The steel steamship Taygeta was launched from the yard of Flensburger Schiffsbau Gesellschaft of Flensborg (Yard No 138) on 13th May 1893. She measured 231.3′ x 34.3′ x 13.7′ and her tonnage was 1153 gross tons, 695 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by Flensburger delivering 106 net horse power. Built for Holm and Molzen of Flensburg she operated for this company until she was sold to Aabenraa Rederi A/S (P F Cleeman) Aabrenaa, Denmark in 1931 who renamed her Viking.
On 20th March 1940 the Viking was crossing the Moray Firth en route from Fredrikshaven to Blyth in ballast intending to load a cargo of coal for her return voyage unde the command of Captain Johannes Peter Nielsen. He had a crew of fifteen men aboard. Meanwhile the German submarine U-19 under the command of Kapitanlieutnant Joachim Schepke had sailed from her home port of Wilhelmshaven on 14th March initially under orders to hunt submarines off the west coast of Denmark but then, on 16th March ordered to head west to attack shipping in the Moray Firth and off east coast of Scotland. On the 19th March she attacked and sank SS Charkow and SS Minsk in the Moray Firth and then, at 04:15am the following day, Schepke sighted two other potential victims through his periscope. They were SS Viking and SS Bothal.
At 04:25 am he fired his first torpedo narrowly missing his target but, at 04:57am, he fired again, this time striking Viking close to the engine room. She sank almost immediately with the loss of fifteen of her crew including Captain Nielsen. At 05:15am her fired a third torpedo sinking Bothal only a few hundred yards from the position of the Viking.
A wreck, as yet unconfirmed as Viking, lies in position 58° 26.157’N, 002° 30.160’W oriented 110/290 degrees. She lies in 63 metres with a least depth of 60 metres. Divers report scattered wreckage spread over a wide area. The Hydrographic Department survey indicates a wreck 93 metres long which is a reasonable size to be the Viking. The wreck’s proximity to the positively identified wreck of Bothal is the strongest indication that this wreck is indeed Viking.