Formal investigation into the loss by foundering of the M. V. 'Princess Victoria' on 31st January 1953 in the North Channel, Irish Sea :
before J. H. Campbell Esq., Q.C., R.M., Chairman, and Captain C. V. Groves, Professor A. M. Robb, D.Sc., M.I.N.A., J. Shand Esq. Record Court, County Courthouse, Crumlin Road, Belfast.
|Main Creator:||Northern Ireland. Record Court.|
|Published / Created:||
[Belfast] : Record Court, County Courthouse, 1953.
MV Princess Victoria was one of the earliest roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) ferries. Built in 1947, she operated from Stranraer to Larne. During a severe European windstorm on 31 January 1953, she sank in the North Channel with the loss of 133 lives. This was then the deadliest maritime disaster in United Kingdom waters since World War II. Princess Victoria was built in 1947 by William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton. She was the first purpose-built ferry of her kind to operate in British coastal waters and the fourth ship to bear the name, her 1939 predecessor having been sunk during World War II in the Humber estuary by a German mine. Although being innovative in her loading methods, the vessel looked externally similar to her namesake. She could hold 1,500 passengers plus cargo and had sleeping accommodation for 54.
The investigation sat from Monday 23 March to Tuesday 28 April, 1953. These volumes contain the verbatim record of the proceedings at the investigation including the cross examination of all witnesses called. This work provides the most detailed information available on one of the worst shipping disasters in Ireland or Britain in modern times, one in which 133 people lost their lives. Heavy weather had been predicted. The ship sailed into some of the worst weather experienced in the region during the twentieth century. Two hours after leaving port she radioed that she was not "under command" and requested a tug. No tug was available but a naval vessel set out for its incorrectly reported position. Less than an hour later she sent out a distress signal and shortly thereafter sank. Confusion over the position compounded the rescue efforts but a small number of persons were pulled from the sea. This investigation revealed that the ship which was operated by the British Transport Commission had been rejected by them as too weak for its Rosslare to Fishguard route. Two main causes of the accident were identified : (a) weak and badly designed stern doors, and (b) scuppers inadequate to allow the run off of large quantities of water from the car deck. The owners were found to be principally and negligently responsible. The owners appealed this decision to ta higher court under Lord McDermott, Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, but that appeal was rejected.
Physical description: 25 volumes bound in 5 from A to E ; 33 cm.
Indexes: There is an index at the start of each volume, listing its contents.
|Call Number||View in||Collection||NLI Holdings|
|14C 10 /1||Main Reading Room||Books||Tome 1: vols. I-V|
|14C 10 /2||Main Reading Room||Books||Tome 2 : vols. VI - X|
|14C 10 /3||Main Reading Room||Books||Tome 3 : vols. XI - XV|
|14C 10 /4||Main Reading Room||Books||Tome 4 : Vols. XVI - XX|
|14C 10 /5||Main Reading Room||Books||Tome 5 : vols. XXI - XXV|