The area in and around the Sound of Islay is a notorious graveyard of ships with over 50 wrecks catalogued. There are strong rips and currents that boil through the narrow sound and these have caught many vessels unawares. At 338 tons Wyre Majestic was built by Cochranes in 1956 at Selby. One of the large fleet of Wyre Trawlers, she ran ashore in the Sound of Islay on passage from Oban close to the Bunnahabhain Distillery.
Unable to get berths in the busy port of Oban, Wyre Majestic and Wyre Defence decided to steam for Fleetwood to land their catch. Wyre Defence pulled ahead of the Majestic Majestic's skipper was in his bunk and the bosun at the wheel as she seemed to move to the starboard side of her sister ship and would appear to have held a south west by south course for too long......
At about 20:00, on 18th October 1974, Wyre Majestic hit the rocks at Rubha a' Mhail, where the channel of the Sound of Islay kinks, at full speed. There was an 8 knot tide running from astern and this pushed her onto the rocks at 18 knots, tearing open her bottom and rupturing her fuel tank. Derek Reader, the skipper, stayed aboard her for ten days waiting for a big tide as did Phil Huff, the mate, and Charlie Timmins, the chief engineer. Wyre Defence attempted to pull her sister off as did the Port Askraig lifeboat and tugs but she had settled too heavily onto the rocks where she sits today.
Her skipper, Derek Reader, was subsequently found to be at fault for being below at an 'innapropriate time' and had his certificate suspended. The Bosun, John Pirie, admitted to having had a lot to drink and to steering the vessel whilst in a 'stupor'.
The second picture shows the current status of the wreck. This picture is from june the 15th 2006 and taken by Arra Fletcher from the Persabus Pottery, his landmark since he was a kid. It clearly shows that the ship is finally going down. Thanks Arra! And no he isnt responsible ;-)