The steel steamship Author was launched from the Low Walker, Newcastle yard of C Mitchell and Co Ltd (Yard No 393) on 14th January 1880. She measured 250.8′ x 33.5′ x 21.2′ and her tonnage was 1378 gross tons, 879 net tons. She w as powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Co Ltd delivering 184 net horse power.
Built for Harrison and Hughes of Liverpool she was purchased by the Charente Steam Ship Co Ltd (T & J Harrison) in 1884 and continued to operate out of Liverpool. In 1890 she was acquired by the Corinthia Steam Ship Co Ltd ( Goodyear and Co) and named Corinthia.
On 2nd June 1903 she departed from Danzig with a cargo of wooden sleepers bound for Liverpool under the command of Captain William Hendry with a crew of twenty men aboard. At 4pm on 7th in fine weather and a calm sea the light at Great Skerry, Pentland Firth was sighted approximately four miles ahead. The captain ordered a course change to the west to pass the Skerries on the north side and by 4:35pm the rocky islands were off their port beam some three quarters of a mile distant. Critically this was the captain’s first transit through the Pentland Firth and he was reliant on information passed on from other mariners about the peculiarities of the strong currents in the area. He had been informed that, with a flood tide, there was also a set from the north east and he set a course to the north west to counteract this intending to pass between Stroma and of Swona. This information was indeed accurate but, despite this, the Corinthia was to run aground at Wardie Geo on the north east corner of Stroma.
As they passed the Skerries the weather became hazy and visibility steadily reduced at by 5:30pm was very thick forcing the captain set his speed to slow and post a lookout at the bow. Hoping to hear the fog horn from Stroma he maintained his course but, at 6:10pm, breakers to sighted close to their port bow and, despite engines being reversed at full speed, she grounded a few minutes later.
Local boats were soon on the scene and it was hoped she could pull off under her own steam. Engines were maintained at full speed in reverse and the deck cargo of 800 tons of wooden sleepers was jettisoned but to no avail. When the tide turned a few hours after she began to settle and bump heavily of the rocks so the engines were stopped. At 11pm the captain ordered his crew into the boats and shore leaving himself and his officers aboard to continue efforts to refloat but, around 1am on 9th, he ordered the remaining crew members into the boats and abandoned Corinthia. She became a total wreck, The subsequent enquiry held that the captain had taken all possible actions to avoid the loss of his ship which was entirely due to the prevailing weather and tidal conditions prevailing at the time.