Page last updated at 20:57 GMT, Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Trident inquiry 'set for delay'

A fatal accident inquiry into the sinking of a Peterhead trawler more than 30 years ago is likely to be delayed, BBC Scotland has learned.

The Trident sank in 1974 off Caithness with the loss of seven crew.

A survey of the wreck was carried out last year as part of efforts to establish what happened.

The Office of the Advocate General said the inquiry was unlikely to take place in March and every effort was being made to hold it later this year.

The wreck of the Trident was discovered by amateur divers six years ago, leading to a probe being restarted.

'Want progress'

A diving vessel paid for by the Department for Transport (DoT) carried out an underwater survey.

It is now believed the FAI could be delayed until later in the year.

Max Gold, the lawyer who represents many of the Trident families, said tank tests to simulate conditions and the behaviour of the vessel were still needed.

Mr Gold told BBC Scotland: "The families need to know what happened.

"I want progress made as a matter of extreme urgency."

A spokesman for the Office of the Advocate General said it was equally anxious to progress the inquiry.

He said: "All parties agreed in November that the model testing was essential for the inquiry to be meaningful.

"Delays in relation to the model testing mean that the inquiry is unlikely to take place in March, but every effort is being made to progress the testing with a view to holding the inquiry later this year."



SEE ALSO
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Trident widows at Downing Street
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Relatives threaten Trident action
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Sunk trawler wreck set for survey
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Trawler wreck survey set to start
04 Aug 04 |  Scotland
Families win fresh trawler inquiry
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