The ROYAL IRIS, a 1950-built River Mersey ferry, one of Liverpool’s most cherished vessels, is sinking in the River Thames in London. Built by William Denny & Brothers of Dumbarton, Scotland, the ROYAL IRIS sailed on the Mersey for 42 years. In the 1960s, numerous bands associated with the Merseybeat scene performed on the ferry, including The Beatles and Gerry & The Pacemakers. In 1991 she was retired and towed to Cardiff, Wales where she was sold for conversion into a floating nightclub, however the venture was abandoned. Since 2002, the vessel has been laid up on the River Thames awaiting further possibilities. Yesterday, police and lifeguard crews were called after reports that there were people on board the decaying vessel. No one was found on board ROYAL IRIS but the vessel was swamped in mud, with water over her hull.
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.