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Police divers called in search for Brixham missing trawlerman

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 14, 2012

  • Sarah Jayne

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Specialist police divers have been out to explore the possibilities of examining a sunken boat on which a well-loved fisherman disappeared.

Investigators with the Marine Accident Investigation Branch yesterday took a boat out to examine whether they can dive the wreck of the Sarah-Jayne, which sank off Berry Head, Brixham, on Tuesday morning.

The skipper, father-of-two Graham Ingram, has not been seen since, although two crewmen survived after they were rescued by nearby fishing vessel the Girl Rona.

Yesterday, local sources said the MAIB was investigating whether it can send down divers to the wreck and find out why the experienced skipper's well-maintained boat sank so quickly, and to try to recover his body.

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Another option would be to use specialist cameras to explore the wreck, which lies around 52 metres deep.

Last night, it was unclear which strategy had been adopted. The MAIB has said it will not comment on the case until its officers compile their report. The investigation continued as tributes to Mr Ingram, from Exmouth, and donations to his family continued to flood in yesterday.

John Anderson, of the Fisherman's Mission, said a special account was now being set up to deposit donations.

He has been in close contact with Mr Ingram's wife and two children, and has been providing any support necessary.

He said: "They have just got past the initial complete shock. It's a terrible dream-like situation, and you keep thinking 'I'm going to wake up and it's all going to be different'. But to be honest I think they have coped very well under the circumstances."

He said the family had strong support in Exmouth and throughout fishing communities.

"That's wonderful," he said. "It's times like this when you see communities in action."

Exmouth lifeboat coxswain Tim Mock said Mr Ingram was a volunteer 12 years ago, and was given an award for bravery for his part in the rescue of two girls in 1985.

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