GOVERNMENT officials have been ordered to return to the sunken wreck of the Peterhead trawler Trident and replace a lamp which was controversially removed during an underwater survey five years ago.
The lamp was plucked from the seabed near to the Trident, but was not required for the investigation into the sinking of the vessel which went down in 1974 off the coast of Wick with the loss of seven crewmen.
Department for Transport bosses had originally planned to restore the lamp and put it on display in a local museum. However, they have been forced to rethink the move after strong opposition from some of the dead crewmen’s relatives who have accused them of plundering a ‘family tomb’.
Talks are now underway with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the RNLI at Wick to find a suitable vessel which could be used to return the lamp to the wreck.
The Lifeboat crew has offered its help, but the logistics of the operation still have to be finalised.
Commenting on the situation, Jeannie Ritchie, who lost her husband and father in the sinking, said that officials were “crazy” to think that the families would like a constant reminder from the wreck of the Trident on land.