Services mark Princess Victoria sinking

Published Thursday, 31 January 2013
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Memorial services to mark the 60th anniversary of the sinking of the MV Princess Victoria were held in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Thursday.

Services mark Princess Victoria sinking
A service took place in Larne to mark the sinking of the Princess Victoria. (© Pacemaker)

The ship, one of the earliest roll-on/roll-off ferries, sank in the North Channel with the loss of 133 lives on 31 January 1953.

It was one of the worst maritime disasters in the UK since the Second World War.

The ship left Loch Ryan in Scotland, and ran into trouble as it approached the coast of Northern Ireland in a severe windstorm.

Only 44 people survived.

A service was held at a memorial for the victims in Stranraer, while commemorations are also took place in NI.

East Antrim MLA Alastair Ross, who attended a service in Larne, said: "It was encouraging to see so many people brave the weather conditions this morning to attend the service as a mark of respect to all the victims and their families.

"It is difficult for us to imagine the dreadful circumstances in the British Isles and NorthWest Europe that day and night. Over 2,500 people in the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands died due to the flooding, high winds and mountainous seas, with 133 fatalities from the MV Princess Victoria itself.

"The bravery of the crew and rescuers has been long held up as an example of the selfless nature of those who keep us safe on the water. As a direct result of the disaster, maritime travel became much safer for future passengers but at a dreadful cost in lives."

The DUP politician said he stood at the memorial service alongside people from east Antrim and further afield who remember the disaster.

"The link with Stranraer also shone through, with comments about the memorial service in Scotland today as well.

"It is important to look towards the future, and with the Port of Larne continuing to prosper that is only right and proper. We must not forget from where we have come and the Princess Victoria Memorial Service reminds us of our history in triumph and tragedy."

© UTV News
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