The steel steam trawler Albany was launched from the Bowling yard of Scott and Sons Ltd (Yard No 188) on 9th October 1906. She measured 120.0′ x 21.6′ x 11.6′ and her tonnage was 215 gross tons, 60 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Gauldie, Gillespie and Co Ltd delivering 66 registered horse power. She was built for the Double Steam Fishing Co Ltd of Fleetwood but was only employed by this company for a year before she was sold to the Lune Steam Fishing Co Ltd also of Fleetwood registered in that port FD82.
In the late afternoon of 29th December 1908 the Albany was returning to her home port after a successful trip to the fishing grounds off the west coast of Scotland when she was caught in a storm and blizzard off the Mull of Kintyre. Captain Courtney turned north to try to find some shelter from the dreadful weather but ran aground 150 yards from the shore at Tangytavil, just north of Machrihanish, in zero visibility. In a few minutes the decks were awash and the trawler was being pounded by huge seas which quickly carried off the ship’s boat and any other moveable items above deck. Eight of the now helpless crew took refuge in the wheelhouse with the remaining two clinging to the engine room casing fully exposed to the wrath of the wind, snow and the sea. Even the shelter of the wheelhouse was quickly diminished as huge waves smashed the windows leaving the men inside little better off than their colleagues.
Three other trawlers stood by off shore until the morning, but could not get close enough to assist and eventually sailed off leaving the trawlermen to their fate. The crew hung to their shattered ship throughout the following day but still no help arrived, although they did see some signs of life ashore in the late afternoon. Soon however, darkness fell and they were left to spend another freezing night aboard the wreck.
Meanwhile ashore, the alarm had been raised but the Campbeltown lifeboat was disabled and was therefore useless. The brave lifeboat crew tried to reach the wreck scene overland but, finding the road blocked by snow, were forced to take to the fields and scramble through deep snowdrifts towards the wreck. Many of the locals had assembled on the shore but could find no way of getting a line to the trawler. Despite his now freezing condition, the captain attempted to swim ashore with a line but the breakers were too much for him and eventually he was hauled back aboard, exhausted and badly bruised. The crew tried many times to float a lifebuoy ashore before finally, after two and half days on the wreck, they managed to get a line to the shore. They were then hauled, one by one, through the surf and the rocks to the safety of the beach. Thankfully they all survived their ordeal and within a few days had recovered and had been sent home to Fleetwood. The trawler became a total wreck.
There is a small amount of wreckage still existing at the site near position 55° 29.666’N, 005° 42.850’W lying in 3 to 8 metres with the remains of the boiler being the most visible item. The site is extremely exposed from the west and as a result is only accessible in flat calm conditions, or when an east wind is blowing. The surrounding sandy seabed ebbs and flows over the wreck site, and it is possible that on one dive the site will be covered in a metre of sand, and the next time the wreck will be fully exposed including the base of the hull. What does remain is fused into surrounding rock crevasses, and the stoney seabed below the sand.