The steel steamship Aase was launched from the Albing yard of Ferdinand Schichau Werft (Yard No 1160) in 1925. She measured 222.4′ x 32.5′ x 11.3′ and her tonnage was 954 gross tons, 500 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by F Schichau delivering 75 net horse power. Originally ordered and built for A P Moller, Copenhagen, Denmark the Aase was completed and delivered to her owners Knohr and Burchardt of Hamburg in 1925 and operated for the next three years on various North Sea and Baltic routes.
On 16th March, 1928 she was en route from Dublin to Danzig with a cargo of scrap metal from railways and trains with a crew of fifteen men when she ran aground in the evening that day at Brimms Ness west of Thurso in a strong southerly gale. Thurso lifeboat, the Sarah Austin, picked up the ship’s distress calls and was launched at 10pm. Coxswain McPhail skilfully negotiated the heavy seas to reach the scene and was able to bring his boat alongside the Aase despite the huge swell. The captain of the Aase told him that he was not ready to abandon his ship at that point. However, by 6:30pm on the 17th the Aase was beginning to break up so, responding to message from the ship, McPhail pulled the lifeboat, which had been standing by close to the wreck, alongside the Aase once more. They safely evacuated the fifteen crewmen and took them to Thurso. By the time they returned to the lifeboat shed the Sarah Austin and her crew had been at sea for twenty two hours. For their long service Angus McPhail and his crew received a commemorative plaque and other personal letters of thanks from the German Government.
The wreckage of the Aase and its cargo, lies in 15 metres, and was rediscovered by local Caithness divers in May 2014 who found wreckage, including many recognisable train parts, scattered over a wide area in the rocky gullies off Brims Ness. This wreck is also known locally as ‘the Railway Wreck’.