The Zafiris was a Greek motor vessel of 3000 tons, built in Gothenburg, Sweden by A/B Lindholmen in 1945.
The Zafaris was wrecked on Old Mill Point approximately one and a half miles west north west of the Mull of Galloway around 5am on Friday 17th December, 1965. She had been on a voyage from Rouen to Belfast with a cargo of grain when she ran ashore in heavy weather and poor visibility.
Flares were immediately fired but fell unseen. An SOS message was intercepted by the Isle of Man Coastguard but was unclear and was misinterpreted to the effect that the vessel was in difficulties off the Isle of Man. Lifeboats spent several fruitless hours searching for the Zafaris until the true location was discovered by a local farmer, Mr William McCulloch of Cardrain Farm, Drummore, who alerted the Coastguard.
The Portpatrick Lifeboat was called out and the Drummore Lifesaving Team were summoned to the scene of the wreck. On their arrival the coastguards lowered a rope ladder down the 200 foot cliff face and one of their members, Magnus Scollay, descended to the base.
While waiting to be rescued the Greek crew had succeeded in getting a line ashore and organised a shuttle service in a small rubber dinghy from the Zafaris to the shore. The crew were then individually assisted up the rope ladder to the top of the cliff and safety. After being examined by a local doctor four of the crew were taken to hospital in Stranraer as three were suffering from exposure and one had received burns from setting off the flares. It was later discovered that a member of the crew had taken to a liferaft shortly after the vessel stranded but unfortunately only the raft was found after an extensive search by air and sea.
The Zafaris had been extensively holed as she went ashore and her holds soon flooded. Later that month during stormy conditions she broke her back and became a total loss. Various sources suggest that salvage was carried out at a later date. However, remains of the wreck still lie in approximate position 54° 38.383’N, 004° 54.100’W between 8 and 12 metres on a rocky seabed. The tides in the area can be very strong making care and good boat cover essential while diving the site.