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Information on the M.Y.Alastor

Vessel Type: Luxury Motor Yacht                        Date of Loss: 11th March 1986
Location: County Down                                            Place: Ringhaddy, Strangford Lough
Cause of Loss: Fire                                                     Shore Dive From: Ringhaddy Quay
Charted Depth: 23m                                               Irish O.S. Map: Discovery Series No. 21
Height of Wreck: 7m                                               Admirality Chart No: 2156
Hull Material: Steel

Type Of Sea Bed: Silt & Mud                                  Average Visability: 3 - 6m
Latitude(GPS): 54 27.06 North                           Longitude(GPS): 05 37.71 West
Diving Experience: Experienced Novice

Diving Information:

  • Sitting upright, but minus the usual portholes etc.
  • Wreck is covered in sea squirts and "dead man's fingers".
  • On a very good day it has been in excess of 10m to 15m.
  • Best dived in small groups as silt takes a long time to settle.
  • Lies about 80m offshore.

Historical Information:

  • For over fifty years this wreck was known as the "Alisdair", until in April 2004 research carried out by Dr. Thorsten Brabetz and the Queen's University SAC proved she was in fact the "Alastor" - a completely different vessel altogether.
  • Built in 1927 by Camper & Nicholson as the "Vita" for Sir Thomas Sopwith (he designed the WW1 Sopwith Camel bi-plane and the WW2 Hawker Hurricane).
  • Sopwith sold the "Vita" in 1929 to Sir John Shelley-Rolls who re-named her the "Alastor" after a poem by his famous relative, Sir Percy Bysshe Shelley, husband of Mary Shelley who wrote "Frankenstein".
  • In 1939 she was commandeered by the Royal Navy as a stores ferry, bringing provisions etc. out to Navy vessels moored at the entrance to Strangford Lough for refueling.
  • Vessel was destroyed by a fire that started in the galley while she was moored up for painting. The six crew escaped.
  • Being moored too far off shore for the fire brigade to reach her, the interior was completely burnt out.
  • She eventually sank between the 11th and 16 March 1946.
  • Wreck is now owned by the Faulkner's of Ringhaddy.