By boat launch from Portmuck or Ballylumford, the site is approx. 30km north-east of Larne Harbour, on the east side of Highlandman Rock to the North of the Maidens.
Portmuck Harbour provides free car parking, a slipway and public toilets. The pier is 25 metres long, 6.5 metres wide and in good condition.
Free parking, a slipway, public toilets and outdoor changing facilities are available at Ballylumford Harbour as well (access to slipway restricted to Islandmagee Boat Club members; email: email@example.com).
Nearest tank filling is DV Diving, Mount Stewart, Newtownards.
- Port of Larne can be busy, contact harbour master on VHF 11 to get permission to exit/enter port.
- Be aware of ferry traffic (site is located very close to the Larne to Cairnryan ferry lane) and commercial fishing boats.
The wreck is badly broken up but easy to spot and lying in 18 metres. The surrounding seabed is mostly bedrock (80%) and pebbles (20%).
Date of loss 17/11/1882. Full-rigged iron sailing ship built in 1882 in Glasgow. En route from Greenock to Rangoon with coal. Went ashore on Highlandman Rock, north of the Maidens. The 28 crew were all saved. The wind direction was SSW in a Force 5. At the Inquiry both the “master and first mate found guilty of careless navigation”. The former had his certificate suspended for 12 months and the latter for three months. This is the largest sailing ship lost on the East Antrim coast.
(Sources: Larn & Larn 2002; WA F119). WA (Wilson Archive)
Information drawn from Historic Environment Record of Northern Ireland (HERoNI), Department for Communities, Historic Environment Division.
Species recorded from the site include dead man’s fingers Alcyonium digitatum, the sandalled anemone Actinothoe sphyrodeta and several hydroid species. The Maidens are particularly rich in sponges, with over 11 species recorded from this site.
View all species records from this siteA link to the dive site location on the NBN Atlas Northern Ireland website, showing all species records from within a 1km boundary of the site centroid. Any new species records from the site submitted to Seasearch, iRecord, CEDaR Online Recording or iNaturalist will appear here
Irish Wrecks Online
Irish Underwater Council – Co. Antrim Wrecks
Northern Ireland Marine MapViewer
- In an emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.
- Follow VHF radio Channel 16 (156.8 MHz), the international distress frequency. Send a distress alert followed by ‘MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY’ and ‘This is [boat name]’.
- Find nearest defibrillator (AED) here.
- Portmuck/Ballylumford Harbour: 028 9336 6666
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