About 5 o’clock on Monday 17th June 1861, a collier named William Bishop, aged 17 went into the River Clyde at the riverbank about 300 yards west of Haughhead Bridge and didn’t come out alive!
He entered the river on the north side and swam towards the Blantyre side, but unfortunately about only 6 yards from the shore, sank. Getting into difficulties, he bobbed to the surface twice, but sank a third time. The spot where he drowned was only about 9 or 10 feet deep.
There were several people on the embankment at the time and some more people actually bathing nearby. However, none of them made any attempt at rescue until they realised when the man finally sank, that he was in bother. William Bishop was not a good swimmer and exhausted, it is supposed fear came on him, preventing him from having any power to save himself.
Two boats later arrived on the scene with grappling hooks and after a search of around 3 hours, the body was found nearby. Superintendent D Dewar of the County Police arrived also and took statements.
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2018
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