On Wednesday, July 24 a commemorative service is being held at Pihama Cemetery for the seaman killed during the sinking of the Lizzie Bell barque which took place off the South Taranaki Coast on that same date in 1901.

The service which is being organised by the New Plymouth branch of the Merchant Navy Association starts at 11am and will include a wreath laying ceremony and roll call of the 12 sailors who died that fateful night.

The Lizzie Bell was travelling from Wellington to Newcastle, Australia when it struck rocks a mile and a half south of the Oeo river.

Two of the crew fell overboard and with the vessel totally wrecked the remaining crew abandoned ship into a lifeboat which itself later overturned.

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In all 12 of the Lizzie Bells 18 sailors lost their lives as a result of the shipwreck.

For more information about the commemoration service contact Denise Wood secretary of the Merchant Navy Association, New Plymouth Sub Committee at denise.wood@xtra.co.nz or phone 06 757 9218.