Wooden paddle steamer Rover, built Wood and Mills, Bowling
220nrt; engines 130hp Napier, Govan
First owner: Glasgow and Londonderry Steam Packet Co.
Voyage Londonderry, via Portrush, to Glasgow.
Collision 8th December 1852 off Bengore Head with PS Princess Alice
All aboard saved in own boat and by running ashore at Dunseverick
In collision, off Bengore Head, with the Fleetwood steamer PRINCESS ALICE on 8th December 1852. With her bow ripped off she managed get ashore on the rocks where she later broke up. The crew and passengers were saved. In July 1853 her machinery and boilers were advertised at Dunseverick for sale "as they now lie in the water".
From Northern Whig - Thursday 09 December 1852
Fearful Collision at Sea. Destruction of the Rover Steamer. We learn by special express that a collision of a most violent description look place yesterday morning off Bengore Head, on the North coast of Antrim. The result has been the total disabling of the Rover steamer, plying between this port, Glasgow, and Londonderry, the loss of the greater part of a very valuable cargo with which she was freighted, and in some injuries, but comparatively trifling ones, to the Princess Alice steamer. It is matter of congratulation that, although both steamers at the time of the collision had on board a large number of passengers, and notwithstanding the greatest dangers were incurred in effecting a landing on the iron-bound coast, not one human life was lost. The circumstance is almost miraculous. The facts, as they have reached us, are as follows:- The Rover left Londonderry on Tuesday afternoon, with cargo of flax, flour, yarn, cattle, etc., and some passengers, for Glasgow. She called at Portrush at seven clock on the same evening, and took in more cargo, leaving for Glasgow after two o'clock yesterday morning. She had reached, as well can ascertained, a point North of Bengore six miles, about ten minutes to four o'clock, at which time the Captain and Mate were standing between the paddles, when she came into collision with another vessel, not previously observed approaching, and the entire bow was carried away from bulwark to keel. The men in the forecastle of the Rover escaped with difficulty, being washed out by the sea which instantly burst upon them. The vessel with which the Rover had come in contact was then discovered to be the Princess Alice for Derry, with general cargo, and a large number of passengers. The shock is described as having been terrific on board the Rover, the passengers were flung out of their berths and rushed on deck, where, seeing the fearful mutilation which the boat had suffered - her whole bows having been carried away on the paddle wing of the Princess Alice - and perceiving the waves rushing in through the rent, they gave way to despair, and seriously impeded the efforts of the captain and crew. A boat was instantly launched, but it swamped immediately. Then the life-boat was lowered with two men, but, being caught under the side in a roll, it was submerged, and the two men narrowly escaped drowning; as it is, one of them had his hand fearfully mangled. During all this time, while the greatest terror and confusion prevailed on board the Rover, the Princess Alice was hampered by the pieces of wreck clinging to her paddle, that she was totally unable to render any assistance - Finally the steamer's head was turned to land; her remaining boat was launched with the passengers, and a part of the crew; and, after some pulling, they reached Dunsevrick Bay, on the rocks of which the boat was cast and completely shattered - the passengers and crew clinging to the projections, and so saving themselves. The Rover had, by this time, reached the bay, and it being high water, she passed the perilous passage in safely, and now lies on the rocks. It is right to add that the captain of the Princess Alice sent her boats as promptly as she was able to the assistance of the sufferers, and that he kept near during the morning, to give every assistance in his power. The remaining part of the crew of the Rover, with the captain, got on to the rocks, where the passengers had been thrown, by means of a hawser thrown across. We have not heard that either of the steamers was without her lights; the night was exceedingly foggy, and it was said on board the Rover that no light whatever was discernible the moment before the collision. The Rover was struck on the starboard bow, and the part of the Princess Alice which first came into collision was the paddle wing, which was completely shattered; beyond this, however, she sustained no injury, and was enabled to pursue the remainder of the voyage with perfect safety.