Still under construction at the outbreak of World War Two, the 9600 ton Port Napier was requisitioned and converted for mine-laying. It was loading mines at the Kyle of Lochalsh on 27 November, 1940 when fire broke out on board. Co-ordinates 57 15.95N 05 41.15W Depth: 16m
All efforts to put it out failed and the blaze grew larger and larger. The evacuation of the people of Kyle and of Kyleakin on Skye on the other side of the narrow neck of Loch Alsh began at once.
Everyone in the naval base realised that when Port Napier blew up she would level every house within miles. Despite this, Navy tugs pulled her well out into the loch before casting her adrift. Moments later, a massive explosion blew part of her sky-high and bits of superstructure landed on the shore of Skye. But, amazingly, none of the mines went off.
The wreck is about 300m north-east of debris on the shoreline of Skye. East and west cardinal buoys are a few hundred metres either side of the wreck. Approach with caution, as you could easily hole a boat on the shallow wreckage. Launch: Kyle of Lochalsh.