According to a report in the Otago Daily Times of 9 December 1914:-
Some consternation was caused in Balclutha yesterday when the news was heard that the Clutha River Board's paddle steamer Clyde had sunk during the night at her moorings at the upper landing in Balclutha, off William street. Up to the present the cause of the mishap is a mystery.
According to custom, the steamer, after being loaded at the jetty near the railway yard, was brought up river to the upper landing on Monday, this course being always adopted so as to ensure no loss of time in the run to Clydevale and the other districts up-river served by the boats.
Under ordinary circumstances the boat would have left on the up-river run at 8 o'clock this morning. All was well when Captain Butler and the boat's crew departed for their homes last evening.
Only one of the crew, the fireman (Mark Hansen) slept on the boat when she was in Balclutha. On this member being approached to-day he said that he went to bed on Monday night about 11 o'clock, when everything appeared to be as usual.
About 2 o'clock this morning he was awakened by hearing plates falling in the galley, and leaving his bunk to investigate, he discovered that water was rushing into his cabin.
The steamer had a heavy list, and when the fireman hurriedly emerged from the cabin he tumbled into the river, from which he safely emerged, and ran to alarm Captain Butler, who resides about half a mile away.
It was obvious to the captain and fireman on returning that nothing could then be done to right the boat. She had a heavy list to starboard, and her keel was resting on the rocks at the bed of the river, the mooring ropes holding her in that position.