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Thursday, 16 March, 2000, 16:13 GMT
'Joy and sadness' over Solway baby
Karen and Robbie Mills
Karen Mills: "Great happiness and sadness"
The widow of one of the victims of the Solway Harvester tragedy has spoken publicly for the first time about her feelings following the birth of her baby boy.

Karen Mills was pregnant when the Kirkcudbright-registered scallop dredger sank in heavy seas off the Isle of Man in January.

Her husband Robin, 33, was among the seven crew who died.

Robin Mills
Robin Mills: Was filling in for sick crewman
A painter and decorator by trade, Mr Mills had only joined the vessel to cover for a sick crewman as a favour to his brother Craig, 29, the boat's skipper.

Mrs Mills, from Whithorn, Galloway, gave birth to the couple's second child on 6 March, two months after the sinking.

She named him Robbie Andrew. Andrew was the first name of Robin's brother who was commonly known as Craig.

The couple already had a two-year-old daughter, Sarah.

Statement via minister

Speaking for the first time about Robbie Andrew, Mrs Mills told of the poignant mixture of happiness and sadness she had experienced since his birth.

A statement released on her behalf by the local minister, Reverend Alex Currie, said: "Karen appreciates the kindness and concern shown by many on the safe arrival of Robbie Andrew born on Monday, March 6, 2000.

"The birth has been a time of great happiness tinged with real sadness. Robin would have been a very proud dad."

Robbie Mills
Little Robbie: Second child
Meanwhile a team of investigators from the Isle of Man has flown to Scotland to continue the probe into the sinking of the scallop dredger which still lies at the bottom of the sea off the island.

The bodies of the seven crew were recovered and returned home for burial after divers entered the wreck of the Solway Harvester last month.

An operation to raise the boat itself was delayed and it is now likely to be brought to the surface in mid-April.

The seven crewmen who died were all from the Machars area of Galloway in south west Scotland.

As well as Robin and Craig, the crew included their cousin David, 17, Martin Milligan, 26, John Murphy, 22, David Lyons, 18, and Wesley Jolly, 17.

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

10 Feb 00 | Scotland
Final Harvester funerals held
09 Feb 00 | Scotland
Harvester crewmen laid to rest
07 Feb 00 | Scotland
Final journey home for fishermen
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