Shonas Wrecks - Moidart

This page is an entry in Shonas Wreck Guide.

Sketch of the 'Moidart' as she is today
Sketch of the wreck of the 'Moidart'.

Built: 1878
Tonnage 1044 Grt
Owners: James Cormack & Co, Leith
Sunk: 9th Jun 1918 by UC 77 whilst on voyage from Barry to Rouen with a cargo of coal. 15 lost.

This collier lies in 32-40m of water, and sits upright on a silty seabed. The bows and foc'sle of the wreck are intact, but the wreck breaks up around the engine area, and the rear section of the wreck appears to be flattened. The stern of this wreck is intact and lies on its port side and is some distance from the main wreckage. A number of portholes and the ships clock have recently been recovered from this vessel. The stern section has also produced a number of bottles and jars with Edinburgh makers names.

Approaching from the bows, which are covered in dead-mens fingers, the foc'sle plating has given way, and you can drop into the foc'sle area. A number of items have been recovered from here recently. Swimming aft out through the back of the foc'sle you pass over one of the brass navigation lamps that is firmly concreted into the wreck - don't try to move it - you'll only break it even more than I have!.

On the port side deck, immediately behind the focs'le can be seen two large anchors, one of which has it's fluke hooked through the shackle on the shank of the other. Swimming aft from here, over the small hatch opening, you come to the forward hold. Either side of the hold, where the decking has given way, you can see the copper steam pipes whih run from the boilers to the forward winches. There is a large 'box' section on the deck here, possibly a water tank, and immediately behind this, a small upright donkey boiler. Under these can be seen the two main boilers which area only just visible in the tangle of wreckage.

One of the Moidarts chronometers after cleaning
Ships Chronometer from the stern of the 'Moidart'.

Behind the boilers lie the single engine - now standing proud on a slope of wreckage. The inside of the hull adjacent to the port side of the engine still holds racks of engineers tools which can be picked out in a torch.

The wreck breaks up here, and disappears into the sandy seabed. If careful, you can swim out on a bearing (not specified) to find the very small intact stern section. (Note that the stern is not in alignment with the main prt of the wreck, as shown in the diagram above!)

The stern lies over on her port side and is full of brass bits and bobs - including 12pdr shell cases for her stern gun, packing cases full of cargo, .303 bullets, brass furniture fixings etc. The ships chronometer and and bronze pump were recovered recently along with 3 or 4 portholes. There are still portholes left - but they're of iron frames with small brass doors and not well finished.

The Moidart in dry dock following earlier collision.

The deepest depth on the wreck is around the stern section where 42m can be easily reached. The bow stands some 6 or 7 meters off the seabed, and it is possible to keep to a 35m depth limit whilst emploring the fwd section of the wreck.