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Last Updated: Friday, 4 February, 2005, 21:04 GMT
Cockling victims are remembered
More than 100 people gathered on the shores of Morecambe Bay on Friday to mark a year since the cockling disaster, in which 23 Chinese died.

The cockle pickers, who had come to the UK in search of work, drowned in rising tides off Hest Bank on 5 February 2004.

People gathered at The Dome, in Morecambe, to remember the victims and raise money for their families.

Earlier on Friday, cocklers were continuing to harvest the crop on the Bay's treacherous sands.

We are still very worried it will happen again. People are still going out there picking and I beg people not to do it. It is dangerous
Gina Tan, event organiser
A short documentary filmed in China with the relatives of the victims was shown to the crowd.

Gina Tan, a leading member of the Chinese community in Morecambe and organiser of the event, said: "This was a terrible tragedy and many workers drowned. They were taken away by the sea.

"They came to this country thinking they were coming for a better life. They had no idea this is what would happen.

"The whole community was very badly shocked and now we have come together to remember the victims and to support their families and each other."

The 57-year-old added: "We are still very worried it will happen again. People are still going out there picking and I beg people not to do it. It is dangerous."

Four men and a woman are due to go on trial in September this year, charged in connection with last year's incident.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See police footage of cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay



SEE ALSO:
Easy pickings for cockle licence
04 Feb 05 |  Lancashire
Police appoint cockling officer
06 Jan 05 |  England
Cocklers still at risk claim MPs
14 Dec 04 |  Lancashire


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