Built at the Finnish yard of Reposaaren Konepaja in Reposaari, the steel motor vessel Craigantlet was launched on 16th June 1972. She measured 77.98 x 13.29 x 4.16 metres and weighed 808 gross tons, 440 net tons. Built for KG Bernhard Warrings in Elsfeth, Germany she was purchased by Procoast Navigation Ltd and registered in Limassol in 1976 before being transferred to her final owners, Skymar Navigation Ltd who continued with her Cypriot registration.
The Craigantlet left Belfast on the evening of Thursday 25th February 1982 en route to Liverpool with a containerised cargo stowed above deck and below deck level. She ran aground below Killantringan Lighthouse during a storm shortly before 4am the following morning. Eleven crewmen had to be airlifted to safety in a rescue coordinated by the Coastguard Centre at Ramsey, Isle of Man. The Portpatrick lifeboat and cliff rescue teams stood by, as the crew were shuttled to safety by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter from HMS Gannet at Prestwick.
Some of the containers held dangerous chemical waste products and the area around Portmaggie was soon cordoned off by police. As stormy conditions continued throughout the following week, most of the deck cargo was washed overboard and toxic waste from fractured containers began to contaminate the surrounding beaches. An extensive and costly clean-up operation had to be mounted and the area remained closed to the public for over a month. A few local residents, including the lighthouse keepers, were evacuated until operations were completed. The lighthouse was, in the meantime, marked by an emergency beacon.
The Craigantlet broke her back shortly after going ashore and with continuing bad weather and the effects of the recovery operations she eventually broke in two. Since then, the wreckage has been exposed to the continual effects of the waves and tides of the North Channel and the wreckage, once almost intact and clearly visible, has gradually disintegrated until today she has all but disappeared beneath the surface. The wreckage is spread across a wide area 60 x 25 metres in the middle of the bay in the position 54°51.633’N, 005°08.838’W. Seabed depth in the area is less than 5 metres.