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The Independent Online
The Government is expected to set the date today for the pounds 2m expedition to solve the mystery of the biggest British vessel to be lost at sea. The expedition is planned to resolve a long-running dispute as to why the Teesside-built bulk carrier MV Derbyshire went down in a typhoon of Japan in 1980. The 42-men British crew and two of their wives died in the disaster which an official inquiry at the time blamed on the bad weather. But families of the crew, trade unions and shipping experts argued that structural defects in the vessel were to blame.

A union-sponsored expedition two years ago found evidence that the vessel might have broken up on the surface of the sea rather than when she hit the bottom. This persuaded the Government to set up an inquiry last year led by Lord Donaldson, the former Master of the Rolls, which concluded that a government expedition to the wreck should be carried out.