The Garnet was built by Scott & Company of Bowling (Yard No 75) and launched in November 1889, she was the the first of two identical ships ordered by William Roberston, a Glasgow shipowner, who ran a fleet of coasters operating mainly around the British Isles and Ireland. The Garnet was a rear engined coaster of 165.2’ x 26.1’ x 10.9’ with tonnage of 480t gross 173t net. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine generating 60nhp. Her official number was 97584.
The Glasgow registered steamer Garnet was wrecked below Cardrain Farm, about 4 miles west of the Mull of Galloway on 2 April 1890 in thick fog. The vessel must have been travelling at a decent speed, as she drove well up onto the rocky coastline.
Initial inspections by her master, Captain Johnstone, and the local Lloyd’s agent confirmed that she was badly damaged and holed from bow to foremast, and while her bow was ashore her stern was below the surface even at low water. The crew were initially retained to recover items of value.
Two days after the stranding, a representative of the Glasgow Salvage Association visited the wreck and reported the following – “have made further survey onboard and underneath by diver, extensive damage forward, vessel lying badly in exposed location, in my opinion position hopeless, recommend vessel to be sold where she lies”.
There is little reported in the press until the vessel was advertised for sale in mid April 1890 to be sold by auction on Friday 2nd May at 2pm. It is unclear how successful any salvage attempt was but remains of the Garnet lie at the foot of the cliff at Carrickamickie Point in position 54° 38.526’N. 04° 54.651’W. This is a very exposed piece of coastline, with a rock and large boulder seabed, kelp in the shallows, debris is reported in a large gully around 10 metres deep.
Her sister ship the SS Sard (Yard No 76) was completed a month later and to the exact same specification and general arrangement. We have been unable to find a picture of the Garnet but we do have a picture of the Sard which is reproduced below. We see her in a similar predicament to that of the Garnet, some 16 years later.