puffers & vics






Builder J & J Hay Kirkintilloch
Official Nr 164043
Yard Nr  
Launched 1935
Length 66.2 ft
Beam 18.4 ft
Gross 159 tons
Nettt 36 tons
Engine 2 Cyl Steam Compound

Owned and operated by J & J Hay throughout her working life.  She was converted to oil burning in 1948  

During the rail strike of 1955 she had made two attempts to land a cargo of 90 tons of coal at Brodick but had been thwarted by gales. On her final try on Tuesday 7th June 1955 she was swamped by high seas and, watched by crowds of holidaymakers from the shore, foundered off Dhunan Point in Brodick Bay, about 1 nm NE of Brodick Pier.

Her crew of three managed to get off on their small boat but it too capsized and they had to be rescued by the British Rail cargo steamer "Kildonan" which had put out from Brodick Pier when she saw "Tuscan" in trouble. Tuscan's skipper quickly recovered from his ordeal but the other two crew members had to be taken to the Cottage Hospital in the island's capital, Lamlash, suffering from exposure. Both are believed to have made a full recovery. Local divers have reported that she is sitting upright on the bottom about 40 mtres down and that her cargo of coal is still intact.

This sinking also marked the first call-out for Troon's new lifeboat since it had been commissioned in February of that year, the distress call having come from Arran Coastguard.


The photograph below is from the Dan McDonald collection courtesy of the Ballast Trust and is reproduced under a Creative Commons license