A GRIM search of a remote Scottish loch for a missing Huddersfield man begins next week.
And the family of Steven Cooper admitted: “It’s what we wanted to happen.”
Mr Cooper has not been seen since he vanished just after celebrating his 47th birthday in Huddersfield in 2008.
But his car was found close to the banks of Loch Laggan in the Scottish Highlands, about 15 miles north-east of Fort William.
And now, after a fierce campaign by the family, West Yorkshire Police divers and other search experts are to travel to the Highlands in a bid to scour the loch.
Police had initially rejected calls to search the loch but have now agreed to the family’s request.
A team of police divers from West Yorkshire will be joined by experts from the Somerset-based firm LiquaVision.
They are experts in underwater searches and filming and use specially-built robot machines equipped with cameras and sonar devices.
The search teams are due to travel to the Scottish Highlands next Monday and will spend 48 hours in the area, searching the loch.
Mr Cooper’s sister Trish said: “This is what we have wanted for so long.
“There will be the two dive teams and experts from the search firm travelling up to Scotland next week to begin the search on Tuesday.
“My brother Christian will be going up there to watch the search, as will my mum Margaret Cooper and her partner William Stanger.
“We have been pushing for this search for so long and for the past couple of months, Christian has been in talks with them. Thankfully they have agreed to do this and we are hoping it will set our minds at rest as to whether or not Steven went into the loch.
“It is such a remote place. I cannot imagine how my mum will feel when she sees the search under way and I think she is so brave to want to be there.
“She and the rest of us just want reassurances that everything possible is being done to try to find Steven.
“We know that if they do find anything we may not know for some time if it is Steven or not, but we simply want closure and a chance to bring him home at last.”
Since the former Territorial Army soldier left his family home in Scar Lane on January 21, 2008, there have been no confirmed sightings of him at all.
Police, mountain rescue teams and an RAF helicopter mounted a huge search in the Loch Laggan area after his car was found on the A86 near Moy. The search stretched as far as 50 miles.
The family are footing the bill for the search company team, who have done a lot of work across Europe with oil pipeline companies deep in the Channel and the North Sea.
Loch Laggan is in the Scottish Highlands, about 15 miles north-east of Fort William.
The loch is about one mile long and 350 yards wide at its widest point. It does have a strong current and the water is used as a reservoir to supply local water companies.
It was featured as Loch Bogle in the hit BBC series Monarch of the Glen.