Fyne Pioneer, Loch Fyne

Site Name: HMS Riant - Islay & Jura


HMS Riant was a 40nt steel steam drifter. Originally known as Green Sea, she was built by the Coulby Brothers of Lowestoft and launched in 1920. Her dimensions were 26.3 x 4.1 x 2.8 metres. She had a single screw and one boiler and triple expansion engine.


The Riant was originally ordered by the Admiralty and intended as a Naval Drifter but was completed after the First World War. She was sold to the Fisheries Board for Scotland in 1920 and registered at Aberdeen as A.639. In 1921 she was sold to a E.W. Mutton and renamed Gladys & Violet. Her final change of hands was in 1924 when she was sold to David Main, John Ralph & D.W. McKenzie of Burghead and registered at Inverness as Riant (INS.30).


From 1932 - 1936 she conducted seasonal trawling for white fish out of Fleetwood under management of Alex Keay. On 27th November 1939, the Riant was requisitioned for war service as a minesweeper at the hire rate of £32 per month. She spent her war service employed on auxiliary patrol. She foundered on 27th January 1940 after hitting the Carraig Mhor rocks off Gigha during a storm. The Riant began leaking badly and sank soon after. The entire crew of 14 were rescued.


Items reported to the Receiver of Wreck include two soup plates and a clock. Divers identified the wreck by locating her nameplate.

Dive Site Info

The wreck lies facing west on the south side of a reef in an average depth of 34 metres. The least depth over the wreck is 32-33 metres and the maximum depth is 37 metres. She lies upright and canted over on her port side on a rock and boulder seabed. Close to the north of the wreck is a rock pinnacle, which can look confusingly similar to a wreck on an echo sounder. The reef to the north provides a degree of shelter to the wreck, although the condition of her bow has begun to deteriorate after 75 years under water.


This wreck is very scenic as it acts as an extension of the reef and attracts all kinds of marine life. The visibility off west Gigha is outstanding, and the clear water is ideal for video and stills photography.


When to dive

This wreck should be dived at slack water only. Given the depth, it should be dived as a first dive.