An inquiry into how a fishing boat sank with the loss of seven lives has been told its life rafts were not serviced for years before the tragedy.
The Solway Harvester's crew died when the scallop dredger from south west Scotland sank off the Isle of Man in 2000.
Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court today heard the life rafts were last serviced in 1996, despite rules which said they should be checked every year.
Owner Richard Gidney admitted it was a 'pretty serious failing'.
He said it was up to the skipper to deal with boat maintenance and that 'money was never an object with the upkeep of the vessel'.
(Picture: The Solway Harvester at sea).