RATTRAY HEAD TO FIFENESS
Scotland’s east coast is the location of two of the countries most significant cities – namely Aberdeen and Dundee. The economies of both cities are closely tied to the sea and the resultant high volume of vessels entering and leaving their ports have resulted in hundreds of wrecks up and down this section of the Scottish coastline.
Aberdeen, Scotland’s third most populous city, and it’s neighbouring townships of Peterhead and Fraserburgh were the base for a huge fishing fleet and even to this day remain the primary fishing ports of Scotland. In support of the fishing industry a large successful shipbuilding industry flourished in the area building vessels for local fishing companies and other fisheries across the UK. Many of these vessels were to find their end round the Scottish coast and feature across this website. In recent times the city has flourished with the discovery of oil in the North Sea with Aberdeen becoming the main support hub for the industry and it’s related activity.
Dundee, Scotland’s fourth largest city on the banks of the River Tay, while also supporting a fishing and shipbuilding industry became a more international port. Historically a centre for textiles and also a base for a large whaling industry these two capabilities came together in the 1850s when Dundee became a world hub for the jute industry. At it’s peak there were more than 60 jute mills in the city and more than 50,000 workers were employed bringing huge wealth and prosperity to the city and large volumes of shipping traffic to it’s port.
The topography of the section of coastline from Rattray Head south to Fifeness is fairly consistent with some areas of low cliffs and other sandier areas close to the mouths of the many rivers that flow into the North Sea. The weather on the coastline, particularly in winter brings fog, harr and poor visibility which resulted in many hundreds of shipwrecks and huge loss of life in the days before vessels had the sophisticated navigation equipment available nowadays. The other significant contributor to the shipwrecks found offshore here was the route of the hundreds of wartime convoys from and to the east coast of England that travelled up and down the Scottish east coast. The area became a prime hunting ground for German U-boats in their attempt to stop supplies to Britain in both world wars.
Area Wreck Map