Guernsey Press

Ceremony held to remember Prosperity crew

A WEST coast memorial to the members of the crew of the Prosperity who died in hurricane-force winds off Guernsey nearly 50 years ago has been refurbished to mark the anniversary.

A memorial service took place at Lihou Headland to remember the crew of the MV Prosperity disaster in 1974. The service was conducted by Major Andrew Diaper-Clausen. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 32487814)

A handful of islanders paid their respects to the 18 crew members who died in the disaster in a memorial service as part of Merchant Navy Day on Saturday, which remembers seafarers lost at sea.

‘It was one of the most deadly runnings aground in modern Guernsey history, and although the crew abandoned ship hoping to save themselves by coming ashore, 18 lost their lives in the waters of this bay,’ said Major Andrew Diaper-Clausen.

‘Today we remember those lost at sea close by, we think of the collision in the last year of L’Ecume II and its crash with Commodore Goodwill, the loss of the three lives, the families of the fishermen and the lives impacted on the Commodore Goodwill.’

About 15 people attended the service which took place at the Prosperity Memorial at Lihou headland.

It has recently been refurbished, with stonemason Lyndon Fox replacing the stone tablet on upon which the names of the Prosperity’s crew are inscribed.

‘It is important, particularly as an island community, that we recognise the important role the Merchant Navy plays in our lives,’ said Jerome Davis, head of port operations at the States.

‘Restoring the memorial is our way of honouring and remembering the sacrifices of the often forgotten Merchant Navy seafarers.’

The Prosperity, a Cypriot cargo ship, foundered on west coast rocks on the night of the 16 January 1974 after running aground in hurricane force 12 winds.