The steel steamship Arran III was launched from the yard of Ayrshire Dockyard Co Ltd, Irvine (Yard No 498) on 26th January 1926. She measured 99.7′ x 21.1′ x 9.2′ and her tonnage was 132 gross tons, 49 net tons. She was powered by a compound steam engine by Blair Aitchison, Clydebank delivering 34 registered horse power. Built for Clyde Cargo Steamers Ltd., Glasgow she was a common sight around the various ports and islands of the Firth of Clyde.
Early in the morning of 31st December, 1932 she left Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne with a cargo of empty beer bottles. As she headed south towards Tarbert she fought her way into a south easterly gale. Around 6:30am she ran aground on the rocky outcrop of Sgeir Leathann off Barmore Island, which lies about one and a half miles north east of East Loch Tarbert.
The wreck of the Arran, although substantially salvaged after her loss, lies as she sank in position 55° 53.517’N, 005° 24.233’W (GPS) which is on the north west corner of Sgeir Leathann. She lies on a sloping rocky seabed with her stern at 12 metres and her bow in 5 metres. The best way to locate the wreck is to enter the water towards the east end of the north side of the rock and swim west at 10 metres until you reach the wreck.
The wreck itself lies on its port side and is well broken although the stern, keel and main ribs are still fairly intact. Access to the site is only really practical by boat which can be launched at Tarbert although we believe some extremely fit divers have been known to reach the shore of Barmore Island overland through the grounds of Stonefield Castle Hotel and snorkel out to the island. Please ask for permission from the hotel owners if you choose this approach.