Launched from the Govan yard of Mackie and Thomson (Yard No 400) on 11th January 1910 the steel steam trawler Cramond Island measured 112.3′ x 21.9′ x 11.3′ and weighed 180 gross tons, 70 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by W V Lidgerwood Ltd., Glasgow delivering 70 horse power. The vessels official number was 129400.
She was first registered in Leith as LH114 on 11th November, 1910 for her owners, The Leith Steam Fishing Company. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty in May 1915 and spent the First World War stationed at Dover working as a minesweeper in the English Channel. She survived the war and was returned to her owners in early 1919. In the same year she was purchased by Thomas Scales of Leith who was to own and manage her as part of his growing fishing fleet until her loss during World War Two. Her career between the wars was uneventful except for a minor collision with the trawler North Queen off Aberdeen in January 1926.
With the outbreak of World War Two she was again requisitioned by the Admiralty, this time to be converted into a boom defence vessel. On 2nd April, 1941 she was attacked by a German JU-88 aircraft five miles off St Abbs Head and suffered a direct hit. The explosion devastated the small vessel killing two crew members instantly. A third was drowned during the chaotic evacuation of the sinking ship. Eleven crew members escaped in the ship’s boat and two others floated off on a liferaft. Sadly three of the surviving crew, who had been severely injured in the attack, later died from their wounds,. The attack was witnessed by a number of people ashore and the lifeboats from Eyemouth and St Abbs were quickly launched and on their way to the scene. The St Abbs lifeboat Annie, Ronald and Isabella Forest was first to reach the area and she picked up the men from the boat, two of whom were badly burned. In fact, she too had to be rescued as the breeches buoy tangled in her propeller during the final stages of the rescue leaving the lifeboat drifting helplessly without power. She was towed back to Eyemouth harbour by the fishing vessel Spes Bona. Meanwhile the two occupants of liferaft from the Cramond Island were picked up by the fishing boat Milky Way and taken ashore. Initial reports by the trawler’s skipper indicated that the attack had been by a British aircraft but, from the Operational Record Book of 13 Group Fighter Command which logged a plot of the JU-88 by the Observer Corps three miles east of St Abbs Head and records the attack at 1359 hours, it was later confirmed that this was not the case.
There is a wreck measuring 31 x 6 x 7 metres in position 55° 53.765’N, 002° 01.875’W (WGS84) oriented 055/235 degrees. The wreck, which sits upright and fairly in tact with the deck sloping towards the stern, matches both dimensions and location of the Cramond Island making it almost certain that this is the Cramond Island although we are not aware of any artefacts recovered to absolutely confirm her identity.