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Shuna: Rubha Aird Seisg, Sound Of Mull

Steamship (20th Century)

Site Name Shuna: Rubha Aird Seisg, Sound Of Mull

Classification Steamship (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Grey Rocks; Green Island; Rhu Riddrie; Eileanan Glasa; Shuna

Canmore ID 102417

Site Number NM54NE 8004

NGR NM 59552 47362

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/102417

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Maritime - Highland
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

NM54NE 8004 5955 4736

N56 33.4 W5 54.8

NLO: Sound of Mull [name centred NM 58 46].

Formerly entered as Site no. 8577.

For alternative position formerly suggested at NM c. 520 591 (N56 39.5 W6 2.8), see NM55NW 8011.

Not to be confused with the wreck of the same name off Islay, for which see NR44NE 8001.

The Glasgow steamer SHUNA, owned by Messers Glen & Co., with a cargo of coal and iron from Glasgow to Gothenburg, struck on the Grey Rocks [Eileanan Glasa: NM 595 450] in the Sound of Mull on Thursday night during a storm, and at 10 am on Friday became a total loss. Captain Elsper, immediately after the vessel struck, set out for Tobermory, but the water was gaining so quickly on the pumps that he had to run for the nearest land on the Morvern shore. Owing to a heavy sea running about midnight, beaching the vessel was precarious work, but she was finally made fast with a powerful hawser at the headland called Rhu Riddrie.

Both anchors were dropped outside in order to take her off should she weather the storm and salvage be attempted. When the fore part of the SHUNA was beached, the seas were going over the bridge, and the crew, after a time, became aware that she was gradually sinking. The mate left early in the morning in a rowing boat with four oars for Tobermory, which was reached about 5 o'clock, and from which telegrams were despatched to the owners. At five o'clock, most of the crew came off the vessel. The Captain, the Chief and Second Engineers, and two others of the crew stood by the ship till 8am. At 10 o'clock the hawser broke, the hatches blew off, and the steamer slipped out into 30 fathoms of water, and sank with a loud report. The crew of 18 left in their three boats for Tobermory, which they reached safely after mid-day. The ship's officers, owing to the position of the vessel, were able to lay hands on their belongings, but the sailors and firemen lost all theirs. The shipwrecked crew were taken on board by the MacBrayne steamer CHIEFTAIN at 5 o'clock on Saturday morning.

The SHUNA was a screw steamer of 1426 tons gross, belonging to the Scandinavian Shipping Company, (Messrs. Glen & Co., managers, Glasgow), and was well known as one of the most regular trading vessels between Glasgow and the Scandinavian ports. She was built in 1909 in Holland.

Source: Oban Times, 17 May 1913.

Evidence = Divers Report

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 30

Orientation of keel/wreck = SENW

Circumstances of Loss Details

-----------------------------

The SHUNA, built in 1909, was wrecked at the entrance to the Sound of Mull, while on passage from the Clyde to Gothenburg with general cargo. It was owned at the time of loss by Glen & Co. Sources; Dictionary of Disasters at Sea. [this wreck is not to be confused with the SHUNA lost nearby on 17 October 1936].

The vessel struck Grey Rocks on 8 May 1913. It attempted to reach Tobermory but had to beach on the Morven shore. It sank the following day.

Report by P J Moir, 31 March 1992.

Surveying Details

-----------------------------

5 March 1975. The SHUNA was wrecked in 56 39 00N, 006 03 00W, approximately.

Report by P L Sellars, 11 February 1975.

7 November 1990. The site was located in 56 33 24N, 005 54 48W. and positively identified as the SHUNA, built in 1909, by the bell. It was carrying a cargo of coal.

Report from a telephone conversation with K Drake/G Furse, 2 November 1990.

6 April 1992. The wreck lies about 0.5 miles NNW of Rubha Aird Seisg at 56 31 26N [?56 33 26N], 005 54 52W, approximately. The vessel is orientated parallel to the shoreline with the bow to the SE. It is upright and virtually intact in general depths of 32 to 34 metres. It stands about 3 to 3.5 metres above the seabed.

Report by P J Moir, 31 March 1992.

This wreck has been plundered over the past two years.

Report by S Irvine, 3 April 1992.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as steel steamship, with cargo of coal and general goods: date of loss cited as 8 May 1913). Shuna: this vessel struck Grey Rocks, beached off Rubha Aird Seisg, slipped off, and sank. Capt. Elsper.

Registration: Glasgow. Built 1909. 1426grt. length: 73m. Beam: 11m.

(Location of loss cited as N56 33.40 W5 54.80).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A2742 1 half bearing: from seabed

A2978 1 lump of coal: from seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/35.

This general cargo ship was built in 1909 and is typical of her type and period, being broadly similar to the nearby Thesis (NM74SW 8001) and Hispania (NM55SE 8005), which were built in 1887 and 1912 respectively. This wreck remains substantially intact, nearly all the major features being identifiable presumably reflecting the lack of salvage operations during the long gap between her sinking and rediscovery. The position of the wreck (against the Morvern shore and away from any recognised anchorage) has prevented its being wire-swept. No organised salvage is recorded or apparent, while recovery has apparently been limited to portable items.

The straight stem and counter stern are impressive, while the rudder remains in place. No cause of loss is immediately apparent. Typically for the Sound of Mull, the wreck supports a rich assemblage of marine life.

The wreck is upright and lies close inshore; the bows point SE, parallel to the coast. It is not specifically noted on the chart and the nature of the seabed is not indicated but the indicated location falls on a narrow shelf above the main drop-off into the glacial trough.

(For location plan, see Moir and Crawford 1994, 192).

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 5 November 2002 [visited on numerous occasions 1995 to date].

Moir and Crawford 1994; R and B Larn 1998; Diver 2001.

HO chart no. 2390 (1976, revised to 1991).

(Location cited as N56 33.380 W5 54.840 (WGS84): [NGR NM 5519 5045]). This wreck is situated on a gradually sloping seabed, the highest parts of the superstructure (the forecastle and bridge deck) being at 20 or 21m below chart datum. The seabed depth is 30 or 31m below chart datum on the starboard side, and 28m to port. The wreck is subject to currents which typically run NW/SE at speeds of less than 0.5 kts, and is diveable at all states of the tide.

This wreck was discovered by recreational divers in the 1980's, and was immediately subject to heavy souvenir hunting. No salvage operations are recorded, although the recovery of the cargo of coal has been considered. Nevertheless, this remains the best-preserved wreck in the Sound. No systematic survey is recorded, but some observations have been made by SOMAP participants.

This wreck lies upright, with bows to the ESE, on a fair featureless sloping gravely seabed. There is evidence for a tightly-confined and limited debris field at the bow, one object about 2.3m long being identified about 23m off the starboard bow. Three further objects (each over 2m long) are distinguishable within 10m of the stern. Clear evidence of nephrops trawl or scallop dredging marks was noted within 50m of the wreck, while scour-pits up to 1m deep may be developing along the port side. Sediment accretion observed around the bow accords with the wreck's reputation among divers as 'silty'. There is a fish farm nearby.

Both multibeam and sidescan datasets clearly record a steamship with engine amidships; sidescan records length measurements of between 67.5 and 69.3m. Much of the bridge structure remains intact, although the roof has rotted away. The funnel has also been lost, but both engine and boiler cavities can be distinguished. Steel footings probably indicate the former location of a wooden deckhouse. The vessel has an impressive forecastle (some 2 or 3m above the deck) which supports anchor winches and associated equipment. For cargo holds (two forward and two aft of the superstructure) retain high hatch coamings. Twin cargo-handling winches and a mast survive between each pair of holds. Much of the cargo of coal remains in the holds. The counter stern, rudder and propeller remain in place, the propeller having a diameter of 4.3m. A spare propeller survives on the stern deck.

(Survey area defined: report illustrated with chart extract and colour sonar imagery).

MS/2338 (pp. 36-9, 92).

Activities

Project (1994 - 2005)

Survey of maritime sites including: Dartmouth: Eilean Rubha an Ridire; Evelyn Rose (Possibly): Ardtornish Point; Glen Carradale: Loch Aline Jetty; Hispania: Sgeir Mor; John Preston: Rubha Dearg; Loch Tearnait, Crannog; Pelican: Calve Island; Rondo: Dearg Sgeir; Shuna: Rubha Aird Seisg; Strathbeg: Cnap A' Chailbhe; Swan: Duart Point; Thesis: Rubha an Ridire; Unknown: Calve Island; Unknown: Scallaslte Bay and a stone quay and Ardtornish.

Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 687

Name : SHUNA

Latitude : 563324

Longitude : 55448

Date Built : 1909

Registration : GLASGOW

Type : SS (STEEL)

Tonnage : 1426

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 73

Beam : 11

Draught : 5m

Position : Exact Position

Loss Day : 8

Loss Month : 5

Loss Year : 1913

Comment : Struck Grey Rocks, beached off Rubha Aird Seisg, slipped off, sank. Capt.Elsper

Cargo : GENERAL AND COAL

Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 002755

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Non-dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 56.55648,-5.91440

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 56.55648,-5.91440

WGS84 Origin : Block Shift

Previous Position : 56.55667,-5.91333

Position Quality : Precisely known

Depth Quality : Depth unknown

Water Depth : 30

Vertical Datum : Mean Low Water Springs

Name : SHUNA

Type : SS

Flag : BRITISH

Length : 73.5

Beam : 10.7

Draught : 5.2

Orientation : 135.0

Tonnage : 1426

Tonnage Type : Gross

Cargo : COAL

Date Sunk : 09/05/1913

Bottom Texture : Mud

Contact Description : Entire wreck

Original Sensor : Diver Sighting

Last Sensor : Diver Sighting

Original Detection Year : 1980

Last Detection Year : 1992

Original Source : Divers

Last Source : Divers

Circumstances of Loss : **BUILT IN 1909 BY A VUIJK & ZONAN IN THE NETHERLANDS. OWNED AT TIME OF LOSS BY SCANDANAVIAN SHIPPING. ONE BOILER, TRIPLE EXPANSION ENGINE, SINGLE SHAFT. MACHINERY BY G T GREY, HOLBOURN WORKS, SOUTH SHIELDS. PASSAGE GLASGOW FOR GOTHENBURG. WHILE SEEKING SHELTER FROM HEAVY WEATHER STRUCK GREY ROCKS ON 8.5.13. ATTEMPTED TO REACH TOBERMORY BUT HAD TO BEACH ON MORVEN SHORE & SANK THE FOLLOWING DAY. CREW SAFE. (ARGYLL SHIPWRECKS, SIBI, & SHIPWRECKS OF W SCOTLAND).

Surveying Details : **5.3.75 WRECKED IN 563900N, 060300W, APPROX. (PL SELLARS, 11.2.75).

**HH272/350/01 7.11.90 LOCATED IN 563324N, 055448W [OGB]. POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AS SHUNA, BUILT 1909, BY BELL. CARGO COAL. (K DRAKE, TELECON 2.11.90). INS AS NDW. BR STD.

**HH100/351/05 6.4.92 LIES ABOUT 0.5M NNW OF RUBHA AIRD SEISG IN 563326N, 055452W APPROX. ORIENTATED PARALLEL TO SHORELINE WITH BOW SE. UPRIGHT AND VIRTUALLY INTACT IN GEN DEPTHS 32-34MTRS. STANDS ABOUT 3-3.5MTRS ABOVE THE SEABED. (P J MOIR, 31.3.92).

POSITIONS BELOW THIS POINT ARE IN DEGREES, MINUTES AND DECIMALS OF A MINUTE

**15.3.07 [EUT] POSN: 5633.389N, 0554.864W. NE 2390.

**13.3.12 NOT IN NAVIGABLE AREA, LIES WITHIN BOUNDARY OF FISH FARM. (NETSURVEY, HI 1364). NCA.

General Comments : UPRIGHT, INTACT, BOWS SE

Chart Symbol : NDW

References

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