BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
World 
UK 
England 
Northern Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Saturday, 20 January, 2001, 17:22 GMT
Marchioness families welcome lifeboats
The ship is salvaged from the Thames
The Marchioness sinking claimed 51 lives
Relatives of victims of the Marchioness pleasure boat disaster have welcomed a move to operate lifeboats on the River Thames in London.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute will provide the three lifeboats, to be manned by trained crews in emergencies.

They will be officially unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott on Monday.

Fifty-one people died when the Marchioness sank after colliding with the dredger Bowbelle on the Thames in August 1989.

Eileen Dallaglio
Eileen Dallaglio: "Major breakthrough"
A spokeswoman for the Marchioness Action Group said: "The group has been actively working to get this vital service established since 1991.

"We consider that this and the other changes will be a fitting memorial to the 51 loved ones who lost their lives that fateful night."

Eileen Dallaglio, who is also a member of the group and lost her 19-year-old daughter in the tragedy said: "This is a major breakthrough because there was nothing there before.

"It is a very dangerous river."

She also called for the drink-drive laws used to punish motorists to be extended to those in charge of boats.

The lifeboats will be co-ordinated from a Port of London Authority operations room.

The coroner who oversaw the team dealing with the Marchioness victims, Dr Paul Knapman, came in for strong criticism for allowing the hands of 25 of the dead to be cut off for fingerprint identification.

In evidence to the disaster inquiry last month, he apologised for the distress caused to the victims' families.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories