A POIGNANT service was held on the shores of Larne, Co Antrim on Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of one of the UK’s worst peacetime sea disasters.
A large crowd gathered near Larne Harbour at 11am to remember the 133 lives lost on January 31, 1953, when the car ferry Princess Victoria sank during a ferocious storm.
The ship, one of the first roll-on roll-off ferries, had been heading for Larne from the Scottish port of Stranraer when it was damaged by pounding waves, took on water and went down close to the Copeland Islands off the coast of Co Down.
Only 44 of the 177 people on board escaped with their lives; not a single woman or child survived.
The disaster had a huge impact on the Larne community, with 27 of the victims from the town. And the legacy of that fateful day six decades ago is still etched in the minds of those who lived through it, as evidenced by the large turn out at yesterday’s commemoration service.