Fyne Pioneer, Loch Fyne

Site Name: Shuna - Sound of Mull


The steamship Shuna was wrecked in the Sound of Mull on 8 May 1913. She was on a voyage from Glasgow to Gothenburg carrying a cargo of coal. Having battled through a bad storm, Captain Elsper was relieved to reach the relative safety of the Sound of Mull, but was challenged by poor visibility, driving rain and spray. As daylight faded, visibility in the Sound deteriorated even further. Shortly after 10pm, the Shuna struck Grey Rock and quickly began to take in water. Captain Elsper's initial plan was to make for Tobermory, but it was soon apparent that the pumps could not cope with the inrush of water, making this impossible. Instead, he sought to beach the Shuna on the Morven coast in order to repair her and hopefully refloat her later.


Under constant barrage from the storm, the captain managed to safely run her ashore north west of Rubha Aird Seisg. The bow was high on the shore but huge waves pummeled the side of the ship, breaking over the bridge. As the storm was by this time subsiding, the captain sent the mate to Tobermory to summon help while the rest of the crew remained on board overnight. The Shuna continued to take on water through the night until by 5am, settling deeper by the stern, it was clear she could not be saved and was going to go down. The crew were forced to abandon ship, reaching the shore safely in the ship's boats. A final attempt to save her was made by securing the ship to the shore with a hawser. She settled further until at 10am the hatches blew off, the hawser snapped, and she finally slipped beneath the surface. The crew were able to row to Tobermory in the ship's boats, reaching the harbour at about midday.


The Shuna was not salvaged immediately as her small cargo of coal was not a priority to a nation under the strain of World War One, to the extent that she essentially passed from memory. It was not until the 1990s that the wreck was rediscovered, salvaged for non-ferrous material and became popular with sports divers. 

Dive Site Info

The Shuna is one of the more popular dive sites in the Sound of Mull. Although not as pretty as the Hispania or Thesis she is still an interesting dive with plenty of life on. The Shuna sits upright in 30-32 metres of water, parallel to the shore, on a gently sloping seabed with the deck 16-20 metres from surface. Her main desk is at about 25 metres. Her least depth at the higher parts of her bridge superstructure is about 18 metres.


The Shuna rests in a bay which is sheltered from the main tidal streams of the Sound of Mull. Although the shelter means the wreck is diveable at all states of the tide, it also means the seabed is silty and silt can also build up on the wreck. Visibility can be 10 metres on a good day, but this is easily destroyed by careless finning kicking up the silt. The diving on this wreck has drastically improved since the marine farm has been moved away, leading to generally better visibility across the wreck. 


Much of the inner workings of the ship are still intact and the triple expansion steam engine can be seen through the doorways of the engine room. Due to the lack of extensive salvage of the ship the spare propeller is still on the aft deck along with winches and other machinery. For those more interested in life and less in metal there is also much to see; fish and sand eels shoal around her and there is lots of macro life, including nudibranchs. The shot line brings you down to a mast amidships, giving you a good view of the whole wreck in good visibility. 

When to dive

The wreck of the Shuna can be dived at any state of the tide. Visibility may be better earlier in the day before too many other divers have been on the wreck. Cannot be dived in strong south-westerly winds.

Shuna - Sound of Mull - Fyne Pioneer

© Gavin Anderson

The forward winches of the Shuna are covered in devonshire cup corals, sea squirts and peacock worms. December 2014.

Shuna - Sound of Mull - Fyne Pioneer

© Gavin Anderson

The cabin of the Shuna is accessible for divers to enter. The remains are covered in plumose anemones (Metridium senile) and dead mens fingers (Alconyium digitatum). December 2014.