Ardincaple Steamboat - September, 1833


"September 1. The Ardincaple steamboat, on her voyage from Edinburgh to Newcastle, encountered a tremendous gale, such as had not been seen upon the coast for upwards of thirty years, When off Bambro' Castle she was struck by a heavy sea, which completely swept her deck and tore away the whole of the bulwarks, stanchions, and paddle-casing on the starboard side, carried overboard Captain Macleod, the steward's daughter, a soldier, and two other passengers (one of them a young seaman and the other a middle-aged man). Several other persons were overboard, but contrived to regain the vessel. Both anchors were let go, and she was brought up. Another sea then struck her, and the chimney and mainmast went over the side. Every exertion was made to clear away the wreck, and she bravely rode in the gale till near one o'clock the next morning. Too much praise cannot be given to a party of sailors who were on board, and to Mr. Pearson, late captain of the King of the Netherlands, who then took the command. The vessel was perfectly tight, but, from all the skylights on deck being broken in and the engine-house completely smashed away, a great deal of water necessarily got into the vessel. Having, however, an excellent copper pump on board, the sailors and the crew soon got the better of the water. During the day two of the crew lowered down the stern boat and jumped into her, when the painter broke, and they were in a moment swallowed up by the raging element. About one o'clock she was struck by another most tremendous sea, when she parted from both her anchors, both chain cables having broken, and it was then momentarily expected she would drive ashore. Very fortunately there were some large tarpaulins which had been used to cover the luggage upon deck, and with these they contrived to make a sail, and they had the satisfaction to find she was going off the land with them. They soon cleared her of the water she had shipped, and steered immediately for a good anchorage under the lee of the Farn Islands, where they saw several vessels lying in smooth water, and among the rest a revenue cutter (supposed to be the Mermaid), and notwithstanding guns were fired from the Ardincaple, the bell rung, and every exertion made, they inhumanly took no notice of the vessel, but suffered her to pass within a very short distance ; indeed she was in their view the whole of the preceding day. But a cod smack, which was riding inside the cutter, having heard the signals, immediately slipped her cables and came down to their assistance. About 5 o'clook they were taken in tow by the smack and the passengers were removed into her for safety. She was towed up by the smack to Shields, where she got into the harbour next morning. The passengers were all landed in the evening by the crew of a boat from Cullercoats, who, seeing her distress, gallantly put off, at the hazard of their lives, to their assistance." 1833

From: T Fordyce, J. Sykes. Local records; or, Historical register of remarkable events which have occurred in Northumberland and Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and Berwick-upon-Tweed..., published 1867

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Ardincaple Steam boat
- In the 19th century, the Ardincaple steamer sailed between Newcastle and Edinburgh twice a week. As well as passengers it carried the mail. "NEWCASTLE STEAMER. — The Ardincaple sails regularly ...

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