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MEA Princess Victoria commemoration

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The 68th anniversary of the loss of the MV Princess Victoria will be commemorated in Larne on Saturday, January 30.

The Irish Sea shipping tragedy is regarded as one of the UK’s worst peacetime maritime disasters.

The lives of 134 people were lost when heavy sea forced open the stern doors of the car deck on the roll-on/roll-off ferry during a crossing from Stranraer to Larne in January 1953. The ship sank within hours.
There were 177 people on board, including 49 crew members. Twenty-seven of the fatalities were from Larne.

A commemoration is organised at the Princess Victoria Memorial at Chaine Memorial Road in Larne each year by the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.

A similar service is held in Stranraer by Dumfries and Galloway Council and in Donaghadee.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council had agreed to issue an invitation to colleagues in Dumfries and Galloway with whom they have formed the North Channel Partnership and to Lady Grylls but these invitations will be deferred until next year due to the Covid pandemic.

Lady Sarah Grylls (Sally) is the mother of the famous adventurer Bear Grylls and granddaughter of Sir Walter Smiles who perished in the ferry disaster. Bear’s sister Lara Fawcett and his nephew, Bevan Fawcett, all attended the service last year.

This month, those in attendance at the commemoration will be reduced in line with Covid restrictions and the event will be available online.

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