Ships 2


Ships 3


Liner Cyril Sunk In Collision On The Amazon

By James Donahue

The passenger and cargo liner Cyril had obviously seen better days before its final owners, the Booth Line, put it in service hauling rubber from Manasus, at the upper regions of the Amazon River, Brazil, to England.

It was while steaming down that 1,000-mile-long stretch of the Amazon that the Cyril and another Booth ship, the Anselm 2, collided near Belem, at the estuary or entrance gate to the mighty river on September 5, 1905.

The Cyril, by then a 23-year-old ocean veteran, was sunk in the collision, but the cargo was later salvaged. The Anselm, a brand new vessel on its maiden voyage, took extensive bow damage but survived the crash.

Details of the collision are sketchy. The Cyril sank in 70 feet of water and a court of enquiry found the Anselm at fault for the accident.

The 380-foot-long steamship was launched as the Hawarden Castle for the Castle Mail Packet Co. in 1882 and sailed between Southampton and Cape Town, South Africa. A published photo of the ship’s dining salon suggests that it offered elegant furnishings for passengers in those early years. The steamer was transferred in 1900 to the newly formed Union-Castle Mail Steamship Co.

In 1904 she was sold to the Booth Line of Liverpool and placed on the run to Manasus to meet a growing demand for the rubber produced there. The line also offered passenger service up the Amazon and all the way to Manasus, a major port city in Brazil.