On Monday 11th November 1963 Caledonia came close to being blown ashore on the rocks in Millport Bay.
She had spent the previous night stormbound at Millport. The weather moderated on the Monday morning so she canted round the pier as usual and set off but somehow in the doing of it all she damaged her port paddle wheel which disabled the ship in the trickiest of positions close to the rocky shore right off the Eilean Islands in Millport Bay. Fortunately Glen Sannox was in the vicinity and quickly came to her rescue taking her in tow and thus saving the day.
Caledonia’s passengers were taken off by the little Largs/Millport ferry Leven. The tow was transferred to Clyde tugs, which had been summoned for assistance, and she was towed to Lamont’s Shipyard at Port Glasgow for repairs.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.
This article was first published on 11th November 2020.