This vessel was launched from the yard of Burrell & Son, Hamiltonhill, Glasgow (Yard No 37) in 1894 as the SS Dragon for her first owner John Munro of 160 Hope Street, Glasgow. She was a small steamship typical of the ‘puffer’ style design and worked on inshore waters around the Clyde and on the extensive canal system between Bowling and Falkirk. Her dimensions were 66.0’ x 18.3’ x 8.5’ and tonnages were 90gt/41nt. Following a succession of owners in the early decades of the 1900’s, the Dragon underwent a change of name to Kerrera in December 1928 when she was purchased by a David Murray of Oban and employed there working for the Oban Slipway Company. She remained in this ownership until her loss in 1935. Her official number was 102676.
The Kerrera was lost off the Galloway coast on Sunday 27th October, 1935. She had been en-route to Glasgow with a cargo of cement in bags, when she hit bad weather off Crammag Head and sank as a result of engine failure and having shipped a large amount of water. Fortunately the crew were rescued by a passing trawler, and landed safely ashore.
The wreck of the Kerrera lies in position 54°38.142’N, 004°57.587’W (GPS), and is clearly identifiable by the 2 metre high mass of bag shaped cement blocks, neatly stacked in the hold. The wreck lies generally north/south on a rock and stone seabed in depths of 51-52 metres. The stern section of the wreck which lies to the north is most intact and rises approximately 4 metres off the seabed, the engine, boiler and propellor are still in place.
This dive is only for the most experienced, backed up by reliable boat cover and all divers must carry delayed surface marker buoys. The slack water window on this wreck is very short and the tidal flow picks up extremely quickly to a rate where you can neither swim or even haul yourself into the tide. This coupled with the exposed nature of the site make this wreck potentially hazardous for the inexperienced and perhaps the experienced alike!