22 October 1888

Serious Collision on the Tyne
A Wear Steamer Sunk
Two Firemen Missing

Yesterday evening, considerable excitement was caused on Tyneside, by the report that a disastrous and fatal collision had occurred at the entrance to Shields harbour, resulting in the sinking of an outward-bound steamer, and the disabling of a Tyne bound foreign screw. The news of the collision proved to be only too true. It appears that last evening, about five o'clock, as the s.s. Triumph was proceeding down the river, she came into collision with the s.s. Rivas, and both vessels being heavily laden, the shock was tremendous. On the steamers separating, it was at once seen that both were badly damaged, but to what extent could not at first be ascertained, a haze hanging over the river and darkness last setting in. Both were holed below the water-mark, and the Triumph sank almost immediately after the parting with the Rivas, going down by the head, but not going altogether under the water. The master of the Rivas, Captain Salvidegartia, to save his vessel from a similar fate, beached her at the south side of the river near to Salmon's Quay, where, it was stated, she lay in a very dangerous position. The crew of the Triumph remained on board their vessel for some time after the collision, and were ultimately landed at South Shields. It was stated that two of the firemen were missing, and their absence was accounted for their being in their bunks, where they were either killed outright at the time of the collision or afterwards drowned. No one else was hurt. The Triumph was built at Sunderland, her gross registered tonnage being 2,002 tons, the owners being the Triumph Steam Shipping Company, Sunderland. The Triumph was on voyage from Gothenburg to Leghorn with a cargo of old rails. She on Sunday put into the Tyne for bunkers, and was proceeding to sea at the time of the disaster. The Rivas is a Spanish vessel, of and from Bilbao, with a cargo of iron ore. She was built at Glasgow, her gross register being 2,701 tons. She has traded regularly between Bilbao and the Tyne for a considerable time, and was entering the harbour when the collision occurred. The Triumph lies midchannel nearly opposite the Groyne, in a very awkward position, which has been marked in the usual way by the Harbour master (Capt. Bruce). Most of the crew belong to Sunderland.

Another Account
Additional Particulars

From inquiries made this morning it appears that the Triumph was laden with a full cargo of iron rails. She had the day previous put into the Tyne to take in bunker coal at the Albert Edward Dock, North Shields. While proceeding out to sea, it appears she had taken a shear northward when the collision occurred. At the time of the disaster the weather was somewhat foggy. The force of the collision was so serious as to cause a tremendous breach in the starboard bow of the Triumph, the water rushing in, which caused her to founder forward, leaving the stern and her propeller completely out of the water. Several of the crew were fortunate enough to get on to the stern, and were taken off and subsequently landed at North Shields. It was, however, found that two of the firemen were missing, namely, a Maltese and an Italian, and it is believed by the rest of the crew at the time of the collision they were in the forecastle asleep. The principal part of the crew belong to Sunderland, and last evening proceeded to their homes. During the course of last night, the Triumph considerably settled down into an even position. Her watertight compartment had held for some hours, when it suddenly burst, which caused the ship to lie in a straight position. This morning at half ebb, the decks, rails, and a good portion her bridge were entirely submerged. At high water her funnel was almost entirely under water, and her topsail yards were not visible. The head of that vessel is lying due north. She is right athwart of-mid-channel, and is considered dangerous to navigation. Considerable difficulty will be experienced with regard to the traffic both outward and inwards. During last night, lights were exhibited on her masts, stern, and bow to warn approaching vessels. At low water it will be possible to gain the decks of the sunken steamer, but great difficulty will be experienced in attempting to discover if there is any trace of the missing firemen. The work can be done only by divers, and we understand an attempt will be made to-day to ascertain the extent of the damage the vessel has sustained. With respect to the damaged steamer Rivas, she is at present lying off Salmon Quay, on a sandy bottom, and there is little fear that she will take any further harm. She is resting on her starboard side. Early this morning, a large staff men from Messrs Edwards and Sons, ship repairers, were busily engaged in planking up the steamer. She is considerably damaged about the port bow, though it will not be found necessary to do much work before a removal is effected. At noon the breach caused by the collision was about covered over, by means of planks. It is anticipated that she will be taken up the river to-day, after which she will discharge, and go into dock for repairs.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 23 October 1888

1 January 1889

Tyne Improvement Commission
Sunk Steamer

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the large screw-steamer “Triumph," 280 feet long, lies sunk below the Narrows, abreast of the Groyne Lighthouse, within the entrance to the River Tyne.

The vessel lies athwart the navigable channel, heading about NNE, in an average depth of 30 feet at low water, ordinary spring tides, her head being about 180 feet south of the line of Leading Lights.


Except at low water, her masts only are visible.


During the daytime the position of the vessel is marked by a GREEN FLAG on the Mainmast, and at night-time by TWO WHITE LIGHTS placed horizontally in the Main Rigging, in addition to which ONE SINGLE WHITE LIGHT is placed at the stern, and ONE SINGLE WHITE LIGHT at the stern.

As a further precaution, one of the Commissioners’ Hoppers is moored to the EASTWARD and another to the WESTWARD of the sunk vessel, as Watch Vessels. Each Hoover exhibits a GREEN FLAG by day, and TWO WHITE LIGHTS, placed horizontally, by night.

Until the vessel is raised and removed, Masters, Pilots, and others are enjoined to reduce speed and exercise great caution when passing.

By Order,

R. URWIN, Secretary

Tyne Improvement Commission Offices,

Newcastle-on-Tyne, 5th November, 1888.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 January 1889

2 January

The Steamer Triumph

A large staff of men are busily engaged this morning at the steamer Triumph, Sunderland, sunk in the mid-channel of the Tyne. The centrifugal pumps, ten in number, were set in motion at an early hour, and several steam-tugs are attendance to render any assistance required. It is fully anticipated that the operation will be successful, there is now considerably less water on the steamer's deck than there was when the last attempt was made to raise her.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 January 1889

3 January

The Steamer Triumph

Yesterday an attempt was made raise the steamer Triumph, sunk in the Tyne mid- channel. At eight o'clock in the morning the centrifugal pumps, ten in number, were set motion and pumping operations were carried on with full force but with the flow of the tide the vessel remained stationary. It is expected that another attempt will be made in about a fortnight.—A later report says the attempt made yesterday was to move vessel out of the way of the traffic and place her head on to the current from sea.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 January 1889

30 January

The efforts to raise the steamer Triumph, having hitherto failed, have raised a good deal of scepticism in the minds of many as to the ultimate success of the undertaking. It is argued that the sides of the vessel will be silted up with sand, and that it will be like lifting the four thousand tons out of the solid earth. However, that may be. Mr Armit—who ought of all people to know most about the subject—is confident, his only consideration being reasonably fine weather. That was his expressed view of matters on Thursday last, and, this condition being granted, I have great faith that his calculations, after what he said prior to raising the Hector, will be fulfilled to the letter. If he accomplishes the task he has set himself the reputation of the Dundee Salvage Company will be increased twentyfold.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 30 January 1889

1 February

The Attempt to raise the Triumph

This morning, a further attempt was made to remove the sunken screw-steamer Triumph, of Sunderland, now lying in mid-channel of the Tyne. At ten o'clock the powerful centrifugal pumps, belonging to Mr Armit, were set in motion, and a fair start was made with the operation. Unfortunately there was a considerable amount of "fresh” in the harbour, and this prevented the pumps from drawing the salt water freely out of the vessel's hold. During the course of the morning the harbour master's steam launch Otto was in attendance, and a staff of men under the superintendence of Mr Bruce, Harbour Master, and Mr Baguley, Deputy Harbour Master, were present. The River Tyne Commissioners' engineer's steam-launch with Mr J. C. Stevenson on board was also in attendance, and the place was being kept clear by Supt, Farmer, of the River Tyne Police. There were nine steam-tugs in the vicinity, ready to render assistance if the attempt should prove successful. As the tide began to flow the pumps gained considerably on the water, both fore and aft, the divers descended several times with the object of stopping one or two leaks which gave considerable trouble. About 11 45 'be vessel moved the after end, and although it was found unpracticable to raise the steamer that tide, the very fact of her moving gave a great amount of satisfaction to those concerned in the salvage operations, and the many gentlemen present watching the proceedings from aboard the craft lying alongside.—Amongst others, in addition to those already named, were Mr Urwin, secretary to the Tyne Commission, Mr P. J. Messent, the Commissioners' engineer, the Mayor of South Shields (Ald. Scott), Mr J. Shannan Stevenson, Councillors Rennoldson and Graham, Rev. L. Evans, Mr Charles Rennoldson, and Captains Harling and Cottew. A large number of spectators occupied the Fish Pier from ten o'clock till twelve, the pumping operations ceasing shortly after that.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 February 1889

4 February

Yesterday morning, the wind was blowing strongly from the north-west, and there were not wanting signs of a terrific storm, as the gathering clouds and other atmospheric changes gave clear indication that matters were not at their worst. River Tyne Police received at their quarters at the Mill Dam the following telegram from Meteorological Office, dated 7-52 a.m.: “Hoist north cone: strong north-west gale. Likely to spread eastwards." As the forenoon were on, the wind veered, round to north, and later on to north-east, thus fully bearing out the above prediction. The gale developed in force as it shitted its quarter, and soon the waves were breaking over the Tyne piers in huge masses, and at times a considerable length of those structures were hidden from view with the spray. It had been decided to make an attempt to raise the sunken steamer Triumph, which has for some time past been serious impediment to the navigation of the river, seeing that it lies athwart the stream at the narrowest part, and just at the entrance. Divers had been working at the submerged vessel each tide since the futile attempt of Thursday last, and the bulwarks had been raised where deemed necessary. In fact it seemed that everything had been done that human foresight could provide to ensure to Mr Armit and his men a successful conclusion to their labours. Despite the high wind, many hundreds of persons watched the proceedings from the Groyne, seeking such shelter as the Commissioners' trucks afforded. The immediate surroundings of the Triumph presented a busy scene. The many craft in the vicinity included the River Police steam launch, with Supt. Farmer, on board, while the steam yacht of Mr Messent, the Commissioners' engineer, was seen scudding about the flotilla. Several tugs were in attendance, in case their services should be needed. The pumps, including those on the Commissioners' craft, were set in motion as soon as the tide had sufficiently ebbed, and they worked at full bore, lifting a tremendous amount of water. Everything went on satisfactorily, and one of the tugs had already got its hawser fixed to the stern of the sunken vessel, when suddenly one of the patches at the fore part of the sunken steamer gave way, and the water rushed in with terrific force, throwing the timbers like pieces of cork. This happened at 11 45 when the salvage operators had every reason to feel confident as to the result. The unfortunate accident was therefore a disappointment to all concerned, and there was but one expression of regret amongst those who had been witnesses of the occurrence. Of course operations were immediately suspended. Later in the day, when the gale had risen to its full height, the greater portion of the work the Dundee Salvage Company was undone by the heavy seas which rolled into harbour. The new timbers were torn from the sides of the vessel and thrown on the foreshore on both sides of the river, and some of the woodwork was strewed upon the beach. During the afternoon rain fell in torrents. In the evening the sky cleared considerably, and the wind somewhat abated, but during the night, it came away with redoubled fury, lashing the sea into a mass of white foam for fully a quarter a mile from the shore. The inside of the harbour was a body of tumultuous waters, which rolled and swirled along the side of the piers with greatest violence imaginable.  The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade was in the afternoon represented at the Watch House Capt. Geo. Gray and Deputy-Captain James Henderson, and later on Capt. G. R. Potts and Deputy- Capt. Ross looked in. Capt. Whitelaw subsequently put in an appearance, and about sixteen brigadesmen were on duty over night. The van was taken along the pier at an early stage of the storm, but happily it was not called into requisition. The Coastguard, of course, kept a close watch upon vessels that might be making for the river, but only very few essayed the harbour, and these with perfect safety. This morning the wind was blowing from N.N.E., having "backed" from a more easterly quarter. There was a clear sky, but the sea was still exceedingly rough.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 4 February 1889

5 February

The Sunken Steamer Triumph
Mr Armit Interviewed

This morning our representative waited upon Mr Armit, who has charge of the operations for raising the sunken steamer Triumph, and asked:
“Is it true you have given the Triumph up?”
“No; not at all," came the emphatic response.
“You still think you can raise her?"
“We have proved that she can be lifted with a full cargo, and that is sufficient answer to that."
“But she has sustained a lot damage."
“On Sunday: during the storm a lot of the timber about her was washed away."
"But that can be replaced, and only need a bigger and stronger patch over the place where she gave way."
"Is it true that you have lost several of your pumps?”

It will thus seen that nil desperandam is a motto which well applies to Armit's undertakings.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 5 February 1889

26 February
The Steamer Triumph
Preparations will be shortly commenced to raise the steamer Triumph, of Sunderland, sunk in the mid-channel of the Tyne.  Yesterday afternoon, Mr Barker, sub-marine diver, of North Shields, and the superintendent of the Hamburg Salvage Company were engaged in making an inspection of the wreck, previous to operations being begun. A large staff of workmen will be employed in connection with the work.
Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 February 1889

1 March

The Steamer Triumph
Arrival of a German Salvage Steamer

This morning, the German Salvage Company's screw-steamer Newa arrived in the Tyne, from Swinemunde, for the purpose of making an attempt to raise the sunken steamer Triumph, Sunderland. She was expected in the Tyne last week, but owing a pressing undertaking at Swinemunde, she was considerably delayed arriving. The firm, we understand, have just successfully completed the raising of a sunken steamer at that place. Another steamer belonging to the same firm is also expected in the Tyne to take part in the Triumph operations. The Newa will be unable to proceed to work at once owing to the unsettled state of the weather. The steamer has every appliance board, including pumps. She likewise carries divers, who will work in-conjunction with two well-known Shields divers. At the present time the course adopted for the raising of the Triumph is not definitely settled. The company is a very extensive one, having numerous salvage steamers in constant readiness. The Newa is moored at the New Quay Tier, North Shields.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 March 1889

8 March

The Sunken Steamer Triumph
Salvage Operations

This morning the German Salvage Company commenced operations connection with the proposed raising of the steamer Triumph, sunk in the mid-channel of the Tyne. The steamer Newa proceeded to the wreck, having on board all the appliances requisite. The company's divers are busily engaged making an examination, and clearing away the erection made by the late salvors. Another steamer is expected in Tyne to take part in the work. Up to the present it has not been definitely arranged what method will be used in attempting to raise the vessel. It is stated a large portion of the cargo will be discharged.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 8 March 1889

11 March

The Steamer Triumph

The work in connection with, the sunken steamer Triumph, is being pushed forward with great activity. Several divers are busily engaged making preparations for placing a patch over the breach caused by the collision. The covering, we understand, will be iron. It is at present unknown when the attempt will be made to raise the wreck.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 11 March 1889

16 March

The Steamer Triumph

Work in with the sunken screw steamer Triumph is progressing steadily. All last night salvage operations were carried on by aid of the electric light. The vessel's chains and anchors have been taken ashore.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 16 March 1889

28 March

The Steamer Triumph

This morning operations were commenced to discharge the cargo of the screw-steamer Triumph, of Sunderland, sunk at the entrance to Shields harbour. The operations are being conducted with the assistance of the Tyne Commissioners' divers and steam hoppers.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 28 March 1889

10 April

The Sunken Steamer Triumph

The salvage steamer Newa and the Berthilde, engaged for the raising of the sunken steamer Triumph, proceeded down the river this morning to commence operations to discharge the cargo prior to an attempt being made to raise the vessel.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 10 April 1889

22 April

The Steamer Triumph

The discharging of the cargo of the sunken steamer Triumph is being pushed forward with considerable activity. On Saturday upwards of twelve tons were discharged two hours.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 20 April 1889

11 May

The Steamer Triumph

The salvage work connection with the raising of the sunken steamer humph progressing in a very satisfactory manner. Several divers have lately arrived to assist in the discharging of the cargo. About ten tons are being landed daily, and in a month's time an attempt will made to move the vessel.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 11 May 1889

4 June

The Steamer Triumph

The discharging operations in connection with the sunken steamer Triumph are being pushed forward with considerable activity. Upwards 900 tons have already been discharged.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 4 June 1889

7 June

The Steamer Triumph

The cargo of the screw-steamer Triumph is being discharged with much activity. It is estimated that about 1,000 tons have been discharged into lighters. We understand that a Tyneside firm is building a massive iron tank, which will be placed on the fore part of the ship, extending from the bridge to the bows. It will prevent any water from finding its way on the decks or below. It is intended that the after part of the Triumph shall be similarly protected.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 7 June 1889

15 June

Discharging operations are still being carried board the sunken steamer Triumph. About one hundred and fifty tons of iron rails were takes the Tyne in lighters yesterday morning.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 15 June 1889

26 June

The Steamer Triumph

The discharging operations in connection with the sunken steamer Triumph are progressing rapidly. Nearly 2,000 tons of cargo have been discharged up to the present time. Several workmen are engaged in placing the frames for the iron bulwarks in position. These will entirely round the vessel.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 26 June 1889

11 July

Tyne Improvement Commission
The Sunken Steamer Triumph

At the monthly meeting of the Tyne Improvement Commission, held in Newcastle to-day, Captain Armstrong, of North Shields, called attention to the subject of the steamer "Triumph" and said that the time had come when the Commission should take steps to have the vessel raised. He suggested that the Salvage Company at present working at the vessel should be informed that if they had not got her raised at the end of this month the Commission would take steps to raise her themselves.—After discussion it was agreed that a letter embodying the suggestion of, Captain Armstrong should be sent to the Salvage Company.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 11 July 1889

12 July

The Steamer Triumph

Work In connection with the sunken steamer Triumph bas been greatly impeded during the past few days by the heavy sea which has prevailed. The discharging of her cargo is now complete, nearly two thousand tons of iron rails having been taken out by four of the salvors' divers, which is considered capital work under the circumstances. The material, after being discharged, has been conveyed to the Albert Edward Dock. The divers were engaged yesterday in placing stout stanchions under the decks, to secure them against giving way. Another important work is the building of the iron bulwarks, which are fully sixteen feet above the level of the deck, for the purpose of preventing the water making its way on the deck when the attempt to lift the vessel is made. This work has occupied several weeks, and it was expected would be finished during the course of yesterday. If favourable weather prevails, an effort will be made to proceed with the fixing the large iron tanks which are to be placed over each hatch-way as a further protection against the inlet water to the vessel's holds. This operation will occupy about a week. Great activity prevails on board the salvage steamer Newa making the final arrangements, and several shore workmen are engaged on board. The air bags which are guaranteed support a weight of fifty tons are being got in readiness to be brought into requisition to assist in raising the vessel. It is fully anticipated that the attempt to raise the vessel will be made in about fourteen days from the present time.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 12 July 1889

29 July

Raising the Triumph

There was an unusual amount of excitement in the neighbourhood of the sunken steamer Triumph yesterday, when large crowds of people were gathered on the Groyne and on the sands and jetties adjacent. Work was going actively on board the Newa, the salvage steamer in attendance, and numerous tugs and hoppers appeared to be in requisition. It generally understood that an attempt would be made to raise the vessel to-day Monday.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 29 July 1889

30 July

The Steamer Triumph

The re-placing and repairing of the temporary bulwarks of the Triumph, which were washed away by an easterly gale last week, is being pushed forward with considerable activity. The attempt to raise her will made in the course of a few days. Several divers are at present engaged in putting wire ropes under the vessel to assist her to float. A number of extra hoppers will have to be employed in consequence of this new arrangement.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 30 July 1889

1 August

The Steamer Triumph

This morning the final arrangements were made in connection with the attempt to raise and remove the steamer Triumph of Sunderland, which was sunk at the mouth of the Tyne, after being in collision with a Spanish steamer, upwards of ten months ago. At a late hour last night, operations were being actively carried on by the aid of the electric light supplied by the salvage steamer Newa, which is attending upon the wreck. The salvors have been favoured with splendid weather for the past few days, and this has enabled them to carry on their operations. The vessel's cargo has almost all been discharged. Only some 300 or 400 tons have been left for the purpose of giving her stability. Four of the River Tyne Commissioners' wooden hoppers were brought down the river at an early hour this morning and will brought into requisition in assisting the vessel to float. Wire ropes have been passed under her keel and these have been placed on board the hoppers. Pumping operations were commenced at 11 o'clock. This work will be carried on until high water. All the pumps on board the salvage steamer Newa, which number twelve, are being used. A large number of steamtugs are plying about so that they may be ready to render assistance if required. The Harbour Master, Captain Bruce, and a large staff of men are in attendance. It stated that if the vessel gives any signs of floating she will be immediately towed out of the way of navigation. The operations are exciting unusual interest, and a large concourse people are witnessing them from the Fish Pier.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 August 1889

2 August

The Steamer Triumph
Another Attempt to Raise the Vessel

Work was carried on at the Triumph all last night by the aid of the electric light, and another attempt to raise the vessel will be made to-day. The Salvage steamer Newa has been placed alongside the Triumph for the purpose of allowing the twelve six inch pumps on board of her to have more power. It stated that this caused the failure yesterday. The river Tyne Commissioners' hoppers are alongside, and pumping operations commenced at 11 o'clock.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 2 August 1889

3 August

The Steamer Triumph

It was fully anticipated yesterday by the salvors of the steamer Triumph, which has been sunk for many months past in the river Tyne, that the channel would have been free from obstruction by this morning ; but the vessel still lies exactly in the same position as she occupied yesterday namely with her stern above water. The pumping operations have been carried during the whole of the night to prevent her from sinking at the after end. It was hoped that at an early hour this morning, when the tide receded the pumps would have made a marked effect on the fore part of the vessel; but up to the time of writing her bow has not given the slightest indication moving.  It has not yet been ascertained what is keeping her bow down. The latest reports to hand state the patch over the breach, caused by the collision, and about fifteen feet in length, was plated, and afterwards iron beams were placed across the plates to make them properly secure. A singular incident occurred last night, between six and seven o'clock, when the Spanish steamer Rivas, by which the Triumph was sunk, passed out of the harbour. The close proximity of the vessels, under such circumstances, was much commented upon by the spectators.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 3 August 1889

5 August

The Steamer Triumph
Afloat at Last

The operations which have extended over so many months with the object of raising the steamer Triumph, which had lain sunk in the Narrows in Shields harbour since the 22nd of October last, have at last been crowned with success. It will be remembered that on the date named the Triumph was proceeding to sea, laden with iron rails, bound to Leghorn, when she collided with the Spanish steamer Rivas, inward bound, and immediately began to fill forward. The stern, however, remained afloat for several hours, and the crew were all landed in safety except two of the firemen, a Maltese and an Italian, who were supposed to have been drowned in their bunks. One of the bodies was subsequently recovered, and at the inquest the whole proceedings relating to the collision were investigated. Lying

Right Athwart the Channel

in a most dangerous position for passing vessels, negotiations were once opened for the raising of the steamer. Shortly before that Mr Armit, of the Dundee Salvage Company, had successfully floated the s.s. Hector, which had lain for a considerable time stranded at the end of the South Pier, and he was entrusted with the present and more arduous undertaking. Operations were vigorously commenced, and carried on under very disadvantageous circumstances, as the weather was boisterous, and more than once the temporary bulwarks which he erected were washed away. The temperature of the water at that period of the year was also very low, that the divers were benumbed with cold while working on the lower part of the hull. Despite all these difficulties, in an attempt to raise the steamer, she

Was Actually Moved,

and would in all probability have been floated but for the fact that at the most critical moment a patch placed over one of the holes the stem gave way. Some time after that an arrangement was entered into with the Hamburg Salvage Company, who preceded work on a somewhat different principle to that pursued by Mr Armit. They brought with them their salvage steamer Newa, with a large number of appliances and their own staff of divers. For a short time a second steamer, the Berthilda, was on the spot, but it was wanted for another contract the company had on hand, and left after being here five weeks. The salvors set to work and commenced removing the cargo from the hull of the sunken steamer, and for a long time there was nothing to be heard but the occasional

Clank of the Iron Rails

as they were hoisted one by one, and which were taken to Albert Edward Dock. Over 2,000 tons were in all removed. The process, however, was a very tedious one, and at the last monthly meeting of the Tyne Commissioners it was resolved that if the Hamburg Salvage Company failed to get the vessel removed by the 31st July that some other means be adopted for raising it. Towards the end of the month the operations at the steamer assumed a more lively character, and matters were greatly facilitated by the Tyne Commissioners' craft, which were generously placed at the service of the salvors. On Thursday last, everything having apparently been got in order, an attempt was made to raise the vessel, but without success. On Friday, however, on the second attempt,

The Hull was Floated,

but the stem stilt remained submerged. After that, operations were carried on with great spirit, and numerous craft were on the spot, including the harbour master's yacht, Capt. Bruce, and the river police boats, under Supt. Farmer. Last night between seven and eight o'clock the steamer, which had previously been brought round with her stern upstream, was floated, and in the presence of thousands of spectators towed slowly from the spot where she had lain for nearly ten months. The forehold was still under water; hence the work of towing was by no means an easy one. Gradually, however, the steamer was brought up to the south side of the channel opposite to the waste land where Mr Readhead formerly had his shipyard, and that is now being utilized for the storage af oil, and here she was eventually beached, clear of all the traffic up and down the river.


During the entire night pumping operations have been carried on to keep the vessel afloat forward, and it is expected that by the tide receding the vessel will be pumped out forward, and all the leakages can then be traced. At an early hour this morning ropes were placed on shore and made thoroughly secure to enable the men to have the vessel's bows towards the shore. The Tyne Commissioner's craft will still remain alongside the Triumph for the purpose of pumping her out at high water in case she should give signs of sinking forward. By dead low water, a large number of workmen will be immediately set to work to make the vessel water tight. It has not been definitely settled what dock she will be placed for repairs. Her stern on the starboard side is considerably smashed through several steamers running into her, and all the doors, belonging to galley, poop, and engine room, have been washed away by the force of the sea. It may be mentioned that not one the seamen saved any clothing when the Triumph went down. At the time of the collision she had over £200 worth of bonded stores on board. They were supplied by a local shipchandler.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 5 August March 1889

6 August

The Steamer Triumph
A Seaman’s Body Found

The steamer Triumph is still lying off the foreshore the Lawe, South Shields, where she is still being pumped out at high water to prevent her from sinking further. At low water a search was made for the missing seaman who went down with vessel, while he was asleep in the forecastle. P.C.'s Matthews and Raymond found the body in the forecastle and had it conveyed to the Dead House at the Mill Dam, where it now lies in a terrible state of decomposition and quite unrecognisable.  The deceased was a young Maltese.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 6 August 1889

22 August

The Steamer Triumph

The steamer Triumph, which was sunk at the mouth of the Tyne some ten months ago and raised the other week, was safely placed in the Tyne Pontoon and Dry Docks Co's dock at Wallsend this morning.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 22 August 1889

1 October

The Steamer Triumph

The screwsteamer Triumph, of Sunderland, which was sunk in Shields harbour for upwards of 10 months after collision, and, successfully raised by the Hamburg Salvage Company, taken up to Wallsend, repaired and sold to her original owner, Mr Browne, of Sunderland, left the Tyne on Saturday in tow for Sunderland, where is stated she will be overhauled, and used as an ordinary cargo steamer.

Source: Shields Daily Gazette 1 October 1889