Page last updated at 12:08 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 13:08 UK

Sunk trawler probe gets under way

The Trident sank in 1974 with the loss of seven crew

An inquiry into the loss of a trawler and its seven crew 35 years ago has got under way.

The Trident was heading home to Peterhead when it sank off Caithness in October 1974. The wreck was discovered by amateur divers several years ago.

Many relatives have maintained that the Trident was unstable, rather than it solely being swamped by a wave.

The public inquiry, being held in Aberdeen, is expected to last for at least 10 days.

The opening of the inquiry heard it was understood the Trident started its final voyage from Troon to Peterhead in the early hours of 2 October, 1974.

Relatives at inquiry
Relatives of the men who were lost hope for answers

Skipper David Tait was returning to Peterhead by car so Robert Cordiner assumed command.

Radio contact was lost in the afternoon of 3 October.

An oil film was reported on 6 October in the original area of the last known position of the Trident.

Mr Cordiner, Alexander Ritchie, George Nicol, James Tait, Thomas Thain, Alexander Mair and Alexander Summers were lost.

Six of the crew were in their 30s, and Mr Nicol was in his 50s.

Jeannie Ritchie lost her husband and father when the Trident sank.

She told BBC Scotland before the inquiry started: "We want the truth, we need to know how they died."

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