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Felixstowe: Group will look at ideas for memorial for European Gateway disaster victims

PUBLISHED: 08:40 28 January 2013 | UPDATED: 08:40 28 January 2013

Preparations are made for the first attempt to right the European Gateway after the disaster off felxistowe in December 1982.

Preparations are made for the first attempt to right the European Gateway after the disaster off felxistowe in December 1982.

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A TASK group is to be set up to look at ideas and costs for a memorial on Felixstowe seafront to remember those who died in a ferry disaster 30 years ago.

Felixstowe Town Council has backed the Felixstowe Star’s proposal for a memorial to the six men who died on the European Gateway and authorised mayor Mike Deacon to press ahead with the project.

The council has asked him to form and oversee a group reflecting the resort’s maritime interests – including the Port of Felixstowe, Felixstowe Ports Users’ Association, Felixstowe Sea Cadets, Felixstowe Sea Scouts, Felixstowe Society and others – to look at various ideas and costs.

Mr Deacon brought the matter to the town council and said he was very grateful for its support.

“The Felixstowe Society is very interested in the project and has already indicated that it would be prepared to contribute some money towards the cost,” said Mr Deacon.

“There is a lot of interest generally in the town and a number of people have spoken to me about it.

“I have given some initial thought to possible sites for a memorial – though the group should look at this matter and may have better ideas – and we could consider the port viewing area, south seafront or the clifftop above the gardens next to the Town Hall.

“It is early days though and needs to be given careful consideration.”

Councillors favoured the clifftop site – especially as it would overlook the place where the capsized Townsend Thoresen vessel European Gateway lay on its side offshore for six months after its collision with the Speedlink Vanguard.

Councillor Doreen Savage said that at the time of the disaster she had been mayoress and on the afternoon ahead of the collision, she had attended a civic carol service on board the ferry and had tea with the crew.

“The ferry was out there like a beached whale for months. It was awful,” she said.

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