I have two images of the good old days for you, they show the Paddle Steamer Islay III, built by Todd & McGregor, Glasgow in 1872. The Paddle Steamer of 497 tons and 211.4 feet in length was built as the Princess Louise and was launched in May 1872. She sailed for 18 years on the Larne – Stranraer Service until she ran aground in 1890, she was then bought by MacBraynes.
She was wrecked on 15 July 1902 while on the final stage of her regular passage between Glasgow and Port Ellen when she ran aground in thick fog. Its passengers and cargo were safely evacuated, but the vessel could not be saved and quickly became a total loss.
A quote from Dive Magazine: “Today, the wreck lies on the south side of Sheep Island. Wreckage lies down the steep reef wall of this large rock, although much of it covered by a heavy layer of kelp. At the base of this reef can be found the remains of the boiler and other assorted wreckage in 12 – 15m of water. Much of it is scattered across a golden sandy bottom that reflects the sunlight onto the wreckage, making for a pleasant scenic dive.”
The Paddle Steamer Islay III is one of the many Shipwrecks to be found in Islay’s waters.