Orkney Image Library

<< back

The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
"Irene" at Grimness, South Ronaldsay

Myself, by the funnel. Eoin Kemp, Greenhall, Deerness, on the lower deck.
Picture added on 07 December 2006
I heard at the time that the crew of this ship walked ashore while the lifeboat crew struggled to save them!
Added by Barbara on 08 December 2006
The life boat crew died trying to save the men, if I'm not mistaken
Added by Graeme Spence on 17 March 2007
The crew did walk ashore, with help from local coastguards and the entire brave crew of the Longhope lifeboat were lost
Added by Kevin Heath on 07 April 2007
That night after midnight I tried to drive the coast guard men out to the ship, I dont think they had their oun transport at that time. It was impossible to get over the seceond barrier because of the weather.

Next day I picked up some of the crew from the Royal Hotel and took them out to the Irene where they were able to walk on board with out getting wet, they collected some clothes etc. On the way back they threw underwear, shirts etc out of the Taxi windows as we drove through Burray. They had all been fully kitted out with new clothes from the skin out at Croys Draper shop. and even got shoes from Scotts shoe shop. All compliments of the sea mens mission arranged by Billy Jolly. None of them could speak english as far as I could see. I just could not believe people could be so ungrateful ahd horrible. I will never ever forget that experience. Every time I see the IRENE I think of that day, it was beyound speaking about.
Added by Norma Craigie on 08 April 2007
Can anyone tell me if there is much left of the IRENE because I would like to take a walk down there some time soon. Thanx
Added by Graeme Spence on 08 April 2007
Last time i was there, about 4 years ago there was still a fair amount of a wreckage about
Added by Kevin Heath on 10 April 2007
Whan was the Irene wrecked?
[March 17th 1969. See picture #2060, picture #1433, picture #2231, picture #5173, picture #5175, and picture #6109 - Steven]
Added by Kev Watson on 19 January 2008
hi I am standing I'm SEBOU Redouane I am the son of one crew member of irene my father was a simple sailor Algerian nationality to ships registered in Liberia Greek ss Irene and up to now it is always touch this tragedy and so sick today I want to know the truth and also detailed everything that happened on the night of March 17, 1969 and if possible I would like to know if there archives, photos or a list of crew member of ship ss irene long time and then we seek the truth or to find the site I thank you for help and honor the rescuers who saved my father is and other marine
my e-mail: red44300@live.fr
thank you
Added by Redouane on 09 February 2010
I was a member of the Deerness Life Saving Apparatus who assisted the South Ronaldsay LSA on that fateful night and i can assure you the crew did not walk ashore they were all taken off by Breeches Bouy. I know this to be true as I was suspended over the cliff on a rope with a searchlight which was kept on each crew member as he came ashore. I believe it to be true that the men were able to walk aboard the Irene the next day but no one could have done so that stormy night. I might add hindsight is a grand thing.

Added by Colin Wylie on 05 March 2010
I remember the Irene from 1968 when it used to haul scrap metal from Great Yarmouth to an Italian port. It used to enter the harbour backwards with a tug at each end. It had its original name in raised letters painted out. I am sorry that its end was linked with the tragic deaths of the lifeboat crew.
Added by NH Richards on 26 May 2010
That name was something like Pres Emile Marchese if I remember correctly
Added by Eddie Fraser on 01 June 2010
<< back

South Ronaldsay

SS CollingdocEarl's Palace and St Magnus Cathedral, colourisedNorth Walls School day outK√ĄTHE NIEDERKIRCHNER, sunk at Muckle SkerryColourised photo of farmer from Papdale FarmVisiting yachts from LossiemouthSammy and Hugh Johnston, BraesideJim and Alex Sinclair from LonghopeMystery gentleman on a motorbikeLizzie Ann Thomson Smith (nee Wilson)