The steel steamship Stella was launched from the Oscarshamn yard of Motola in 1888. She measured 133.0′ x 23.4′ x 9.2′ and her tonnage was 350 gross tons, 198 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Motola delivering 38 net horse power. Her owners, K J Knudsen were based in Haugesund, Norway and operated her on the Baltic and North Sea routes.
At 4:00am on the morning of 8th December 1903 Stella left Burntisland with a cargo of coal catching the tide at the start of her voyage to Haugesund. Her skipper, K Tofto had a crew of ten men aboard. He steered a course down the middle of the firth, intending to pass May Island to the south before turning north east and heading out across the North Sea. The reason for the collision that followed is not detailed in the historical record but, in the darkness the Dutch steamship Waterland of Rotterdam rammed into the Stella inflicting a huge gash on the smaller vessel’s port bow cutting her to the water line. The Stella quickly began to settle and sink. The crew of the Stella managed to launch two boats with the larger boat containing the captain and seven of his crew and the second smaller boat with four other seamen. Unfortunately this smaller boat overturned throwing the four men into the freezing water. Two of them sank immediately while the other two were pulled aboard the captain’s lifeboat. However one of them, the mate Andreas Andehl, could not be revived and was lost. The men were then picked up by the Waterland and landed ashore at Methil.
The wreck of the Stella lies in position 56° 08.303’N, 002° 44.823’W oriented 075/255 degrees. She lies in 51 metres with a least clearance of 46 metres. She was positively identified when the bell was recovered by divers in 2004.