 miles east of the Isle of Man on Tuesday morning.

The vessel, used by the MAIB during its underwater survey of the Hull trawler Gaul in the Barents Sea during August 1998, has now returned to Douglas, on the Isle of Man.


Solway Harvester A body is believed to have been found on the trawler
Chief Inspector Dudley Butt of the Isle of Man Constabulary said: "It is hoped the Mansal will yield information about the nature of the sea and tides in the area, the sea bed and the positioning of the Solway Harvester.

"This will be used to assist in planning what resources and equipment will be needed to make possible the recovery of the crew, if they are located in the area."

Inquest opened

If the bodies are raised they will be taken to the Isle of Man for formal identification before being returned to Scotland for burial, while an inquest will be opened.

Isle of Man Police are due to hold a news conference on Wednesday at which more information about the search will be given.

The men who died were all from the Machars - an area of Galloway including Whithorn, the Isle of Whithorn and Garlieston.

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In DepthIN DEPTH
Trawler sinking
The unfolding of the Solway Harvester story

See also:
18 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Cameras film sunken trawler
16 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Tears and prayers for lost fishermen
15 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Trawler wreckage positively identified
13 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Solway Harvester: The crew

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