The steel barque Avanti Savoia was launched from the Sestri Ponente yard of G Ansaldo and Co., Genoa (Yard No 78) on 31st January 1890. She measured 248.6′ x 35.9′ x 21.1′ and her tonnage was 1371 gross tons. She was ordered by Giacamo Coxe of Loano who operated her for nineteen years until she was sold to Nicola Rocce, also of Loano in 1909. Only two years later, in 1911, she was purchased by her final owner Mr George Savage of Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia who operated her on routes across the globe.
On April 5th 1915 she was en route from Iquique in northern Chile with a cargo of nitrate for Rotterdam. She was under the command of Captain T Corrance who had a crew of sixteen men aboard. As she approached UK waters she was caught in a severe gale and driven north west towards Shetland. It had been a long arduous voyage as she had been at sea for one hundred and nine days when she was driven ashore at Burga Stack, Culswick Ness, Shetland. The first the local community knew about the wreck was when wreckage and then a number of bodies washed ashore. In an amazing coincidence the first body recovered was a young man named Christopher Fraser, a member of the ship’s crew, who lived on Shetland only a few miles from the site of the wreck. A total of six bodies were ultimately recovered. As there were no witnesses to the stranding and no survivors from the ship it could only be surmised what had actually occurred. Local intelligence suggests that the ship was running for shelter in Gruting Voe but had missed the entrance to the small harbour there in the storm and quickly broke up on the rocks with the loss of all hands.
The bell of the ship was recovered at some point, the lack of damage to the bell would suggest that it was recovered at the time of her loss.