Although completed after the end of World War I, the Riant, a steel steam drifter of 40 net tons was built to the order of the Admiralty as HMD Green Sea. She had been built by Colby Brothers at Oulton Broad, Lowestoft and launched in 1920, her dimensions were 86.2′ x 13.4′ x 9.25′
Later the same year she was sold to the Fisheries Board for Scotland. The following year she was sold to E. Mutton of Aberdeen and re-named Gladys & Violet (A639), and again in 1924 she was sold and re-named Riant and registered at Inverness (INS 30). At the outbreak of World War II she was requisitioned by the Admiralty, in whose ownership she remained until her loss.
Not much detail is known about her loss other than she foundered off Gigha during a storm on 25th January 1940 after hitting rocks.
The Wreck Today
The wreck of the Riant lies approximately 0.5 miles west of Carraig Mhor off the west side of Gigha in position 55°40.303’N, 005°46.926’W (GPS). The wreck lies on the south side of a reef in general seabed depths of 35-37 metres with least depth over the wreck of 32-33 metres. She lies upright and canted over on her port side, in recent years she has started to collapse after the attentions of a scallop trawler. Her stern has now fallen away, the deck has dropped around 1.5 metres and the bow is bent back on itself. She lies, facing west, on a gently sloping rock and boulder seabed, the reef to the north actually shields her and can be confused as the wreck on an echo sounder.
Although the wreck is a shadow of her former self, she remains very scenic wreck, ideal for video and stills photography with normally clear water, and as the wreck acts as an extension of the reef it attracts all types of marine life.