The steel steamship Duna was launched from the Port Glasgow yard of Robert Duncan and Co Ltd (Yard No 313) on 12th February 1907. She measured 275.0′ x 38.2′ x 16.8′ and her tonnage was 1572 gross tons, 982 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Hutson and Sons Ltd., Glasgow delivering 234 net horse power. She was ordered by the Stott Line Ltd., Liverpool and operated from them until she was lost in 1912.
On 26th July that year she was en route from Harnosand, a port in Sweden north of Stockholm, to Liverpool with a general cargo and three passengers aboard. She was skippered by Captain W Bibby who had a crew of nineteen men under his command. At around 3:30am that morning the Duna ran onto rocks at Old Head, South Ronaldsay in thick fog. She was steaming at half speed at the time and crashed heavily into the sheer cliffs at Old Head, South Ronaldsay. Captain Bibby reversed engines and pulled her off the rocks but it was immediately obvious the Duna was fatally damaged and would soon founder. Two lifeboats were launched with Captain Bibby in charge of one boat with nine of the crew, his wife and the two lady passengers. The second boat was handled by the chief officer and had the remaining eight crewmen aboard. The two boats kept together for some time but eventually drifted apart in the thick fog.
As the fog slowly cleared the distress signals were finally spotted about 5pm that afternoon a boat was launched from the nearby lighthouse to search the area around the wreck which was by now underwater sitting upright with only her masts showing above the surface. There was no sign of the crew. Later that day the captain’s boat was spotted by a passing line fishing boat and the crew were safely picked up at taken to Wick. The chief officers boat drifted further south and after an hour and a half sighted the Pentland Skerries. As they pulled towards the islands the crew of the Skerries lighthouse saw the small boat and assisted the men aboard to safely reach the landing place there and get safely ashore. They were picked up the following dayr and taken to Kirkwall.
The Duna, lying in a very exposed position became a total wreck. Her remains lie in position 58° 44.146’N, 002° 54.645’W close to Old Head. The wreckage is completely flattened lying in general depths of 32 metres. The engine and boilers are still visible among the broken wreckage. This site is tidal, tide rips are noted on the local chart.