New plaque to be unveiled on 65th anniversary of Princess Victoria disaster

The 65th anniversary of the MV Princess Victoria tragedy will be commemorated today with a poignant service at Larne harbour.

The Princess Victoria Memorial at Larne harbour
The Princess Victoria Memorial at Larne harbour

More than 130 people perished when the vessel sank between Stranraer and Larne in January 1953.

It represented the biggest loss of life at sea during peacetime in UK maritime history and has been described as a “generation’s Titanic”.

A special memorial service to remember the victims of the tragedy will take place at the Princess Victoria Memorial at Larne harbour from 11am today.

The ceremony will include the unveiling and dedication of a new plaque featuring the names of two men – George Wright and Thomas Saunders – who lost their lives in the disaster but had not been included on the original memorial.

Relatives of Mr Saunders are set to attend the memorial service and plaque dedication. Representatives of the Royal National Lifeboat Association (RNLI), whose members bravely battled to save the lives of 44 of those on board, will also be among the special guests.

Among the passengers killed were the Northern Ireland finance minister and deputy prime minister Major John Maynard Sinclair, and Sir Walter Smiles, the Ulster Unionist MP for North Down and great grandfather of television adventurer Bear Grylls.