The Socrates was a steel steam trawler built by Mackie & Thomson at Govan in Glasgow (Yard No.331) and launched in May 1906. The vessel had been built to the order of the Anglo-Norwegian Steam Fishing Company of Hull (H 885) and her dimensions were 138.6’ x 23.0’ x 11.7’. She was powered by a 67 hp triple expansion steam engine supplied by W. V. V. Lidgerwood of Coatbridge. The Socrates was sold in 1912 to James Marr of Fleetwood and re-registered there as FD163 and remained in this ownership until her loss. Her official number was 123256.
On the 6 January 1913 the Socrates was homeward bound to Fleetwood after a two week trip to the fishing grounds off the west coast of Scotland. She was manned by eleven crew which included her skipper Philip Burnham. As they headed south along the Galloway coast in the late evening they were on a course towards the Point of Ayr at the north end of the Isle of Man. The night was pitch black, there was thick fog and heavy rain and there had been no recent sightings from a lighthouse. Around 1am the Socrates suddenly lurched violently sending those not in their bunks sprawling across the decks, the ship ground to a halt. There was a moderate sea running and the Socrates began bumping heavily on the rocks. The ships boat was immediately launched but it soon became clear that she was hard aground and her bow was close to a rocky headland.
It became clear to the crew that they needed to abandon the Socrates as the constant grinding of the ships hull on the rocks would no doubt cause a breech and it would soon flood and may sink in deeper water. They all managed to get ashore around 2am, to the safety of a ledge of rock but they were no out of danger yet. With a rising tide they soon had to move higher up the cliff, which in the pitch dark and rain and slippery rock face made their task very dangerous. They found another ledge and remained there for another few hours.
As dawn broke they looked back to see that the Socrates and slipped off the rocks and back into deeper water. She now lay some 20 metres off the shoreline partially submerged with her bow and superstructure still breaking the surface. The men could not see any signs of buildings close by their position so started to walk east and after a considerable time they came across a farmhouse where they were given food and shelter. Thankfully none of the men were seriously harmed and they soon recovered in the warmth of the farmhouse. Later they made their way to Drummore where they were looked after by representatives of the Shipwrecked Mariners Society.
The Socrates had run ashore on the south side of Clanyard Bay, and had slipped off the rocks overnight, lying partially flooded in approximate position 54° 41.805’N 04° 57.615’W. The following week the wreck was visited by the Liverpool Salvage Associations vessel Lady Kate, and after an inspection by their salvage officer and a diver, an offer to refloat the Socrates was made to her insurers. This offer was declined, and she was left to be salvaged as she lay. The vessels registry was closed in 1913.