Screw-Steamer Ashore at South Shields
This morning, at half-past five o'clock, the screw-steamer Birkhall, Captain Crombie, of Aberdeen, got ashore at the end of the Fish Pier, South Shields. She was bound from Carthagena via London to the Tyne, and had on board 160 tons of lead, which was to be discharged at Smith's Buoys, North Shields. The vessel was in charge of a pilot, and there was a dense fog prevailing at the time. The engines were dead slow as the steam entered the harbour. As soon the look-out reported "rocks-a-head " the engines were reversed full speed astern, but this precaution failed to stop the ship, and she ran upon the rocks, where she remained fast, The engines were set ahead again, and this had the effect of canting the vessel's stern into deep water. The stones have holed the bottom plates on five places. The damage is chiefly amidship under the engine room floor. As soon as possible crafts were engaged, and the cargo discharged into them. The tide was upon the ebb when the casualty occurred, therefore nothing farther could be done to float the vessel. It is expected, however, that she will got off at high water this afternoon. The pilot who was in charge complains that the sunken steamer Dora has the effect of setting the ebb off to the southward, and thus interfering with the navigation inwards.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 18 May 1882