A PORT Glasgow man took a bittersweet trip back in time when he made a poignant trip to the wreck of a cargo boat he'd been on just hours before it sank off Greenock 50 years ago.

Alex McConnachie, 66, was a deckhand at Clyde Marine Motoring Company at Princes Pier who escorted a shipping agent on a work boat out to the MV Captayannis in 1974.

He was on board the sugar ship the day before it sank. He got the chance to see her up close once again when an excursion was arranged for the 50th anniversary of the accident.

Alex, of Bardrainney Avenue, said: "It was nice to see it again. It brought back all the memories of being on the vessel just hours before she capsized.

"It made me think of all the crew who were rescued safely on that fateful night.

"Now it has become a tourist attraction."

The Greek vessel met its fate during a storm on January 27 in 1974.

Five decades later it has become a Clyde tourist attraction and Alex joined a special anniversary trip run by Ross and Nina Holmes of local company Clyde Charters, from James Watt Dock.

Greenock Telegraph:

He said: "Everyone on the boat trip was really enthusiastic about finding out more about it.

"People came from all over to see it.

"Ross and Nina were lovely to all the passengers and it made the trip event more enjoyable.

"It turned out when speaking to the skipper Ross that he is the grandson of Ronnie Holmes, one of the men I worked with on the boats at Clyde Marine all those years ago.

"I was only 16 at the time and the years have just flown by. It is still in my mind as if it was yesterday.

"I was back in that moment when I was on board and the crew were painting the deck."

Greenock Telegraph:

Alex felt like a bit of a celebrity on the trip, as fellow passengers had read his story in the Tele beforehand.

He said: "People were pleased that I was on the boat and Nina said she had been looking forward to meeting me.

"A couple from Millport had read the article in the paper and wanted to get their picture taken with me.

"So it is also a big thank-you to the Telegraph. It has let people know more about what happened.

"It was an amazing experience to go out and see the ship after all those years and those memories will stay with me forever."