Boat tragedy must be remembered - widow

A SUFFOLK woman who lost her husband when a boat restaurant capsized in Bahrain two years ago has said the tragedy must never be forgotten.Nicola Nolan, whose husband Will, 50, was died in the Al Dana dhow disaster, attended an “emotional” service with other families of UK victims yesterday.

A SUFFOLK woman who lost her husband when a boat restaurant capsized in Bahrain two years ago has said the tragedy must never be forgotten.

Nicola Nolan, whose husband Will, 50, was died in the Al Dana dhow disaster, attended an “emotional” service with other families of UK victims yesterday.

The ceremony was held at St Christopher's Cathedral in Manama to remember the 58 people who lost their lives.

The UK minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Dr Kim Howells read out the names of the people who died and 58 candles were lit.

Mrs Nolan, a nurse from Ipswich, managed to swim to safety after the floating restaurant sunk on March 30, 2006.

But the disaster claimed the life of her husband, who was a project director on the Bahrain World Trade Centre. He was one of 12 Britons who died in the tragedy.

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Their daughter, Sarah-Jane, 20, read out a self-written poem at the service.

Mrs Nolan, 46, said: "It was very emotional. Very moving and I don't know how she (her daughter) held herself together .

"I'm glad the service went well - we needed to keep it at the forefront of everyone's minds. It was such a huge tragedy and we don't want such a huge risk to be forgotten."

She explained several people were in tears at the service, which filled the cathedral.

The Al Dana was hired by local company Island Tours who chartered the boat for a party to celebrate the completion of part of the Bahrain World Trade Centre.

A British inquest found the Al Dana capsized after a series of errors including a breakdown in the system which allowed the former fishing boat to be given a tourism licensing certificate in February 2006. The families are seeking compensation from the Bahrain authorities.

Dr Howells, speaking before the ceremony, said: "I know many of these families continue to suffer real financial hardship two years after the tragedy because they had not yet received compensation.'

Clive Garner, head of travel litigation law firm Irwin Mitchell, who is representing the families of 19 of the deceased, said he had been working closely with the British Embassy in Bahrain and welcomed Dr Howells' comments.

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