The Fight to Raise the Sapphire – ‘We proved everybody wrong and we got our boys home’

When four crewmen perished on the Peterhead fishing boat Sapphire 20 years ago, relatives began a campaign to have their bodies recovered from inside the sunken trawler. The 76-tonne boat sank in the North Sea, 12 miles off the Aberdeenshire coast, on 1 October 1997. The UK government refused to finance the recovery of the bodies, 270ft (90m) below the surface, saying it was policy not to bring back the bodies of those lost at sea. Shipping minister Glenda Jackson and Prime Minister Tony Blair were criticised for the decision at the time. The families of the dead men began an appeal to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds to fund the operation. click here to read the story 10:28

Sapphire tragedy impact being felt 20 years later – “You’re thinking to yourself: ‘There but for the grace of God . . .” “But you never get used to these tragedies or the impact they have on so many different people. click here to read the story 

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