|Stand almost anywhere around the upper reaches of the Firth of Clyde and you will hardly fail to notice one of it's most famous landmarks.|
Locally referred to as "the sugar boat" she lies on a sandbank at the Tail o' the Bank (the upper firth anchorage) near to the promontory of Ardmore Point and was the 8325 grt Greek cargo ship CAPTAYANNIS.
On the evening of 27th January 1974 the area suffered from a terrific storm which blew the vessel from its anchor (it was waiting to deliver sugar to the James Watt Dock) and caused it to collide with the BP tanker BRITISH LIGHT. The tanker suffered no damage but the anchor chains of the tanker holed the sugar boat allowing water to pour into her.
Her captain decided to try and make for the sheltered waters of the Gareloch but realised the waters were flowing in so fast she was in imminent danger of sinking, the best thing to do was beach her in the shallow waters over the sandbank and he steered her to the desired spot where she stuck fast and started to heel over. The pilot boats, the tug LABRADOR and Clyde Marine Motoring's ROVER came to assist.
The vessel had heeled over so far it was possible for the crew to simply jump onto the deck of the diminutive passenger vessel! 25 of the crew were taken to shore, but the Captain and four other crewmen waited on the LABRADOR standing off the stricken vessel.
Next morning the ship finally succumbed and went over on her side and she has lain there ever since, rusting away, most, if not all of her more valuable metals and fittings have been removed by looters. Little remains of her split-style superstructure and through time she has become a 'home' to marine life and birds.