The wooden motor seine drifter Alirmay was launched from the Jones Slip and Shipyard Co Ltd., Buckie (Yard No 398) in 1946. She measured 58.1′ x 17.9′ x 7.9′ and her tonnage was 46 gross tons, 20 net tons. She was powered by a 4 cylinder diesel engine by Ruston and Hornsby Ltd., Lincoln. She was owned by Stability Fishing Co Ltd. but registered in Aberdeen (A210)
She left Aberdeen harbour under the command of A Pirie heading for the fishing grounds on Monday 19th September, 1949 and arrived some 60 miles south east of her departure point late the following day. After three days fishing the skipper set a course to return to port with his catch. A starting position for the trip was agreed with a nearby trawler and the Alirmay set off for home. The following day, around 12:30 am on the 23rd, with 45 miles covered and 20 miles still to go, the skipper and his mate went below handing the wheel over to two of his deckhands. They expected to arrive in Aberdeen around 3:00am. At around 2:45am a flashing light was spotted off their starboard bow which the two men agreed was a signal flash from a large ship out to sea. However, on checking the time they realised they were much closer to shore than they had believed. The flashing was in fact a warning signal from the shore coastguard station which had spotted the Alirmay heading directly towards the rocky shore. The coastguard then fired a warning flare but this was not spotted by the men aboard the Alirmay through the mist a drizzle that prevailed at the time. Soon after the ship’s lights disappeared and the coastguard, correctly assuming the unknown vessel had gone ashore, called out the Aberdeen lifeboat. At 3:35am a local man, Mr Wood of Portlethen, reported the Alirmay ashore near Downies.
Skipper Pirie aboard the Alirmay was asleep when his vessel hit the rocks. Wakened by the violent impact he rushed on deck to find one of his crew already ashore securing a line which was then used to successfully evacuate the crew who were then helped up the steep shore by a number of locals who had arrived on the scene. The Alirmay became a total wreck.
The subsequent enquiry held the skipper responsible judging that the initial starting position was probably inaccurate by approximately five miles, the vague instructions he gave the two men he left in charge of the vessel and most significantly the arrangement of the watches which resulted in two less experienced seamen in charge of the Alirmay while he and the mate slept below. His certificate was suspended for six months. The deckhand Alexander Gardiner who was at the wheel when the Alirmay struck, was severely reprimanded for gross negligence in his handling of the vessel as she approached the shoreline.