The Tuscan was built and worked all her life on the Clyde. Launched in 1934 at Kirkintilloch, she was built at the yard of Peter MacGregor and completed on the canal in 1935. She was sized to suit the proportions of the locks on the Forth & Clyde canal with classic dimensions of 65.6”x18.4’x8.7’. The puffer weighed in at 195 gross and her hull was fabricated from steel.
The Tuscan was owned by Hay & Company of Troon. On the 6th June 1955 she was en-route to Arran with a cargo of 90 tons of coal that were emergency supplies for the island because of an ongoing rail strike. The weather was very poor at the time and she encountered heavy seas while nearing Brodick Bay. The continual pounding and swamping of the main deck and hatch eventually overcame the small vessel and the three crew decided to abandon ship in their small boat, shortly before she foundered. Luckily for the crew their predicament had been seen by the skipper on the British Railway steamer Kildonan which picked them and they were safely landed at Brodick pier.
The Wreck Today
The Tuscan lies approximately 1 mile ENE of Brodick Pier in position 55°35.116’N 005°06.783’W, with general seabed depths around the wreck of 42 metres. She is completely intact, sitting upright on a flat seabed and her raised rear deckhouse is another two or three metres shallower. The bow faces south east. Visibility in the area is generally 5-10 metres. The wreck lies close to the route of the Ardrossan to Brodick ferry so good boat cover is essential. The wreck is believed to be owned by a syndicate of four divers, one of whom is resident on the island.