Pip and his friends Herbert and Startop plan help Magwitch escape England by securing passage for him and Pip on a passing steamship. They know that there will be two steamships leaving London on Thursday morning, and they row down the River Thames to the sea to try to intercept one or the other. As they maneuver their small craft to alert one of the steamships that there are two passengers who would like to board, a suspicious galley approaches. The galley, which has been following them, pulls alongside, and one of the sitters in the vessel is Compeyson, who identifies Magwitch. Another sitter in the boat tells Magwitch he is under arrest.
Magwitch, recognizing Compeyson, lunges for him furiously, upsetting Pip's boat. The two convicts fight underwater, and Compeyson is drowned. Pip, Herbert, Startop, and Magwitch are pulled from the water into the galley, and Magwitch, who has received an injury to his head and another to his chest which "render(s) his breathing extremely painful", is taken by the authorities in the boat to be incarcerated and tried for his crimes (Chapter 54).