Sugar Boat, Wednesday 27th June 2012

Paddlers: Anne, Seylan, Jamie, Bill, Frankie, Jim, Geoff, Euan, Oliver, Josh, Sam, Ross, Andrew, Tamara

Weather: Flat calm and Misty.

Route: A beginners trip; Straight out from Craigendoran, Climb on the wreck, and Back


Ross, Sam and Oliver

Andrew conquers the boat face
Oliver and Josh about to get on boat, Ross in attendance
Keeping boats safe
Getting back into the boats

Sam being retrieved from slip into the sea by Seylan
RMS Capatayannis

On the evening of 27 January 1974, a storm blew the vessel from its anchor while she was waiting at the Tail of the Bank to deliver sugar to the James Watt Dock inGreenock. She collided with the BP tanker British Light. The tanker suffered no damage but her anchor chains holed the sugar boat allowing water to pour in.

Captayannis’ captain tried to make for the sheltered waters of the Gareloch. Realising that water was flowing in so fast that she was in imminent danger of sinking, he opted to beach her in the shallow waters over the sandbank and steered to the desired spot where she stuck fast. The pilot boats, the tug Labrador and Clyde Marine Motoring’s Rover came to assist. The vessel heeled over so far that it was possible for the crew to jump onto the deck of the diminutive passenger vessel. 25 of the crew were taken ashore, but the Captain and four crewmen waited on the Labrador, standing off the stricken vessel. The ship finally succumbed the next morning, rolling onto her side. She has lain there ever since. Most, if not all of her more valuable metals and fittings have been removed by looters, leaving little of the split-style superstructure.

Through time Captayannis has become ‘home’ to marine life and birds. She has never been removed as confusion surrounds the identity of her owners and insurers – no-one accepts responsibility for her removal. Plans to have her blown up were shelved as there were fears about damage to nearby bird sanctuaryArdmore Point