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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 September 2005, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Memorial service for ship victims
MV Derbyshire
The Derbyshire was the length of three football pitches
The 44 people lost at sea when the MV Derbyshire sank will be "remembered with pride" at a service to mark the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

The bulk carrier, built on Teesside, sank in the South China Sea on 9 September 1980, when she was caught up in a severe tropical storm.

Those killed came from all over the country, many from Merseyside, as well as Redcar and Darlington.

Victims' families were in Liverpool on Saturday for a memorial service.

Safety improvements

Paul Lambert, whose brother Peter was among the 15 people from Merseyside who died in the tragedy, said he still remembered the phone call about the missing ship as though it was yesterday.

"There is so much you remember - and so vividly - it just does not seem 25 years ago," he said.

"Forty-four people lost their lives when the carrier sank, but in their names so much has been done to improve bulk carrier safety.

"We will be remembering them with pride."

Video footage

The 169,000-tonne ore and oil bulk carrier sank in the Pacific Ocean south of Japan when she was hit by Typhoon Orchid in 1980.

An inquiry in 2000 ruled that a hatch cover had failed to withstand the pressure caused by huge waves which buffeted the 160,000-tonne bulk carrier.

But further research showed the ship got into trouble because the waves were exactly the same length as the vessel.

The findings followed two inquiries which waded through 137,000 photographs and 200 hours of video footage shot around the wreckage.

The annual service of commemoration to the victims was taking place at St Nicholas' Church, Liverpool, on Saturday.


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