The Antrim Princess
was the first diesel powered Sealink UK ro-ro ferry. Built by Hawthorn Leslie
around 1967 and operating between Stranraer in the west of Scotland and Larne on the NE coast of Northern Ireland for the past 16 years.
On 9 Dec 1983, in a high sea state, the ship suffered a fire in her main switch room which caused her to drift without propulsion just off Larne in Storm Force 10 winds. Both RAF 72 Sq from Aldergrove and 819 NAS from Prestwick mobilised and together lifted 108 passengers and 20 crew safely off the ship in challenging conditions.
The Captain and 32 crew who remainded aboard were eventually able to bring the blaze under control and partially restore power. The next day a line was put aboard and she was towed to Harland and Wolff
in Belfast for repairs.