The steel steam trawler Ben Doran was launched from the Aberdeen yard of Hall Russell and Co Ltd (Yard No 331) on 3rd March 1900. She measured 103.0′ x 20.2′ x 11.6′ and her tonnage was 155 gross tons, 41 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Hall Russell delivering 50 registered horse power. She was ordered by the Prince Steam Fishing Co Ltd, North Shields before moving to her Aberdeen base under the ownerships of Thomas Davidson and registered there A179. During Word War One she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for war service before being returned to her owners at the end of the conflict. She was re-registered in Aberdeen this time with fishing number A178. Her final owners, John Lewis and Sons Ltd of Aberdeen purchased her in 1925 continuing her fishing operations in the northern fishing grounds as far north as Iceland.
Late on Saturday night 29th March 1930 Ben Doran, under the command of her skipper James Caie with his crew of eight men aboard, was caught in a violent storm close to the Vee Skerries west of Shetland. In the storm she was driven high into the centre of the rocks and stuck fast swept by a massive swell breaking right over the skerries. Her distress messages were picked up by a passing trawler who relayed the situation to Lerwick and by 5pm the following evening help was on the way. The local rocket brigade packed their gear into a truck which drove to Ronas Voe on the west side of the mainland where the gear was loaded onto the trawler Arora and at 2am on 30th she set off for Vee Skerries. A second vessel, the motor boat Smiling Morn, was also dispatched to the site as it was believed she might be more useful in the difficult waters around the skerries. Later that day both approached the site of the wreck but the massive seas made it impossible for them to approach close enough to assist. As the two vessels stood by, the lifeboat at Stromness was launched and set out on the long storm tossed journey to the wreck site. The lifeboat reached Scalloway on the west coast of Shetland where she re-fuelled before heading out west towards the Vee Skerries. Meanwhile the crews of the two vessels standing by the wreck could only watch as the crew of the Ben Doran who had taken to the rigging fell, one by one, into the boiling surf and perished. By the time the lifeboat arrived the men had vanished and the wreck was already breaking up and sinking in deeper water.
The remaining wreckage of the Ben Doran lies in approximate position 60° 22.400’N, 001° 48.900’W on a reef named Helli Goblo. Some broken plates and parts of the engine are visible ashore. In July 1983 the wreck was visited by members of Strathclyde University Sub-Aqua Club who managed to recover a number of items including the nameplate, these items were donated to the Shetland Museum as recorded in the picture below.