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Remembering those who died in ferry disaster, 26 years on

Herald of Free Enterprise window
Herald of Free Enterprise window

by Graham Tutthillgtutthill@thekmgroup.co.uk

Survivors and relatives of those who died when the Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge have attended a service and memorial events in Dover today, 26 years after the disaster.

It was on March 6 1987 that the ferry capsized, soon after setting sail from the Belgian port bound for Dover. A total of 193 people died.

Each year since then, people have gathered in Dover for a service and to throw wreaths into the sea from the Prince of Wales Pier. Flowers are also now laid at a rose garden on the seafront which was created and dedicated last year to mark the 25th anniversary.

Today's service was held at St Mary's Church where there is a memorial window (pictured above), and a list of the names of all those who died is on display.

Crew and passengers perished in the tragedy which happened when the bow doors of the ferry were left open, and water flooded onto the car deck.

It led to many improvements in safety and procedures on board the cross-Channel ferries.

Full report in next week's Dover Mercury, March 14.

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