Donaghadee RNLI lays floral tribute to commemorate Princess Victoria disaster
The crew of Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat put to sea on Sunday (27 January ) morning for their fortnightly exercise and also to lay a floral tribute on behalf of the Sir Samuel Kelly Project.
The volunteer crew paid their respects to all those who lost their lives 66 years ago on the 31 January 1953 with the loss of the MV Princess Victoria in the North Channel.
It was poignant that weather conditions during the exercise would have been akin to that experienced by the crews of Donaghadee, Portpatrick, Cloughey and Newcastle RNLI lifeboats and all the other vessels on that day as they battled to render assistance to those in peril.
A commemorative wreath was put into the sea by the lifeboat's Second Coxswain, John Ashwood who commented: ‘It was an honour to put to sea today and lay a tribute on behalf of the Sir Samuel Kelly Project to remember the 133 souls that were lost. It was very fitting that the conditions were challenging and made it even more poignant to think of what our former crew members had to face on that occasion.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.