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Wednesday, 7 June, 2000, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Trawler salvage deal signed
Solway Harvester
The vessel sank in heavy seas
A deal has been signed with a salvage company to recover the wreck of a Scottish fishing boat on which seven men died.

Weather permitting, the operation to lift the Solway Harvester will begin on 20 June.

The 75-ft scallop dredger sank in mountainous seas on 11 January off the Isle of Man.

Several attempts to raise the trawler were thwarted earlier this year by poor weather.

Police on quayside
Investigations into the cause are continuing
It was towed underwater from the location where it sank and is now lying 38 metres down 10 miles off Douglas.

Divers recovered the bodies of all seven crewmen in February, after the Isle of Man Government pledged to bring the men back home to their families for burial.

The announcement of the lifting operation came after the Manx government signed a deal with a Belgian firm, Scaldis Salvage and Marine Contractors.

Inquiries into the sinking of the scallop dredger are continuing by both the Isle of Man Constabulary and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and raising the boat is seen as essential to solving the mystery of why she sank so suddenly.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles met bereaved families
So far investigators have relied on video evidence collected by underwater cameras.

The seven victims were all from the villages of Isle of Whithorn, Whithorn and Garlieston in the Machars area of Galloway, south-west Scotland.

Last month their grieving relatives were visited by the Prince of Wales, who spent 25 minutes with them.

The seven crewmen who died were skipper Andrew Craig Mills, 29; his brother Robin, 33; their cousin David, 17; Martin Milligan, 26; John Murphy, 22; David Lyons, 18, and Wesley Jolly, 17.

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In DepthIN DEPTH
In Depth section on the Solway Harvester sinkingSolway Harvester
How the tragedy unfolded
See also:

25 May 00 | Scotland
Harvester salvage talks begin
19 May 00 | Scotland
Royal visit for Solway families
23 May 00 | Scotland
New date for Harvester salvage
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