Surface search fails to find fishing boat in North Sea

The official surface search for a Fife boat (pictured Left) that went missing with four crew in the North Sea last week was called off by the Norweigan Coastguard on Saturday. Now the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) have announced that an underwater search will be carried out as soon as the weather allows, possibly next week.

The body of Edward Gardner, 50, from Cellardyke, in Fife, was recovered and has been returned home to Scotland, but the three others – skipper Martin Gardner, 49, Ian Donald, 55, both from Anstruther in Fife, and Sidney Low, 52, from Aberdeen, are still missing. The men had been carrying out pipeline observation work in Norwegian waters.

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.’