Swimming pigs

Isle of Wight Observer September 29 1860

On Tuesday, about noon, that pretty little steam plaything, the property of a Company on the shore, arrived from Portsmouth with a freight of pigs, each weighing from four score upwards. At the time of her arrival the water was too shallow to allow her to approach to the new pier, where it was intended they should be landed; so, after grounding in the attempt and puffing and paddling backwards and forwards, and performing other aquatic eccentricities to get off, the parties in charge determined to wait for the flood. The flood tide having set in they proceeded to make for the shore stern on, but again stuck fast in 3 feet of water. This state of affairs admitted of no immediate remedy, so the pigs were destined to disembark in a style which, to all appearance, afforded no less pleasure to spectators than to the pigs themselves. When the swine were turned loose in 3 feet of water, as might be supposed, they having only nine inches of leg must either have swum or walked under water; to swim was of course the means adopted, but some of the porkers, either discovering an affinity between themselves and the briny element, or being of an enterprising turn of mind, shaped their course seaward and obstinately refused to have any communications with the land until boats were sent in pursuit, and then as many as three were required to induce some of the most resolute to steer for the beach. This state of things is certainly worse than anything that ever happened to the two boats of the Portsmouth and Ryde United Steam Packet Company.