The wrecks of the Pere Charles and Maggie B lie aground at Arklow, Co Wicklow

SALVATION and storage costs for the trawlers Maggie B and Pere Charles have cost the state over €1.6m to date with no sign of any criminal prosecutions resulting from their inspections.

Charges have been ruled out in relation to the now scrapped Pere Charles, which sank in 2007, while investigations are ongoing in relation to the Maggie B which went down the previous year.

The storage of both boats at Arklow harbour has been a source of controversy in recent times – a grim reminder of two tragic accidents which claimed the lives of seven mariners.

The Irish Coastguard had declined to comment on costs surrounding the operations but the Sunday Tribune has learned that raising the two boats from the seabed alone cost over €1m.

Storage of the vessels in the Wicklow town have cost €205,000 while the leasing of other boats for salvage and search operations cost nearly €200,000.

The recent scrapping of the Pere Charles cost more than €33,000. In total, the bill to date is €1,629,588.

The coastguard, which is acting on instructions from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), has refused to clarify any timeframe for the disposal of the Maggie B, saying only that it continued "to oversee its storage".

All of the costs associated with the wrecks will be met by the Department of Transport through the Irish Coastguard.

The Maggie B sank five miles south of Hook Head on 30 March 2006, claiming two lives – Glenn Cott (30) and Polish national Jan Snakowski (45). Krzysztof Patowski (38) survived.

The following January the Pere Charles was lost, leading to the deaths of five fishermen on board. They were Tom Hennessy (32), his uncle Pat Hennessy (48), Billy O'Connor (50), Andriy Dyrin (32) and Pat Coady (27).

Both vessels had been brought to Arklow in order to "facilitate investigations" by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) regarding the cause of their sinking.

Following this, gardaí prepared files on both cases and submitted them to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Both of the boats remained on dry dock and could not be touched until such time as the DPP gave directions on potential charges as they were considered to be evidence in a criminal probe.

Last month, gardai confirmed that the DPP had directed that no prosecutions take place in relation to the Pere Charles. The Maggie B case remains open.