Cameras to study wreck of ship: Funding given for sea-bed investigation

ONE of the great sea mysteries of modern times has moved a step closer to being solved.

Families who have campaigned for years for the wreck of the MV Derbyshire to be examined, have received pounds 50,000 from the International Transport Workers' Federation for a feasibility study to go ahead.

The Derbyshire, a 166,000-ton oil-bulk ore carrier, sank in a typhoon off the coast of Japan in 1980, with the loss of 44 lives. Families of those who died in the tragedy believe the vessel broke in two before she hit the ocean floor and is lying in two halves, 21 miles apart, in 3,000 metres of water.

Over the next two weeks, remote-controlled cameras will venture to the sea-bed to film fractured sections of the Derbyshire's sister ship, Kowloon Bridge, which split in two after running aground off the coast of Ireland. If the picture quality is deemed good enough by the ITF's executive board, members of the Derbyshire Families Association hope the organisation will grant the remainder of the pounds 810,000 costs of the expedition.

An inquiry in 1989 investigating the break-up of the Kowloon Bridge, concluded that an 'act of God', rather than a design fault, was responsible for the Derbyshire's break-up.

But if families can prove structural faults led to the tragedy, it could pave the way for compensation claims totalling an estimated pounds 80m.

Ocean Technologies, the American-based company employed to carry out the expedition work, is confident the amount of information it has received about the wreck will enable it to prove how she sank once and for all.

Captain David Ramwell, who co-authored the book A Ship Too Far about the Derbyshire's disappearance, believes a giant girder, acting as the ship's 'spine', was made in two halves by the manufacturers, weakening it and leading to cracks developing in the hull.

A member of the Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers Union has travelled to Japan to study coastguards' records in order to track down the wreck's location. If the feasibility study proves successful, campaigners hope expedition work will begin at the beginning of next year.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Life and Style
Drinking - often heavily - is a running theme throughout HBO's Game of Thrones adaptation
food + drink
News
Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine
people
News
people
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living