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Felixstowe: MP backs Star fight for a memorial to the European Gateway ferry victims

PUBLISHED: 12:15 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 12:56 21 December 2012

The European Gateway

The European Gateway

A SUFFOLK MP has today backed our campaign to remember the victims of the European Gateway ferry disaster with a permanent memorial.

Six people died when the ferry capsized off the coast of Felixstowe 30 years ago, following a collision with the inbound Speed Link Vanguard.

Felixstowe mayor Mike Deacon has already pledged to investigate the possibility of a memorial on the seafront.

And today, Suffolk Coastal MP, Therese Coffey, said she would back our campaign.

She added: “This is a very well motivated move to honour the people that died in a tragic accident that must have left a shroud of worry over the people of Felixstowe.

“I am sure it (the disaster) is still very vivid.”

The disaster happened on December 19, 1982 and the vessel sank within ten minutes.

It then laid on its side for many months before it was finally righted and towed away.

All available boats and harbour tugs were sent to the scene as the scale of the tragedy began to unfold.

The memory of those events are still in the minds of the people that witnessed it and survived it.

Speaking to the Star yesterday, Felixstowe councillor and former mayor, Doreen Savage, revealed she had enjoyed a carol service on the vessel on the day that it capsized.

She added: “We had been on it in the afternoon and we left about 5.30pm.

“The next thing we knew at midnight there was a phone call to say it had gone down.

“It was awful – the people you had just shared a joyous occasion with were no longer alive.”

A number of memorial ideas for the victims have already been suggested ranging from a plaque to a telescope on the seafront.

■ What kind of memorial would you like to see set up for the European Gateway victims? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

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