Type: A small passenger steamer
Wreck Information: The SS Kintyre was a small passenger steamer that carried the odd piece of cargo. She was built By Robertson & Co. of Greenock, owned by Campbeltown & Glasgow team Packet Joint Stock Company, and launched in 1868. In September 1907, the Kintyre was in a collision with the steamer Maori, some distance from Wemyss Point. The Maori was undergoing speed trials on the measured mile at Skelmorlie. She had recently been completed by builders Denny of Dunbarton. The collision happened at 11.45 am on September 18, 1907 and within four minutes the stern was submerged and the rest of the ship quickly began to follow. With water pouring into the vessel, the Kintyre rapidly started to go down.
Travel directions: Leaving Glasgow on the M8 west onto the A8 onto A78. Turn right at Wemyss bay road. Google
Distance from Glasgow: 30.1 miles 1 hour
Tides: Tidetimes Try to dive on a flooding tide so if you get it wrong you can exit on the beach and avoid spring tides
Site entry/exit: Enter the water at the bottom of the steps cut into the rock (see the dive map and the excellent Utube link) exit into the bay. After exiting in the bay climb up the gap in the cliff (steps cut in rock) walk along the top of the red rocks. PS watch out for the sharks
Underwater directions: Enter the water and head out to 8-10m and turn right. Fin until u see the old sewage pipe (800mm Dia). It is usually covered in plumose anemones and sea urchins. (See Sketch below)
Head down the right side of the pipe until you come to a rope tied to the pipe heading to the right. The depth here is 31m. (high tide)
The old rope is around 12mm thick and is orange, the new rope is 5mm blue nylon. the old rope disappears into the sand and is tight to the seabed, the blue rope is suspended around 2m above the seabed, fin along the blue nylon rope until you reach the top of the bow of the Kintyre. The depth here is 29m, The SS Kintyre sits on an even keel pointing bow to the shore, the top of the bow where the rope is tied is 3-4m from the seabed. Keep to the top of the wreck and head down to your planned depth. At midships on the port side, the remains of three toilets are still visible. The stern of the wreck is on 50m. Care should be taken when the current is flowing. It is advisable to use the thirds rule for gas consumption ( 1/3 in 2/3 out) plus deco. If you go to the stern on air expect 25+ mins deco
Underwater photos: By John Nicolson and Brian Mckenna
Site Hazards: Occasional down currents, Difficult entry/exit with waves. The SS Kintyre is 310m from the shore so if you have to ascend from the wreck and surface swim back it's a long swim and you can drift well away from your entry point so good surface cover is essential.
Suggested experience: Experienced Master Diver
Nearest Public phone: Contact me
Mobile Network service: Orange
Other comments: If when you enter the water and the current is going down abort the dive. I have personally experienced very strong down currents here. Some divers just dive the pipe because of the life growing on and around it.
Dive Boat: Sern Las
Air & Nitrox: C+C
Pub: Wemyss Bay Station Bar
Created by: John Nicolson
Thanks To: James New for extra info and Clyde river steamer club for the picture of the SS Kintyre
Underwater map/ Sketch:
Dive report: Dave1701, Nov 07, Had a FANTASTIC dive on the Kintyre from the shore yesterday. Vis was a decent 6 - 8 m. I was diving with a buddy that isn't a big wreck fan so we decided to keep it simple. It was mid-tide when we dived so entry/exit was very straightforward once we got to the water's edge. There was a seal swimming around while we were kitting up but unfortunately was nowhere to be seen once we splashed. We dropped in at the "steps" and just swam out to a point where the reef meets the sandy bottom and descended here ... keeping the reef to our right we soon came upon the old outfall pipe. As per our dive plan, we didn't spend any time admiring the Anemones or life on and around the pipe on our descent. Plenty of time to do this while we worked off our deco. We hit the rope that is attached from the pipe to the wreck at just under 27 m and followed it to the bow of the Kintyre. Our plan was to stay along the starboard side of the wreck as my buddy had gotten spooked the last time we dived here when we cut across midships ( it was so dark he was convinced that somehow we had ended up inside). There was plenty of life. Large pollack, wrasse, edible and velvet swimming crabs, long clawed squat lobsters not to mention all the plumose anemones and dead man's fingers that cover most of the hull. We had a very enjoyable dive to our agreed depth of 46 m and had just turned back when both our computers hit deco. A nice slow swim back up the starboard side and just under the decking that remains on the bow section we came across some pretty damn big pollack sheltering some whatever ( the current I assume not that there was much of one).Also saw the largest Scorpionfish I have ever seen lying on the deck here. All too soon it was time to leave the wreck so we followed the rope back to the pipe and worked off most of our deco along the way. At about 20 -27 m the was a shoal of what We guessed to be herring .... must have been a couple of hundred fish. Do you get herring here at this time of year? After deco stops were complete we followed the reef back to our exit point. This in itself was a nice wee dive with lobster, wrasse and crabs aplenty. Just as we were about to get out I saw a large very sleek looking fish that I estimated to be about 3-4 feet in length in maybe 1.5 m of water. It swam off (very fast) when it saw us. Anyone any idea what this might be? It wasn't a Pollack or A wrasse.
Dive report: Big Jim on the clam July 08 The dive plan was set, twin 12's, 7-litre stages with a 60% mix and a total run time of 46 minutes. Stuart led, and chased down the starboard gunwales like a man possessed, I thought 'feck me the wee mans going to the stern'. At 45m the boat was disappearing into the silt and we turned the dive. The vis was around 3-4m on the wreck, but back at the bow, ambient light still managed to get through the plankton, catching out the odd fish in the gloom. We had a good look for the brass memorial that once was fixed to the port side but couldn't find it in the silt. A fun-filled deco stop ensued with the delights of Jellyfish and safety drills being the order of the day. Tommy dropped in after us on his RB, but couldn't find the plaque either.
Dive report: Budgy Dec 08 Most of us just dived the pipe a few times before we tried to get on the wreck. The easiest way to dive the Kintyre is on high water slack. I don't know what your air consumptions like. O/C I'd rather plan it as a deco dive with twins, as its a lot more relaxed and you have time to go around it. Just getting there and back on a single cylinder is tight its seems its time to turn around when you get there. Some can get there and back on a 12 but most need a minimum of a 15 litre. If I'm using a single I've got enough air if I turn around on a 100 bar. If you don't do that, be prepared to make a blue water ascent and a longish surface swim. Diving at any stage of the tide, the current across the pipe can be strong. If you're on a flooding tide, you may find it difficult going against the current to get back to the point of entry. Be prepared to go with the current and exit at the beach that's on the bend of the road behind the gates.
Dive report: Comment in the box below.