Iron screw steamer Kangaroo, built Smith & Rodger, Govan, 1853
458 grt, 312 nrt, 168 x 23 x 12.5 ft
Engines 60 hp, fitted at Finnieston.
First owner Waterford SS Co.,
From 1859 owned Northern SN Co., Aberdeen; chartered to Hutchison & Brown.
Voyage Glasgow to Bordeaux with 250 tons of pig iron and other cargo
23 January 1862, foundered in gale off Rhoscolyn [also described as 10 miles south of South Stack]
Captain John Anderson and 19 crew; 7 saved in ship's boat, 13 lost
From North British Daily Mail - Tuesday 1 February 1853
A fine iron screw steam vessel of 400 tons burden, named the Kangaroo, was launched from the building yard of Messrs Smith & Rodger, at Govan, on Saturday afternoon. She has been built for the colonial trade of Australia. Her dimensions are - length 170 feet, breadth 24 feet, depth 13. She has a full poop, and is to be propelled by geared engines of 80 horse power. Immediately after the launch she was towed up to Finnieston Quay to have her machinery put on board, and it is expected she will be ready in about three weeks.
[Note: early steam engines did not rotate as fast as needed for efficient screw propulsion - so were geared-up to achieve this; later engines were fast enough to avoid the necessity of gearing]
Later reports state that this vessel was then named Tasmania and that a very similar vessel was built for the same owners later that year - and named Kangaroo.
From Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser - Saturday 01 February 1862
THE LOSS OF THE S.S. KANGAROO.
We subjoin the following particulars which have now been received of the melancholy loss of the steamer Kangaroo. It appears that the ill-fated vessel having been driven into Loch Ryan by stress of weather, left the loch on Monday week, and that almost immediately after, a gale of wind arose, which continued without intermission for a length of time. They endeavoured to make for Waterford, and had reached near the Tuskar Lighthouse, the waves breaking over bows of the ship, when, either from the springing of a leak, or from the quantity of water shipped, it was found necessary to put her about and essay to reach Holyhead. The vessel was becoming fast water-logged. Soon the boiler fires became extinguished; and - it being feared that she would speedily founder - about midnight, on Wednesday, the crew took to the boats; and, not long after leaving the ship, she settled down out of sight. The first boat landed safely seven of the crew; but fears are entertained that the others, in attempting to land, have met a watery grave. This painful supposition is strengthened by the fact that next morning a boat which undoubtedly belonged to the Kangaroo was found lying broken to pieces. There were, however, three boats attached to the Kangaroo, so that some of the crew may have gone into the other boat, which has not since been seen. The following are the names of the men who landed by the first boat:-
Charles Menzies, first mate, single man, belonging Glasgow;
Edward Martin, seaman, single, Scotchman;
William Wilson, seaman, single, Maltese;
George M'Kenzie, fireman, single, Belfast;
Francis Cook, fireman, single, Irishman;
George Belsham, fireman or stoker;
Thomas Minett, fireman or stoker.
ARRIVAL OF THE SURVIVORS AT GLASGOW.
The men who were saved from the wreck of this ill-fated vessel - some of whom arrived at Glasgow on Sunday - whilst giving further particulars, confirm all that has been received by telegraph and otherwise regarding the disaster which has befallen the Kangaroo. They state that seven of them were ordered by Captain Anderson to get into one of the boats and steer for a light which was observed in the distance in order to see if it was the light of a ship, and, if so, to ask for assistance. They got into the boat and steered for the light, but it was not a ship but rather a light house. This they did not go near, but rowed back to where they had left the Kangaroo, but they could see it nowhere. They therefore conjectured that she had foundered whilst they were away. They, however, cherished the hope that at least some of the crew with the captain might be saved, as when they started on their mission from the ship, they observed the captain handing his quadrant into one of the small boats, into which four men had already got; but when they reached the beach and observed there the boat broken and the quadrant evidently washed ashore, they came to the conclusion that, with the exception of themselves, all the crew of the Kangaroo had been lost. They were the more induced to come to this conclusion because the third and only surviving boat of the ship was not available as a means of safety, inasmuch as it had broken from its fastenings and was washed upon the deck, from which it would almost have been impossible, from the storm which prevailed, to have launched it. The men who have been saved, ascribe the loss of boat, with its unhappy passengers, to the fact that they had attempted to land in the night, instead of having waited till the morning, as they themselves had done.
NAMES OF THE MISSING.
We subjoin the names of all the seamen who are missing:
John Anderson, captain, married, and has family residing in Glasgow;
John Brown, seaman, single, of London;
Charles Scott, seaman, single, Ayrshire ;
Charles Campbell, seaman, single, Mull;
William Smith, seaman, married, belongs to Campbeltown, and his wife is living at Portsmouth;
John Brodie, seaman, married, wife and family in Glasgow;
Daniel M'Laren, seaman, married, wife in Glasgow;
Allan Mathieson, first engineer, single, Glasgow;
James Robertson, second engineer, single, Glasgow;
two trimmers or firemen; the cook; the steward.
A candidate wreck is charted as depth
27.6m, surveyed in 2015, 60m x 8m, lying 160/340°, in depth 32
metres. This has a strong magnetometer reading - so is iron/steel. It
lies 3nm from Rhoscolyn Beacon and 5.7nm from South Stack.
See also Wrecksite info.