Chairman Romsey Local History Society
When, on the 18 June 1850, the SS Orion was wrecked off Portpatrick, Revd Clark, a survivor, wrote to Revd Berthon: “Can not you think of a way in which boats, enough for all on board, be stowed on a passenger steamer without inconvenience?” This led to Berthon's development of the Berthon Collapsible Lifeboat.
When the boat was demonstrated to Queen Victoria, the Prince Consort, the Princess Royal and the Prince of Wales, the latter commented that a cannonball would go through it easily. Berthon asked him what a cannonball would not go through, and the Queen was reported to have been greatly amused.
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