Seaford Ferry
The TSS Seaford

Position – 50 29.34N 0 24.93E

Circumstances of loss

Date of loss – 21 August 1895 in collision with the french vessel ‘Lyon’ in fog

Voyage – Newhaven – Dieppe with general cargo.


The first ship built by Denny’s for this line. Said to have a rather ugly single funnel and mast. The 4 cylinder triple engine gave here a speed of about 20 Knots. The Lyon was also owned by this line. She was built in 1885 by John Elder and Company and was one of two identical ships built for cargo duty. They were operated by french crews and given the french names Lyon and Italie. The Italie operated to 1910 and the Lyon until 1911 when she was sold to the National Salvage Association Ltd.

On her fateful voyage, the Seaford was in dense fog in very smooth sea conditions. The Lyon colided with her on the port side just abaft the engine room and she began to take on water very rapidly. The Captain assessed the damage and realised the vessel would founder and distributed life rings and ordered the lifeboats to be launched. This was done in a very calm manner. The Lyon came about and lay alongside the Seaford and passengers and crew were transferred. There was no loss of life and no major injuries as a result of the accident. The Seaford settled very quickly and reports give that she sunk between 25 and 40 minutes of the collision.


Built – 1894 – W. Denny & Brothers Ltd, Dumbarton

Owners – London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

Dimensions – 997 tons 80m x 10m x 4m

Diving Information

The wreck of the Seaford lies in a general depth 42m and sits approx. 5m proud of the seabed. She was first dived in 1992 when she was identified by china carrying the crest of the shipping line. The bell carrying the name of the wreck was recovered in 1993

Emblem of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, which identified the Seaford
Emblem of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, which identified the Seaford