SS City of Brussels


IMO 1063203

The City of Brussels was a 1869 put into service iron ship of the line of the Inman Line (Liverpool, New York & Philadelphia Steamship Company). In January 1883, the ship collided in the mouth of the Mersey with the Kirby Hall and sank. When the total loss of the vessel ten people came to life.

The ship

Was built the ship in 1869 in the shipyard and death MacGregor at Meadowside in Glasgow as a combined passenger and cargo ship for the service on the North Atlantic. The launch took place on 10 August 1869. The ship was taken over by the shipping company in October of the same year. It was 118.85 meters long and 12.30 meters wide. The City of Brussels was the first ship of the line on the North Atlantic with a steam-powered rowing machine. 1872 an additional promenade deck was built. The main drive originally consisted of a horizontal trunk piston engine. This was in 1876 replaced by a compound steam engine.


The vessels of the shipping company tradition were evident from the fact that all the names with the prefix " City of ..." began. They had a clipper stem, with whom she had almost as pure sailing ships. For the cruise line, the use of the City of Brussels was a huge success, she earned but already on its second Atlantic travel in the East, the most promising for its time Blue Ribbon. She was the first screw ship that won this title, in addition, it was, however, rigged as a three- masted barque.

Passenger capacity

The City of Brussels had room for 200 first-class passengers and 600 third-class passengers.

The Downfall

On Thursday, December 28, 1882 the City of Brussels put to another Atlantic crossing from Queenstown and Liverpool. On Sunday, January 7, 1883, it reached At 06.00 clock in the morning the lightship at the mouth of the Mersey on their way to the port of Liverpool. In Queenstown ( Ireland), the first passengers disembark were already gone. There was so dense fog that Captain Frank S. Land, the drive does not continue at first, but wanted to wait near the lightship. The ship drifted now in the shallow flow. The fog horn sounded at regular intervals throughout the ship were lookouts posted. Country, the Second and Fourth officer and the pilot kept watch on the bridge.

According to Captain country was the City of Brussels 41 minutes since stopped when the sound of ship pipe was interrogated both to starboard and to port. He assumed that there are two different ships that would pass each other in parallel. Instead, suddenly appeared on the starboard side white lights on, and a half minutes later, as against 07.00 clock in the morning, the collision occurred.

The City of Brussels was hit on the starboard side of her bow from the 2691 -ton cargo ship Kirby Hall of Hall Line shipping company, which sailed from Glasgow on her maiden voyage. Some passengers of the City of Brussels awakened, recognized at first but no sign of danger. Only after some time passengers and crew were called to their boat stations. The lifeboats were properly manned and lowered into the water; also lifebuoys were distributed. Captain country also had the leak with a leak sail cover. According to eyewitnesses, the evacuation was orderly and there were no signs of panic. About 20 minutes after the collision, the City of Brussels heeled hard and threw the few remaining people on board into the water.

After the fog cleared, the Kirby Hall took on all the survivors and brought them to Liverpool. The captain, the purser and the officers were praised by passengers and the press for their behavior. It was attributed to their presence of mind and her knowledge, that the death toll was relatively low. Two Italian steerage passengers and eight crew members, including the second officer and the ship's carpenter, died. All papers and the cargo was lost with the ship, only the post survived the sinking, as they had been willing discharged in Queenstown. Since the chimney and the masts sticking up after the sinking of the water and thus pose a threat to the local shipping, they were immediately removed from salvage divers. The hull was abandoned.