It’s time to remember the Princess Victoria disaster

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tHE loss of the Princess Victoria ferry will be marked at a commemoration service on Tuesday, January 31.

The loss of the vessel on January 31, 1953 during a severe weather storm was a great tragedy for the towns of Larne and Stranraer. The sinking is considered to be one of the UK’s worst peacetime sea disasters.

The Princess Victoria was one of the first roll-on, roll-off design ferries and made daily return crossings from Larne to Stranraer.

On the morning of the disaster, the Princess Victoria set sail from Stranraer with 177 people on board.

Tragically, the disaster claimed the lives of 133 passengers and crew members. This had a huge impact on Larne, with 27 of the victims from the town.

Each year the disaster is commemorated at the Princess Victoria Memorial, near Larne harbour. The event is organised by Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes in conjunction with Larne Borough Council. This will be the 59th commemoration service, which will take place at 11am, on Tuesday, January 31, at the Princess Victoria Memorial, Chaine Memorial Road.

Mayor of Larne, Councilor Bobby McKee, said: “This will be the 59th anniversary of this devastating tragedy which shook communities in both Stranraer and Larne.

“I would like to invite members of the public to attend the short service to remember those who lost their lives in this disaster, as well as to show respect for the bravery of all those involved in the rescue operation.”

Members of the public are welcome to return to Larne Leisure Centre for light refreshments following the commemoration service.

n For more information contact Larne Tourist Information Centre on 028 2826 0088.