Looking for something adventurous to do this Fourth of July? Well, the Sunrunners of Vero Beach have the perfect activity for you. On Tuesday, July 4, 2023, from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, they are hosting their annual swim out to the SS Breconshire.
The gathering point is Sexton Plaza in Vero Beach, where participants can choose to swim, paddle, or kayak.
In celebration of our nation’s 247th birthday on the Fourth of July, the Sunrunners invite everyone to join them for an unforgettable swim to the SS Breconshire, affectionately known as the Boiler Wreck. Following the swim, a champagne toast will take place near the flag situated on the wreck.
All individuals interested in participating are welcome to join, regardless of their preferred activity. Bring your kayak or paddleboard if swimming isn’t your cup of tea. The Sunrunners will require additional vessels to transport the champagne and provide support during the event.
The meeting point is conveniently located on the beach behind the Ocean Grill, with ample parking at Sexton Plaza.
This event follows a Bring Your Own Beverage (BYOB) policy. However, if you forget to bring your own, there is typically plenty to share among participants. Children are encouraged to participate and can bring their favorite legal beverage of choice.
The swim is relatively easy, as the water is clear enough to see the bottom for most of the route. For an enhanced underwater experience, participants are encouraged to bring masks and snorkels.
No RSVP is necessary for this memorable occasion.
The SS Breconshire, a schooner-rigged steam/sailing vessel, was constructed in Sunderland, England in 1833. Tragically, it met its watery fate off the coast of Vero Beach in 1894.
Today, the remnants of this historic shipwreck can be found scattered across the coral reef, resting in waters ranging from 15 to 20 feet deep. The wreck is easily identifiable by the presence of its protruding boiler, which has earned it the affectionate nickname of “Boiler Wreck.”
Under the command of Captain Robert Taylor, the SS Breconshire was a remarkable 300-foot cargo vessel with an iron hull. The ship boasted a crew of 23 skilled seamen, along with a second officer.
Captain Taylor, a seasoned and highly respected skipper, held a Master’s certificate that recognized his exceptional seamanship skills. He was held in high regard by his employers, Jenkins and Company, based in the United Kingdom.
Sadly, a single, unfortunate mistake sealed the ship’s fate. A simple error resulted in losing his beloved vessel despite Captain Taylor’s expertise. Fortunately, the accident occurred close to the shore, ensuring the entire crew’s safety. Miraculously, all hands survived the ordeal and lived to recount the tale of the ill-fated SS Breconshire.