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Victims of the Princess Victoria disaster remembered 63 years on

By Rebecca Black

Published 31/01/2016

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe pictured at the Princess Victoria Memorial in Larne with William McAllister who is the only living survivor of the of disaster.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe pictured at the Princess Victoria Memorial in Larne with William McAllister who is the only living survivor of the of disaster.
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Billy Ashe pictured at the Princess Victoria Memorial in Larne with William McAllister who is the only living survivor of the of disaster.

A total of 133 lives were lost in the tragedy, which at the time was the UK's worst peacetime disaster at sea.

The Princess Victoria disaster happened on January 31, 1953 after a ferry crossing from Stranraer to Larne sank after being battered by monstrous waves in the North Channel.

Only 33 passengers and crew survived the terrible disaster. The loss of so many lives sent shockwaves through Northern Ireland.

It had a particularly strong impact on County Antrim and the Port of Larne with 27 of the 133 victims coming from the town. 

On Saturday, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Billy Ashe led tributes to those who perished in Larne with William McAllister who is the only living survivor of the of disaster, when he was 17 he was a galley boy on the ship.  

They were among those who attended the 63rd anniversary commemoration service marking the poignant anniversary.

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