The Falls of Clyde is a survivor. The oldest and last remaining ship of Wright and Breakenridge’s Falls Line, she is a testament to the quality of Clyde-built vessels. She is also lucky.
Over the years, there have been some close calls. Newspaper stories speak of near collisions, foul weather, and dangerous lee shores. Had the Fates been against her, she would not be here today.
Her sister ship, the Falls of Bruar, was not so fortunate.
The Falls of Bruar was launched in March of 1879, just three months after the Falls of Clyde. She was the second ship built by Russell and Co. for the Falls Line.
On a stormy night in September 1887, she foundered off the east coast of England near Great Yarmouth.
From The Times (5 Sept 1887):
“…laden with salt, [she] was bound from Hamburg to Calcutta. She encountered the heavy gale on Friday, and during a squall some of her sails were blown away, her cargo shifted, and she was hove down on her beam ends and sank. The crew only had time to cut away two of the boats, one of which was instantly smashed and the other drifted away bottom upwards.”
Only five men, out of the 29 (crew + pilot) on board the ship, managed to survive. They were picked up by the smack Cygnet and taken to Great Yarmouth.
(Thanks to Mil for the copy of the article from The Times.)