RIVERDANCE 10 YEARS ON: Readers relive their memories of Riverdance

Aerial view of the cargo ship Riverdance. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Aerial view of the cargo ship Riverdance. Photo credit: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
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It has been 10 years since the Riverdance ferry washed up on the Fylde coast during a storm, leaving 23 people stranded on board.


The Gazette this week looked back at that unforgettable moment in the area’s history, speaking to those who had to be rescued by helicopter and traders who benefited from the most unexpected of tourism booms.

It sparked a huge response from our readers – here’s some of the best comments.

Rebecca King

I remember this night well, watched it all from my flat in Queens Mansions, what a wild windy night it was and the poor helicopter was blowing around everywhere, yet still managed to get everyone off.

Wendy Lee

I remember this night we watched it from Queens Mansions the weather was so bad and the waves were enormous.

It was a miracle the rescue helicopter got everyone off, so sad for the dismal sight we saw the next day.

Matthew Armistead

I remember people from far and wide coming to see this on the beech, loads of people having there picture taken and I swear I could remember seeing someone wearing a “I’ve seen the Riverdance Ship Wreck” T-shirt.

Linda Watson

Remember it well, that was one hellish storm!

Great respect for the rescuers, they risked their lives that night.

Sue Ridley

My husband spent many hours there from the pager going off, remember it well he’s a coastguard and the year we got married.

Paul Harrison

I was on watch at Liverpool Coastguard when this incident happened, it really doesn’t feel like 10 years ago.

Joe Barker

Had a flat at the time on the cliffs in Bispham. A wild night. Unbeileveable sight that massive ship sitting randomly on the beach in the morning.

Alan Yates

We went down to see the wreck with our dog only to be told don’t let your dog under that security tape by a security guard.

What did they think it was going to do, drag it off the beach? Needless to say the dog enjoyed running under the tape.

Phil Rawcliffe

I used to live on Queens Prom opposite where the Riverdance went aground. A few of us were out the following morning for a quick Kitesurf session before the Police and Coastguard turned up and shut us down.

Neil Heatley

Yes 10 years ago today I loaded the ship in Seatruck Warrenpoint the morning it left (still work there), but the weather got the better of it! I was the last person to see it leave the port!

Steven Smith

Remember it well I was a delivery driver in Cleveleys and saw it on the beach first thing in the morning. Brought a few bob into town for a while with all the sightseeing.

Phil McAuley

Wasn’t the first time it went down, it and sister ship moondance both were hit by freak waves.

Once was enough for me, never travelled on them again.

Ruth N Richard Dubery

Ten years?!

I remember seeing the last little bit of it around about September that year from our apartment at the Queens Mansions

Becky Jayne Maggs

Remember waking up, opening the curtains and seeing this first thing in the morning. Was a bit of a shock.

Christine Bailey

We lived in the Domino houses when this happened. 10 years ago!

The twins were 11 they’d just started high school.

You could see the wreck from their bedroom window. Time flies.

Rachel Louise Hutchinson

I remember this. Me and Chris made a picnic and went down the prom for a bike ride to see it.

Susan Dawson

We went up some people were trying to get on board till the police came and shifted them

Kaye Elizabeth

My wonderful dad died that year and we moved house to the top of the road facing the wreck

Lee Chapman

Good to see Seatruck come back from this, and going from strength to strength year on year.

John Coyle Scott Rogers

We were on the way to orchid in the freezing cold.

Dylan Talbot

I remember coming up to Blackpool for a week and seeing it then, shame it’s not there anymore.

Darren Chapman

Yes remember this when I was on a tram. The conductor shouted ‘The next stop is shipwreck’

Pauline Riley

Cleveleys never been so popular.

Took me ages to get to my house close to Prom. Such an event.

John Hitchon

The Riverdance Ferry definitely put Cleveleys on the map that’s for sure.