The Fairweather V was a steel motor trawler launched by the Southern Shipbuilding Co Ltd., Faversham (Yard No 7) in 1974. Her dimensions were 23.4×6.7m and 120gt.
In the early hours of the morning of 5th February 1991, the trawlers Fairweather V and Fairwind cast off from their berth at Ullapool pier and set a course out of Loch Broom towards the fishing grounds in the Minch. The two skippers were friends and colleagues and all the crewmen on both vessels knew each other well as they often fished together. Only a few miles into their voyage, at around 2am, the Fairweather V ran onto the rocks off Carn Dearg. Despite the skipper’s experience he had veered well south of his intended course to clear this headland and steer south of the Summer Isles towards the Minch. The trawler was hard aground on outlying rocks off Leac Dhonn which held her fast. The pumps were started in an attempt to keep her afloat. With little thought to his own vessel’s safety the skipper of the Fairwind pulled close to the stranded trawler and added the power of his own pumps to assist . Despite this, the pumps could not hold back the in rush of water and the Fairweather V settled further under the surface.
The distress calls were soon answered by the vessel Bittern inbound to Ullapool which, due to her shallow draft, managed to manoeuvre alongside the Fairweather V and take off three of the five crew. The Fairweather’s stern was gradually slipping beneath the surface and her bow lifted clear of the water forcing the Bittern to pull clear. The fourth member of the crew managed to launch and board a life raft and was picked up by the Fairwind. Now only the skipper remained aboard. He scrambled desperately towards the bow as it reared towards the sky and clung to the rails at the prow of his ship as the stern disappeared under the surface. Thankfully, as he reached the bow, the deck of the Fairweather V briefly levelled off allowing the Bittern to close on the stricken vessel and snatch the skipper from his perch. Almost immediately the Fairweather V slipped off the rocks and disappeared.
The Wreck Today
The following day divers arrived and found her sitting upright in water around 25 metres deep in position 57°56.348’N, 005°21.348’W. They were also surprised to find a second wreck, the MV Innisjura lying close by to the east. The two wrecks now provide a fairly unique dive site lying reasonably close to each other in good visibility. The wreck of the Fairweather V is a popular dive site sitting upright in relatively shallow water with a least depth of 12-13m. The wreck is completely intact in relatively sheltered water and lies close to the wreck of the MV Innisjura which was lost in a gale in 1921.