Launched from the yard of Dundee Shipbuilding Co Ltd on 20th February 1909 for the Banffshire Steam Shipping CO Ltd the small steel steamship Boyne Castle measured 117.0′ x 22.1′ x 8.6′ and weighed 245 gross tons, 95 net tons. She was powered by a 2 cylinder compound steam engine by Hepple and Co Ltd., South Shields delivering 60 horsepower.
She operated for her owners on the East Scotland North Sea routes from her launch in 1909 till the outbreak of World War One in 1914. Despite the dangers of these routes she continued to ply back and forth up and down the Scottish east coast under the constant threats of submarine attack or German laid mines.
One 7th February 1917 she was on another of these voyages from Macduff to Seaham in ballast under the command of skipper A Porter with a crew of six men aboard. When off the Firth of Forth she was stopped by German U-boat UB-22 under the command of Oberleutnant Bernhard Putzier. The U-boat immediately began firing on the steamship. As the shells began to impact on the ship her crew scrambled into the ship’s boat and abandoned ship. The Germans continued to shell the Boyne Castle and after two more direct hits she slipped beneath the waves. The U-boat submerged leaving the crew to their fate. Thankfully the crew survived their ordeal without casualty. The attack was reported 12 miles NbyE of St Abbs Head.
The wreck of the Boyne Castle was discovered and identified by the recovery of her bell by Marinequest in 2008 in position 56° 07.965’N 02° 00.433’W, lying 90/270 degrees. She lies in a depth of 48 metres with a least depth 43 metres noted above . The bow section is in tact and upright but midships she is broken and flattened. The engine and boiler are clearly visible with the deck superstructure collapsed around them. The stern section also sits upright but is more broken than the bow area.