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Nautilus attends 36th Herald of Free Enterprise commemoration

6 March 2023

On Sunday 5 March, Nautilus head of industrial Micky Smyth represented the Union at the yearly remembrance ceremony held to mark the anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise tragedy.

The Union is always represented at the service, which was organised by Sailors' Society and Dover's port chaplaincy team.

'Today marks the 36th anniversary of the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, during which 193 lives were lost when the ferry capsized outside the Port of Zeebrugge at 18:30 on Friday, 06 March 1987,' Mr Smyth said.

'This is the first year that there was no service held in St. Marys Church in Dover; it is hoped that the service will take place in the church for the 40th anniversary in 2027.  A small service of remembrance was held beside Clocktower Square at the Marina Curve on Sunday, 05 March at 14:00hrs.'

A two-minutes silence was observed, as well as prayers for those lost in the tragedy, whose names were read out. Flowers were cast into the sea in an old seafaring tradition, and floral tributes were also left at the memorial stone on the seafront.

At the time, the Herald of Free Enterprise disaster highlighted the need for greater safety regulations in the UK ferry industry, including design alterations to ro-ro ferries and changes to procedures, which have helped to keep passengers and crew safe ever since. The anniversary is, as always, a reminder that safety in the industry should not be compromised under any circumstances.


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