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between 12:00 Friday 15th December and 12:00 Monday 18th December


Buitenzorg: Glas Eileanan, Sound Of Mull

Steamship (20th Century)

Site Name Buitenzorg: Glas Eileanan, Sound Of Mull

Classification Steamship (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Butenzorg; Grey Island; Buitenzorg

Canmore ID 102425

Site Number NM64SE 8002

NGR NM 69871 41013

Datum WGS84 - Lat/Long


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NM64SE 8002 6987 4095

N56 30.2618 W5 44.4068

NLO: Glas Eileanan [name: NM 715 399]

Sound of Mull [name centred NM 58 46].

Formerly entered as Site no. 9054 at cited location NM 6980 4093 [N56 30.25 W5 44.4667].

Quality of fix = HSA

Evidence = Divers Report

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 90

Orientation of keel/wreck = NWSE

Circumstances of Loss Details


The BUITZENBORG ran aground while on voyage from Calcutta to Dundee, via Oban, and it later slipped off the rocks sinking into deep water close by.

Surveying Details


26 February 1941. A non dangerous wreck is reported at 56 30 18N, 005 44 24W.

Source: Admiralty.

14 January 1974. The wreck's position is given as 56 30 15N, 005 44 28W. Horizontal sextant angles: Jara Point 110-11 minutes Garmony Point 33-21 thor.The site was located whilst sounding. The least depth was 77 in a general depth of 85 metres. A scour pit to the depth of 91 metres was observed. The seabed is sand and mud. Two echoes were picked up on adjacent sounding lines 100 metres apart. The wreck lies with its keel on an orientation of 315/135 degrees.

Report by boat party.

15 November 1976. The site is reported to be marked by small coloured buoy to establish salvors rights prior to commencing salvage in spring 1977.

Source: Mr A Mundy, telecommunication 15 November 1976.

17 November 1982. The cargo is stated to be tea and pig iron, but rubber is reported to be coming ashore.

Report by Mr Jeffries, Oban, from telecommunication.

13 January 1983. The wreck is being marked by buoy to establish salvage rights. Details to follow.

Report by Mr Ridler, from telecommunication.

3 March 1983. A salvage vessel is now working wreck, using a remotely control vehicle. Rubber from the cargo has been seen. The wreck's position is correct, but the depth is thought to be in error. A further report to follow.

Source: Mr Jeffries, telecommunication.

2 May 1985. A survey, followed by 28 days salvage, was carried out in February/March 1983. The least depth obtained was 72 metres. The stern lies in 90 metres and the bow in 103 metres. The vessel is fairly intact, lying with about 25 degrees starboard list and a large hole in starboard side abaft no.2 hold forward. The currents experienced around the wreck were slight compared to those on the surface.

Source: Mr Jefferies, Aberdeen Diving Services, 24 April 1985.

16 October 1985. The wreck was located at 56 30 14N, 005 44 29W. Its general depth [at low water springs] is 80 metres.

Source: Kilburns Salvage Co Ltd, Newport on Tay, 12 October 1985.

11 June 1986. There is a description of the salvage of the wreck and the vessel used in Lloyds List 11 June 1986.

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as steel steamship, with cargo of rubber, tea and pig iron: date of loss cited as 14 January 1941). Buitenzorg: this vessel stranded, then slipped off into deep water. Built 1916?

Registration: Rotterdam. Built 1918. 7073 grt. Length: 136m. Beam: 16m.

(Location of loss cited as N56 30.25 W5 44.47).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Material reported under RoW amnesty (2001):

A994 2 14ins portholes: found on seabed.

NMRS, MS/829/34.

(Location of midships portion of wreck cited as N56 30.2618 W5 44.4068 [NM 6987 4095]). This wreck lies upright on a gradually sloping seabed of sand and mud, the bow pointing towards the N. Seabed depths vary between 81 and 83m below chart datum at the stern to over 90m at the bow. Depths of the structure vary from 76m below chart datum amidships to 79m on some of the deck structures, and between 80 and 85m in some of the hold areas.

The wreck was salvaged (using divers and remote grabs) by Kilburn Salvage Co, Newport and Tay, at a date between 1977 and 1983, and also by Aberdeen Diving Services. It is also reported as having been visited by technical dives, and some imagery taken. The depth of the wreck has so far precluded archaeological survey by divers.

The 2004 imagery shows the wreck to be largely intact. The substantial raised forecastle and poop structures, four or five holds with associated winches, and the intact masts are all identifiable. The bridge and engine structure (amidships) remains largely intact.

The wreck lies within a small debris field, debris being apparent up to 40m from the starboard side of the vessel, but not (within the area of sonar shadow) to port. Within the debris noted to starboard, there was an unidentified object 5.3m long and 1.5m off the seabed. A further debris object was noted 45m off the port bow.

The salvage impact is evidently centred around the forward hold, where grabs have opened a large hole (between 3 and 5m wide) out of the port side. This hole may extend across the vessel to the starboard side, and there may be also be a degree of hull distortion (about 2 degrees to port) forward of this.

No scallop-dredge marks were noted nearby, although they are recorded in the vicinity. Both sidescan and multibeam sonar traces indicate a degree of seabed scouring (to a depth of up to 32m) around the stern, and there may be sediment accretion towards the bow.

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

MS/2338 (pp. 40-3, 92).

What is apparently this wreck is charted (Wk) with a shoal depth of 72m in a general depth of water of about 80m, and near the centre of the Sound.

The projecting skerry and reefs of Glas Eileanan are situated in the centre of the ESE entrance to the Sound of Mull; the main navigation channel passes to the NE. Projecting reefs extend for about 0.5nm from NW to SE, rising from a depth of between 65 and 75m (to the NE). To the SW, a complex of reefs in about 15m depth of water extends from Glas eileanan to the Sgeir nan Gobhar, at the SE end of Scallastle Bay.

Glas Eileanan is surmounted by the beacon NM73NW 20.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 23 April 2008.

UKHO chart no. 2390 (1976, amended 1991).


Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 576


Latitude : 563015

Longitude : 54428

Date Built : 1918

Registration : ROTTERDAM

Type : SS (STEEL)

Tonnage : 7073

Tonnage Code : G

Length : 136

Beam : 16

Draught : 10m

Position : Exact Position

Loss Day : 14

Loss Month : 1

Loss Year : 1941

Comment : Ashore then slipped off into deep water. Built 1916 ?


Reference (19 April 2012)

UKHO Identifier : 002714

Feature Class : Wreck

Wreck Category : Non-dangerous wreck

State : LIVE

Classification : Unclassified

Position (Lat/long) : 56.50473,-5.74127

Horizontal Datum : ETRS 1989

WGS84 Position (Lat/long) : 56.50473,-5.74127

WGS84 Origin : Original

Previous Position : 56.50400,-5.74220

Position Method : Differential Global Positioning System

Position Quality : Surveyed

Position Accuracy : 3.0

Depth : 74.0

Depth Method : Found by multi-beam

Depth Quality : Least depth known

Water Depth : 79

Water Level Effect : Always under water/submerged

Vertical Datum : Mean Low Water Springs


Type : SS

Flag : DUTCH

Length : 136.1

Beam : 16.5

Draught : 10.4

Sonar Length : 146.0

Sonar Width : 42.0

Shadow Height : 12.0

Orientation : 173.0

Tonnage : 7073

Tonnage Type : Gross


Date Sunk : 14/01/1941

Bottom Texture : Sand

Magnetic Anomaly : Moderate

Sonar Signal Strength : Strong

Scour Depth : 0.0


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