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RNLI lifeboats remember those lost on 65th anniversary of MV Princess Victoria

Lifeboats News Release

Three RNLI all weather lifeboats today (Sunday 28 January 2018) gathered at the site where the MV Princess Victoria sank sixty-five years ago with the loss of 133 souls.

Donaghadee, Larne and Portpatrick RNLI lifeboat crew 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 Donaghadee parish church where over fifty 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 that day onboard the Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat.

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.’

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


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RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Margaret Ramm, Donaghadee RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 077 46 633365 email: Margaret.ramm@travelcounsellors.com or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

Donaghadee volunteer crewmember Rebecca McCarthy will lay wreath at wreck site

RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Donaghadee volunteer crewmember Rebecca McCarthy will lay wreath at wreck site
Three lifeboats moored at Donaghadee Pier for MV Princess Victoria anniversary

RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Three lifeboats moored at Donaghadee Pier for MV Princess Victoria anniversary
Gathering at Donaghadee pier ahead of rendez-vous at MV Princess Victoria site

RNLI/Niamh Stephenson

Gathering at Donaghadee pier ahead of rendez-vous at MV Princess Victoria site

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland