ROVworld Subsea Information

Underwater hunt for missing boat
Date: Thursday, November 02, 2006 @ 14:21:04 EST

Meridian [Pic: David Linkie/Fishing News]
The Meridian and crew went missing in bad weather
An underwater search will be carried out for a boat which went missing with four crew in the North Sea.

The official search for the Fife fishing boat Meridian has been called off after she vanished last week.

The body of Edward Gardner, 50, from Cellardyke, in Fife, was recovered but three others were not found.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) said an underwater search would be carried out as soon as the weather allowed, possibly next week.

Mr Gardner's body has been returned to Scotland, but skipper Martin Gardner, 49, Ian Donald, 55, both from Anstruther in Fife, and Sidney Low, 52, from Aberdeen, are still missing.

'Last position'

An MAIB spokesman said: "The MAIB, with the assistance of Talisman Energy (UK) Limited, is planning to conduct an underwater search for the fishing vessel Meridian as soon as the weather moderates in the area of her last known position.

"Talisman will provide the MAIB with a survey ship to conduct a sonar search of the area where the Meridian is likely to have settled in a water depth of 70m.

"Once its position has been established, an ROV [remotely operated vehicle] will be used to carry out a visual inspection of its condition.

"It is hoped that search operations will commence early next week."

The Norwegian Coastguard, which had been co-ordinating operations, called off the surface search on Saturday night.

The men had been carrying out pipeline observation work in Norwegian waters.

Source: BBC News

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