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RNLI Lifeboats Remember Lives Lost On 65th Anniversary Of MV Princess Victoria’s Sinking

29th January 2018
The sinking of the MV Princess Victoria in 1953 was at the time the deadliest maritime disaster for the UK since the Second World War The sinking of the MV Princess Victoria in 1953 was at the time the deadliest maritime disaster for the UK since the Second World War Photo: Wikimedia

#RNLI - Three RNLI lifeboats gathered yesterday (Sunday 28 January) at the site off Northern Ireland where the MV Princess Victoria sank 65 years ago with the loss of 133 souls.

Donaghadee, Larne and Portpatrick RNLI lifeboat crews laid wreaths on behalf of their stations and also on behalf of Newcastle, Bangor and Portaferry RNLI. A wreath was also laid on behalf of Larne Harbour.

The short ceremony at sea was followed by a service at Donaghadee parish church, where over 50 lifeboat volunteers represented the charity along with many people who travelled from across Northern Ireland to mark the anniversary.

Donaghadee lifeboat crew saved 33 of the 44 survivors from the Larne-to-Stranraer ferry that day onboard the lifeboat Sir Samuel Kelly.

Speaking following the ceremony at sea, Donaghadee RNLI coxswain Philip McNamara said: “Today was a very solemn occasion as we remembered all those who were lost, sixty-five years ago this week.

“It was a huge tragedy and affected many families in Northern Ireland and across the water. It’s important to remember the anniversary and to pay our respects.”

McNamara added: “To look out at sea and see three lifeboats from Northern Ireland and Scotland was an incredible sight. After each lifeboat crew dropped their wreaths at the site, a minutes silence was observed to remember those who were lost.

“We in Donaghadee RNLI are very proud of the lifeboat crew who went before us, who arrived on scene that day and rescued 33 survivors in what must have been horrific conditions.”

On 31 January 1953, lifeboats from Donaghadee, Portpatrick and Cloughy were launched and received awards for their bravery.

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