The Canadian Pacific liner Montclare was inward bound to Glasgow from St John’s, New Brunswick when she stranded just north of Gull Point, Little Cumbrae. She had arrived in the Clyde in the early hours of Saturday 21 March 1931 and encountered thick fog around Pladda, and her speed was reduced to dead slow.
The impact was felt throughout the ship and remarked upon by one passenger as ‘three bumps and all stop’. Her master immediately checked for damage, but none was visible above waterline, so an attempt to reverse off was made, but the vessel held fast and as the tide was falling no further attempt was made. Tugs were immediately called to assist and those aboard waited for help to arrive.
As the tide receded the Montclare began to list badly to port and her master decided to abandon ship, much to the consternation of the 300 passengers who thought they were safe, and the vessel would be refloated on the next high tide. All the passengers were lowered in the vessels lifeboats to be put ashore or directly onto the tugs Flying Eagle and Wrestler who ferried them to Largs where a large crowd had turned out to greet the cold and somewhat bewildered survivors arriving in a small west coast town after dark. A local restaurant was opened, and meals prepared and hastily eaten before they boarded a train to Glasgow.
As for the Montclare, she was refloated the following day and docked at Greenock, leaving soon after under her own steam for Liverpool for survey and repair.