Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki
Return of the Obra Dinn Wiki

Duncan McKay was a Scottish purser aboard the Obra Dinn during her last voyage in 1802. His lifeboat was overturned by the Kraken as it initiated its attack, drowning him.

Story and fate

McKay was the purser, an administrative official who accounted for all cargo value and trade transactions. He also managed a small store for the crew.[1] He attempted to abandon ship with seamen Nathan Peters and Alexander Booth,[2] but disappeared when the Kraken tossed the open boat up in the air.[3] He had brought his ledgers with him, which is likely why no documentation is found on the Obra Dinn.

The East India Company insurance assessment on the Obra Dinn incident found out that McKay had abandoned the crew and the vessel but his estate was still awarded £50 in outstanding wages.[4]


The first hint at McKay's identity can be seen during The Doom, part 1, where he stands in the lifeboat holding several ledgers. He can be clearly identified after Soldiers of the Sea, part 7, where he can be seen hiding in the purser's office through one of the little windows of the port walkway.


McKay's lifeboat in the air in The Doom, part 7.

McKay appears in six memories. His chronologically first appearance is during Unholy Captives, part 3. He is depicted in the Justice at Sea sketch, but cannot be seen in the diorama.


  1. Explained in the glossary of the catalogue.
  2. The Doom, part 1
  3. This can be seen in the background of The Doom, part 7.
  4. Stated in the insurance assessment book in the epilogue if McKay's fate is deduced correctly.