ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A remembrance service is planned today to mark the anniversary of one of the worst disasters in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador.

It was 34 years ago today -- during the early morning hours of Feb. 15, 1982 -- that the Ocean Ranger drilling rig sank in a violent storm about 300 kilometres east of St. John's.

Ocean Ranger disaster
Crewmen from the research ship Hudson, dressed in protective suits, unload one of the bodies from Ocean Ranger drill rig in St. John's on Friday, Feb. 12, 1982.

Eighty-four crew members, many of them from Newfoundland and Labrador, perished that day.

A royal commission report cited a chain of events that led to the sinking of the semi-submersible rig.

Ocean Ranger disaster
A battered lifeboat that was found floating overturned near the site of the Ocean Ranger oil drilling platform is lifted off a supply boat in St. John's NF, Feb 17, 1982.

Sea water rushed through a glass portlight and soaked an electrical panel, shorting out controls for ballast gauges and pumps.

A memorial prayer service for those lost at sea will be held at St. Pius X Church in east end St. John's.