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From ‘The Empire’- 27th January 1855

On Saturday afternoon the ‘Perseverance’ iron-screw steamer, at Woolwich, met with an accident in the east dock, by which she was thrown over on her beam-ends. The ‘Perseverance’ was built by Messrs. C. J. Mare and Co. An order was issued that she should be masted and rigged at Woolwich, and the masts were consequently sent up from Sheerness, and, on their being put in under the shears, she was taken into the east dock to be completed for sea. On letting the water into the dock as the tide rose on Saturday afternoon, for the purpose of taking her out to be placed alongside the coal depot ship to take on board 400 tons of coals, she was scarcely floated and the shores taken away, when she gave three or four sways from side to side and turned completely over on her beam-ends in the dock, the foremast resting on the roof of the chapel over the sawmills, knocking down between 20 and 30 feet of the parapet, but assisting to break her fall. The fall of the foremast on the roof of the chapel broke it, and the mainyard and foreyard were both broken, but with scarcely any other injury. It was a fortunate circumstance that she turned over in the dock, as there were about 150 persons on board at the time, several of them at work in the cabin. As it was, a number were thrown into the water, and three persons injured, but no bones were broken. The ‘Perseverance’ has had her rigging all stripped and her fore, main, and mizzen topmasts taken down, relays of workmen and of the crews of the ‘Fisgard’ and of the steam-vessels at Woolwich being at work all day on Sunday upon her. She has her engines of 300-horse power, on board, and the funnel is within 12 or 15 degrees of being in a horizontal line. The engines have been examined and have sustained no injury. The seamen and riggers have commenced laying large cables under the ‘Perseverance’, and other preparations are in progress to raise her, which it is expected will be a task of no ordinary difficulty.

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