Transferred from the Irish ships register in 1968, S.S.Vartrys owners are unknown. She was holed and beached close to the Northstone sandworks outside Toombebridge. This was done as a more economical, if less environmentally sound, method of scrapping such vessels in that day.

She is now lying, abaft of a overgrown cutting extending 400 meters into Lough Neagh. There are a number of wrecks fore and aft of her, most notably the Slaney lying off her bows. She is resting on the sandy shore with her bows above water by 50cm and a 15 degree starboard list. She is inclined 8 degrees astern.

The vessel was found to be in poor condition without any decking and many combings in poor condition. The structural integrity of the ship is still sound and she lies on an even keel on the inclined sandy shore. The fresh water in the lake has preserved the steel in many places. Limited examination of the hull plating indicated sufficient thickness for recovery and delivery purposes although much re-plating will be required in areas such as the turn of the bilge to bring the ship up to Department of Marine passenger ship standards.

Deck comings and stringers were found to be in a poorcondition but deterioration in some places is beyond acceptable limits. From what could be seen, her hull framing is in better condition we expect that there is sufficient thickness for recovery and delivery purposes.

It is possible that there will be a considerable amount of steel requiring replacement during her restoration, but that there is sufficient strength remaining in her framing so that restoration work should not interfere with her unique lines. Much of the riveted plating above the wind and water line could be retained and features such as her special steering controls will be restored. Only a full -out of water- ultrasonic thickness survey after recovery, will ascertain the exact condition of the ship and hence the extent of re-plating etc.

Click to enlarge above
Side view, Starboard aft quarter, engine room & steering flat View aft, engine room, port for collapsible funnel View forward showing port deck & hold. Hatch to ER bottom right
Bow roller eye, the steel is still in remarkable condition The starboard bow, showing the ships markings ‘VARTRY’ Detail of ships markings ’VARTRY’
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