Wooden paddle steamer Flambeau, built Robert Duncan, Greenock, 1840
180 grt, 80 nrt, 139 x 19 x 10 ft; 80hp engines
Initially provided services in the Clyde to Arran and Rothesay
From 1847, registered Liverpool, was employed on the Mersey as a tug and for excursions
Sank 19 December 1847, after collision in River Mersey with Woodside
ferry WIRRAL, off Canning Dock, while seeking a tow. The Inquiry held
that the master of WIRRAL was at fault for not keeping a proper lookout
from the bridge between the paddle-boxes.
Wirral was an iron paddle steamer built Lairds 1846, owned Birkenhead Commissioners, 192grt, 111nrt, 109 x 21 x 11 ft, 60hp
From Liverpool Standard. January 2, 1848.
THE LATE COLLISION IN THE RIVER MERSEY. - The most active efforts have been used by the owners of the Flambeau to raise her, but so far without success. During the operations on Sunday, one of the chains under the steamer snapped, and her stern part dropped suddenly (quite a dead weight) into the bed of the river, thereby causing a jerk upon the bow and fore part, which immediately separated those parts of the vessel from the other, from the bow to the paddle beams, a length of about 30 feet. That effort was therefore fruitless, and the destruction of the vessel seemed inevitable. The fore deck, part of the bow, the cabin stools and tables, bulkheads, etc., were soon floating in the river, and were picked up and secured. The owners now consider it doubtful whether the vessel will ever be raised. She is lying on the outside of Pluckington Bank, opposite the Albert Dock, in a depth of four fathoms at low water, and is fast filling with sand and mud. We learn that, today at low water, a diver is going down to take a survey of her present position, and see if there be any further chance of raising her; and if not, to ascertain whether it is likely she may be a permanent obstruction to the navigation of the river if she remains as at present. Should she be abandoned by the owners, we have heard it intimated that it is probable the corporation will endeavour to remove her by blowing her up. The value of the vessel is estimated £3,000, and the cost already incurred in the endeavour to raise her at between £300 and 400. It is said that the cause of the accident is likely to furnish materials for the lawyers.
From Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 14 November 1848
THE STEAMER WIRRALL. - This Woodside steamer was brought to auction on Friday, by order of the High Court of Admiralty for running down the "Flambeau" - and was sold for £3,250. But the ratepayers of Birkenhead will be glad to learn that she has been purchased by Messrs I. H. Hind and Co., with the view of hiring her to the Birkenhead Commissioners, at a reasonable rate per diem, until the commissioners are in a position to reimburse to them the bare purchase money, when the boat will again become township property. She was almost a new, and a very favourite boat, and had cost nearly £7,000.