Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The gentle art of evasion

Anxious as ever to alleviate our concerns about the formal investigation into the sinking of the Gaul, we have continued to press the DfT for their views on the technical paper that we had provided and their scientific arguments for dismissing this evidence of a design fault on the Gaul.
The reply from the DfT eventually came (we have published it HERE) and it states:
The report to which your e-mails refers is a document without attribution from a named individual with recognised qualifications and cannot be considered to be either new and important evidence or grounds for suspecting a miscarriage of justice under this Section.” (i.e. Section 269 to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995)
The above paragraph gives a gentle hint, from the Department, that the issues raised in the technical paper do not in fact constitute new evidence; so we will take this as our cue to publish a fragment from one of the items of correspondence, now in our possession, which can, perhaps, shed some light on this matter:
The fragment reproduced above indicates that, even before the RFI, a number of governmental experts, with recognised qualifications and experience, considered the design and construction of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul to be a cause for concern and advised accordingly.
However, the DfT’s ambiguous reply presents us with an intriguing contradiction: if the design fault theory is not new evidence, then the DfT no longer needs to check it -this must have been already discussed in the past, and the reasons for its dismissal known and capable of being shared with the public.
Otherwise, now that we, together with the DfT, have finally come to the conclusion that this was not new evidence, should we not wonder whether a miscarriage of justice might have occurred?

Sunday, December 10, 2006


An e-petition has been lodged at No.10, requesting the PM to:

"To instruct the Secretary of State for Transport to examine recently revealed evidence regarding the loss of the trawler Gaul, as per the requirements of the 1995 Merchant Shipping Act, para. 269.-(1), and either decide to re-open the formal investigation or present clear technical arguments for dismissing this evidence. To introduce legislation aimed to safeguard the independence of maritime accident investigations from political and commercial influence."
If you support the goals of this petition and do not consider it a risky business or an exercise in futility, please add your signature on the form that is published at:
(We will be signing it shortly. >:-))

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Spelling it out

Those who are interested in a more inclusive and incisive summary of the Gaul case and its latest developments can read the article published on a New Zealand news website: The Scoop, optimistically entitled: The Sinking Of The Trawler Gaul – Case Reopened.