Boat tragedy widow returns for service

A GRIEVING widow fighting for compensation after her husband was killed when a pleasure boat capsized off the Bahrain coast is attending a memorial service with other victims' families.

Anthony Bond

A GRIEVING widow fighting for compensation after her husband was killed when a pleasure boat capsized off the Bahrain coast is attending a memorial service with other victims' families.

Will Nolan, 50, was one of 58 people killed when the wooden al-Dana sank a mile from the shore off the Gulf island on March 30, 2006.

His wife, 46-year-old Nicola Nolan, who lives in Ipswich, has travelled out to the Gulf along with other bereaved families for a memorial service to be held on Sunday.

The families want the Bahraini Government to compensate them for their loss.

An inquest into the deaths of the 12 British victims, many of whom were working for a construction firm completing Bahrain's World Trade Centre, found the boat was unsafe due to a serious breakdown in the licensing and certification system in the country.

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The owner of the boat was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Speaking to the EADT last nightfrom Bahrain, Mrs Nolan, who was on-board the capsized boat but managed to swim to safety, said: “My husband was the sole bread winner and the back bone of our family and I am trying to bring up two children on my own.

“He was our rock and we have lost everything. Our security, our future and our lifestyle has been destroyed and my children have lost their father. There are no words to describe the emotional turmoil that we have been through in the last two years and what we live with every day. Since that night my life and my children's lives have been turned upside down.”

Mrs Nolan, who has two children, Sarah-Jane, 20, and David, 18, said Sunday's memorial service at Bahrain's St Christopher Cathedral was an important event to ensure the tragedy is not forgotten.

“We are trying to rebuild our lives and by coming out here and going to this memorial service it ensures it is still at the forefront of everybody's minds because it was a huge tragedy,” she said. “I wanted to do something to remember the second anniversary because it is important that people do not forget that 58 lives were lost.”

Mr Nolan worked nationally and internationally as a chartered civil engineer and Mrs Nolan said it is hard not to think about the tragic events of that night.

“It will never leave me and it is a burden that I will carry for the rest of my life. There are times when it is very difficult and I do not want it to come to the forefront of my mind.”

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