The Longwy was a French cargo steamship owned by the Compagnie Anonyme des Chargeurs de L’Ouest and registered in Nantes. She had been built at Nantes and launched in 1903 by the Chantiers Nantais de Constructions Maritime. Her dimensions were 282.6′ x 40.6′ x 19.6′ and she had a net tonnage of 1323t.
The Longwy left her home port of Nantes on 17thOctober 1917, bound for Bilbao to load a cargo of iron ore, after which she was to proceed to Glasgow. In the late evening, or early hours of the 4th/ 5th November she was a few miles off Corsewall Point when she was hit by torpedo, fired by UC-75, and sank with the loss of her captain and twenty eight crew. The body of her captain, Joseph Huet was washed ashore at Girvan a few days later.
In the days before the attack, the UC-75, under the command of Oberleutnant Johannes Lohs had been working in the Irish Sea laying mines. Following an unsuccessful attack on the British steamer Atlantan the previous day, the submarine made a surface attack on the Longwy north of Corsewall Point.
A temporary Notice to Mariners was issued the following day, and the Northern Lighthouse Board placed a light buoy on the seaward side of the wreck as her masts broke surface and was considered a hazard to navigation, the buoy was eventually removed in October 1919.
The Wreck Today
The wreck is marked on the Admiralty chart and lies in a general seabed depth of 26.5 metres with least depth of 18.5 metres midships. She lies in position 55° 03.277’N, 005° 10.615’W. Although the Longwy is fairly well broken in parts, the wreck retains much of the size, shape and features of the ship. The most prominent features are the engine and twin boilers amidships and the stern section. The wreck is oriented 145° / 325° with the bow pointing north.
The wreck lies two or three miles from the shore and is exposed to winds from all directions, making access to the site very weather dependent. The site is subject to strong tidal currents at certain states of the tide. Launch sites are in Loch Ryan or Ballantrae Harbour, the latter requires a 4×4 at most states of the tide.