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NEMO Remembers…The Sinking of the MV St. George

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Friday, February 25, 2005 – The Headlines of the day said it all.


The Voice Newspaper of February 26, 1935

Worse Disaster within memory


The newspaper spoke of the sinking of the MV St George off Laborie on February 24, 1935 – 70 years ago this week


Hazard analysis and experience have confirmed that Saint Lucia is at risk from numerous hazards, both natural and technological; this will be illustrated this year by the seven disasters that NEMO will remember and highlight.  We start with February 24th [1935] the 70th Anniversary of the drowning of forty-one [41] persons when the MV St. George overturned off Laborie.


Below is an extract from a transcript of the day:



Worse Disaster within memory

Voice Newspaper February 26, 1935 -- The worse catastrophe that has ever occurred in St. Lucia in living memory took place on Sunday afternoon when the 13 ton motor launch ST. GEORGE turned turtle off the Laborie coast launching many men, women and children into eternity.  Up to the time of writing there are so many conflicting reports, even from the survivors that it is not safe to assert anything positively.


It was about 4 o’clock on Sunday afternoon when a report came over the telephone wires from Laborie to Castries announcing that the M.V. ST. GEORGE with 100 persons on board had sank off Laborie and all lives were lost.  This report threw Castries into a state of great excitement and the telephone operators were kept very busy.  Very fortunately this first report was found to be grossly exaggerated.  By six o’clock modified reports were received “The boat had capsized, 44 were saved and dozens drowned”.  Later still the number of save had been increased and the number known to be perished was fixed at 10 but Dame Rumour persisted in placing the drowned at about 20.


As far as we have been able to ascertain the M.V. ST. GEORGE left Castries at 7 a.m. on an excursion to Soufriere.  From Soufriere another excursion went to Choiseul where many remained.  From Choiseul a cheap round trip excursion was started to Laborie and back.  It was when returning from Laborie to Choiseul that the accident occurred.


Up to the time of writing only six bodies have been recovered.

We sent a representative to the coast towns last night to try and sift the truth from the mass of conflicting reports floating around Castries.  This morning our representative phoned that up to 9 a.m. to official figures were six dead – bodies found – and 28 missing; unofficially six others are added to the number of missing.  The 28 officially reported as missing ate 10 men, 16 women and two children.  The six bodies that were recovered were buried at the Choiseul Cemetery on Monday afternoon.


It is reported that during the afternoon the village church bells peeled merrily for the wedding of a bride whose sister and niece are counted among the missing.




The ill-fated motor launch was towed from the scene of disaster and now alongside the jetty at Choiseul from which village of 27 of the dead and missing hailed.  She waterlogged and partly submerged.   An attempt is being made to float her.  It is believed that imprisoned inside will be found some dead bodies.




An inquiry was opened this morning at the Soufriere District Court by Mr. Magistrate Date acting as Coroner.




Rev. Hazlewood, Rector of the River Dorée Anglican Church and St. Paul’s Church in Vieux Fort, has opened a subscription list in aid of those who have lost their means of support through this catastrophe.  We are informed that the list now amounts to $61.32

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