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River Mersey Sinkings

12319 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Gary saxon
A friend worked on Tugs in the River Mersey in the 1950s. We have been having a discussion about vessels that sank in the Mersey during 1939-1945. I can recall one vessel which went down right in front of the New Brighton landing stage. The ferry went around it at low water and once went across it at high water when just the tops of the masts could be seen above water. My brother remembers this but my tug boat friend has no knowledge whatsoever. Can anyone put a name to this vessel and any others that sank in the Mersey? I recall the Ullapool and was at Liverpool Pierhead one day when they were blowing her up with small charges as she was close to the Mersey Tunnels.
Rod Wilson.
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Hello and information requested


On behalf of the SN Moderating Team, a warm welcome from the Isle of Anglesey.
I would be surprised if our members can not help you with your query, however, in the meantime, have a good look around and join in the banter as much as possible.
Beware, it is addictive! (Thumb)

I've taken the liberty of moving your query into its own thread. (==D)
Thankyou for that. I am not great on computers, always pressing wrong buttons etc. The wreck at New Brighton is driving me crazy, I would like some confirmation and the name of the vessel,
Rod Wilson
Was the ship sunk called MV Innisfallen Mined and sunk 21st December 1940?
I was in the tanker Adula and we entered the Mersey on 23rd August 1941
bound for Stanlow.
We passed two sunken ships between Princes Stage and Birkenhead.
They were sunk by mines on 13th March 1941.
Tacoma City - four crew killed.....Ullapool - 15 crew killed.
We had a very long thread on the MM forum concerning the sea going barge ATALANTA.
After a long search this was the conclusion I came to.
Although I cannot come up with a watertight scenario to the best of my knowledge ATALANTA was sunk in collision (probably after striking a vessels cable) on the night of 2/3 Feb 1942 off Rock Ferry, Wirral. She was carrying a cargo of sand and would have sunk rapidly. She was refloated and beached at Tranmere. The wreck was sold as scrap for £150 to William Cooper and Sons ltd. of Widnes. They had a contractual agreement to break her up but due to an oversight she remained on the Chester register until August 1953.
ATALANTA was owned in 1937 by Robert J Parry of 188 Chester Road, Flint, later of Rosendale, Fforddisa, Prestatyn.
She was sold around 5th July 1940 to North Western Construction, Ruthven Road, Litherland, Liverpool. This company was no doubt responsible for the construction work at Heysham.
She was sold again 16/Oct/1941 to Abel Barges ltd of 3 Rumford Place, Liverpool. Her owners at the time of loss.

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You will have to discover the date she sank. After that get in touch with Liverpool Libraries and ask them to consult the Minutes of their Emergency Committee for that period. These minutes are so accurate they record where every bomb/mine landed during WWII


As to the Tacoma City she sank during the infamous May Blitz [see "Port in a Storm" by John Hughes].
Although the channel and docks had been swept and declared open they missed a magnetic mine close to the "Tacoma City". As she swung to the tide her stern passed over and activated the mine.


Tacoma City sunk on 13th March, 1941.
Tacoma City

Tacoma City sunk on 13th March, 1941.
I stand corrected. If you obtained your quote from Heaton's "Reardon Smith Line" the full quote is:

"Tacoma City.....13.3.1941 mined and sunk 21/2 cables from Rock Ferry, River Mersey. 3 out of crew of 45 lost"

She had in fact triggered a mine under her stern as she swung to the tide.


i remember the royle artillery fire ring on one in the 60s of Crosby point target practice it lost her main mast it was fired from the old fort Crosby i played there as a kid.
The tug you’re thinking was the ss poolgarth, struck a mine and sank with all hands lost December 1940
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