MHG24254 - Shuna: Rubha Aird Seisg, Sound of Mull


The best preserved of the large intact merchant steamships lost in transit through the Sound of Mull.

Type and Period (2)

  • WRECK (Date of sinking, 20th Century - 1913 AD to 1913 AD)
  • STEAMSHIP (Unknown date)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

NM54NE 8000 5955 4736
N 56 33.4 W 5 54.8

Formerly NM54NE 8577

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.

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 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 Saturday May 17 1913 p 6

SHUNA, sits upright in 16-32 metres parallel to the shore on a gently sloping seabed with the deck 16-20 metres from the surface, four holds, engine room and raised forecastle remain. Holds contain coal.
Source; Moir and Crawford 1994.

SHUNA, built by G T Grey, Holburn Works, South Shields, Engine no. 426. Outside of the wreck is covered in marine growth, inside is a thick layer of silt, spare propellor lies horizontally on the deck near the stern, spare anchor immediately adjacent on the starboard side, port anchor chain runs out to the seabed.
Source; Baird 1995. <1>

This wreck was the subject of a remote sensing survey in June 2004 which recorded a maximum length of 69.3m and signs of a tightly controlled debris field at the bow. One object (c.2.3m long) could be defined lying c.23m off the starboard bow. Three objects more than 2m long are located within 10m of the stern. Copies of the scan images are available on a CD accompanying the project monograph. <2><3>

Further information is available in RCAHMS's Canmore database (see link). <4>

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NM 59575 47341 (110m by 73m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NM54NE
Civil Parish MORVERN
Geographical Area LOCHABER

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (2)

External Links (2)

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