The iron steamship Chadwick was launched from the Swan Hunter shipyard at Wallsend-on-Tyne on 3rd June 1882. She measured 250.0′ x 35.0′ x 18.0′ and weighed 1453 gross tons, 917 net tons. Her two inverted compound surface condition steam engines provided 150 nhp.
Owned by the Chadwick Steamship Company she left Glasgow, loaded with a cargo of coal, bound for Kronstadt with a crew of eighteen men under the command of her skipper Charles Kemp on 1st July 1892. By 7:20pm on the 2nd they were off the Binch Bank Buoy, Barra Sound and heading in a general north east direction. There was a light south west wind and the sea was calm although visibility was poor in a drizzling rain. However there was no cause for concern and the ship was kept at full speed ahead as darkness began to fall and a light, taken to be Ushinish, was spotted approximately 4 miles north west of their position. At 10pm, with visibility deteriorating even more due to fog the master ordered the engines slowed.
Suddenly around 10:45 white waves were spotted on the starboard bow and although the engines were stopped immediately and the steering turned hard to avoid a grounding she ran ashore and remained fast with the stem and starboard bow resting on a rocky ledge. An attempt to pull her off with the ship’s engines failed and the boats were launched and moored alongside as a precaution. As the night wore on the water gradually filled No 1 then No 2 holds and it was obvious the ship was not going to re-float so the crew took to the ship’s boats and made it safely to shore at Glendale. When they reached the shore they were told that the ship had run aground at An Ceannaich, Loch Pooltiel, West Skye.
The subsequent Board of Trade enquiry held that the captain was at fault in running the ship at full speed in poor visibility and that he had ignored the advice of the ship’s owners to adjust his course for a known compass deviation which placed his ship closer to the Skye shore that he thought they were. His master’s certificate was suspended for three months.
The Chadwick slipped off the rocky ledge and sank in deep water on 6th July and for some time her bow was visible above the surface but she eventually slipped off and disappeared completely. She lies in position 57° 27.081’N, 006° 47.059’W (WGS84). She lies on a sloping rocky seabed in depths ranging from 25 metres to 15 metres bow pointing towards the shore. The wreck is very broken as she lies on an exposed coast which is pounded by winter gales but large pieces of wreckage still remain. She appears to lie semi-inverted on her port sides with the central section most intact and the dramatic stern and iron propeller being the most interesting and photogenic portion of the sealife encrusted wreck. The site is completely exposed to the west and can be subject to tidal streams at certain times.