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Postby shipstamps » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:18 pm

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Built as an iron hulled cargo-passenger vessel under yard No 88 by Robert Napier, Glasgow for the Royal Mail Lines.
19 March 1859 launched under the name SHANNON. The christening ceremony was performed by Mrs. Napier. Named after the River Shannon.
Tonnage 3.092 gross, 2.187 net, dim. 103.02 x 13.46 x 5.94m., beam over paddle boxes 20.12m.
Powered by a two 2-cyl. side-lever steam engine, manufactured by builder, 800 nhp., speed during trials 14.4 knots. Bunker capacity 1.450 tons of coal.
Accommodation for 60 first class, 120 second class, crew 120.

She was the latest paddle steamer built for the Royal Mail.
17 August 1859 sailed for her maiden voyage between Southampton and the West Indies under command of Capt. Abbott.
17 October 1860 with on board cargo and passengers still under command of Capt Abbott, she sailed from Southampton bound for St Thomas.
On 23 October early in the morning a tremendous noise was heard, the engine was stopped and after examination it was found that her main shaft just outside her port side was broken in two.
After the wheel was secured by chains against the paddle-box and after removing some floats the SHANNON proceeded with only one paddle wheel and under sail, on 25th she was again underway, with a speed of around 3.5 knots.
09 November arrived in St Thomas after a passage of 23 days and 3 hours.
The SHANNON was later towed back by an other ship of the company the TRENT to England, twelve days after sailing the tow-line broke and the SHANNON sailed by herself back to England.

1875 Rebuilt by Walker Crough & Lindwall at Deptford-green Dock in a screw propelled vessel and also lengthened slightly with a new clipper-bow and stern.
A new 2-cyl compound steam engine manufactured by Maudsley, Son & Field, Deptford, 700 nhp., a two bladed propeller with a diameter of 5.79m. was fitted in, increasing her speed by 1 knots, and halving her coal consumption.
Tonnage 3.608 gross, 2.046 net, dim. 364 x 44 x 33ft.

1875 Re-entered service under command of Capt. E.M. Leeds.
02 August 1875 she sailed from Southampton and made the passage to St Thomas in 11 days, on her homeward voyage from Colon she was wrecked on the Pedro Bank, south west of Jamaica in August 1875, without loss of lives. In the Board of Trade hearing later the Capt. and Officers were acquitted of any blame on the wrecking.
It was the opinion of the Board that Captain Leeds an experience seaman had set the course 10 miles to the eastward of Portland Rock, and allowing two knots an hour for the extreme set of the current as shown on the chart, he was justified in considering that such a course would clear the danger on the Pedro Bank.

Source: The Times. Merchant Fleets, Royal Mail Line & Nelson Line by Duncan Haws. Some web-sites. Aulke Palmhof
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