Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX
Scotland and the Antarctic

Section 6: After the Scotia expedition

The fate of Scotia

Photograph of the Scotia with wireless aerials

In the spring of 1905 Scotia was sold to a Dundee whaling consortium for 5,000. Bruce had hoped she could be kept as an oceanographic training ship but funds were not available. She returned to the whaling under Captain Robertson calling in at Lerwick to pick up some of the crew. The ship returned to the Greenland sea but the trip was not a success, so Scotia, along with other whalers, was laid up in Dundee.

In April 1912 the new Atlantic liner Titanic hit an iceberg off the northeast coast of the USA in fog and sank with a huge loss of life. The shipping companies that plied the Atlantic decided to contribute to an ice patrol. This was the predecessor of the international ice patrol of today which is maintained by ships, aircraft and satellite surveillance.

Scotia was returned to service and left in March 1913 with Captain Robertson in command. This trip was paid for by the British government and the Atlantic Steamship Company. She was fitted with wireless.

image from Voyage of the Scotia

Scotia only made one trip on ice patrol as the scientists thought her unsuitable for scientific work and work in the ice. Bruce and other members of the crew were furious at this slight on their ship which had been so successful in the Antarctic.

Early in the first world war there was a great shortage of shipping around the coast of Britain and Scotia was again brought into service to carry coal from south Wales to a French port. Unfortunately she caught fire and was run aground on Sully Island west of Cardiff.

Parts of Scotia can still be seen on the beach at Sully Island. (It is interesting to note that Rudmose Brown in his book thought the wreck was on the Scilly Isles.)

Scotia IV
The marine laboratory in Aberdeen has had several generations of research ship called Scotia. One was commanded by Bruce's son - Captain Eillium Bruce. The present research ship, Scotia IV, cost 25 million.

image from Voyage of the Scotia

The Scotia IV at sea

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Glasgow Digital Library Voyage of the Scotia BRUCE PEOPLE SHIP ANTARCTIC INDEX