Ordered by the Admiralty the steel Castle class armed trawler Thomas Twiney (FY3528) was launched form the Middlesborough yard of Smiths Dockyard Company in July 1917 (Yard No.707). She measured 125.5′ x 23.4′ x 12.8′ and her tonnage was 275 gross tons, 107 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by the builder delivering 87 registered horse power. With the end of Word War One she was decommissioned and later purchased in 1922 by J Pettit & Company of London, converted to a fishing vessel and re-named Clyro (M245). The vessel changed ownership in November 1934, her new owners were the Boston Deep Sea & Ice Company of Fleetwood.
Girvan lifeboat and the Ballantrae rocket life-saving brigade were called to assist when the Milford Haven registered trawler Clyro went ashore just just before midnight on Tuesday 13th August 1935. She had grounded on reefs just south of Culzean Castle and maroons and flares were immediately fired. These alerted residents of the castle who immediately telephoned the Girvan lifeboat which was launched around 12.30am. The RNLI motor lifeboat Lily Ann arrived on scene about an hour later and found that six persons were already ashore and that the remaining eight crew were either in the ships lifeboat alongside the Clyro, or working on board to try and save their ship.
Local help had arrived before the lifeboat, a Mr Edward Flynn a local resident from Maidens, had also seen the maroons and had launched in his small motorboat to try an help the stricken crew, he also stood by the Clyro having assisted in landing the first party of six. Work to stem the flow of water into the wreck continued until mid afternoon when the skipper Ernest Wood, decided that the damage was beyond any fix they could undertake and decided to abandon ship. The lifeboat and tug were stood down and both left the scene.
On Thursday 15 August the wreck was visited by a representative of the owners and a surveyor from their insurers. After a fairly short inspection it was decided to abandon the Clyro. The crew assisted with the transfer of any salvageable items to another Fleetwood trawler, before collecting their belongings. The crew left Culzean and their ship late afternoon and began their long journey home to Fleetwood.
The Clyro had been badly holed and was beyond economical salvage and repair, her registry was closed on 21 October 1935. Over following weeks she developed a list and later broke in two. We have been unable to establish if the Clyro was sold, or if any formal salvage work took place.
The Wreck Today
The remains of the Clyro lie approximately 500 metres south of Culzean Castle, in position 55° 21.239’N, 04° 47.794’W. Another aid to location is provided by a small stone structure on the cliff edge directly inshore known as the Powder House, although this is only visible during winter months due to tree foliage. There are a number of pieces of wreckage along the shore, which includes the wheelhouse floor directly inshore of the boiler. The wreck is completely broken up and may have been subject to some salvage work. The most recognisable parts are her engine, rudder, propellor and boiler, the latter breaks surface at low water on spring tides. The seabed here is predominantly rock and boulders, depths range from 0-4 metres. The site is exposed to wind and swell from south west round to north, and can only really be dived by boat.