This Riverside was a small rear engined cargo steamer owned by the Riverside Steam Shipping Company of Portadown and managed by James Sheils, Sand Quay, Belfast. Launched from the yard of the Larne Shipbuilding Company in 1889 the steel steamship measured 91.5′ x 18.9′ x 8.4’ with tonnage of 154t gross and 51t net. She was powered by a 2 cylinder compound steam engine supplied by McColl & Company of Belfast. Her official number was 110513.
The Riverside worked the trade routes from Ireland to the north west coast of England and southern Scotland. She was en route from Maryport to Strangford Lough with a cargo of coal and a crew of five men aboard under the command of the skipper, William McKibbon on 24th November, 1905 when she developed a leak. She had sailed at 9:30pm on the Thursday evening and almost immediately encountered a strong west north west gale but the skipper was unconcerned as she was a well built vessel.
However, with the water now leaking badly and a significant list developing this all changed and a quick decision to head for the safety of the nearest port was made. Unfortunately, when about six miles from the shore, it was clear that they were not going to make it to safety and the crew were forced to abandon ship in one of her boats. They were safely heading for the shoreline as they watched their ship disappear some two hours after they disembarked. The crew were picked up by the Isle of Whithorn lifeboat and taken ashore where they were looked after by the Shipwrecked Mariners’ Society.
The wreck of the Riverside lies in position 54° 42.194 N, 04° 00.869 W (WGS84) on a silty seabed oriented 010/190 degrees. The seabed around the wreck is 25 metres and she sits some 5 or 6 metres proud of this depth. The stern section is reasonably intact with propeller and rudder still visible but the stern superstructure has disappeared. Forward the main hatch and its cargo of coal is also visible. The engine room section is also interesting with the bow section most damaged broken and scattered across the seabed.