The Wreck(s) of the Princess May ex–Hating

by John MacFarlane 2017


The Hating (Photo courtesy of MMBC.)

In 1888 she was built at Newcastle–on–Tyne UK by Hawthorne Leslie & Co. She was 249’ x 33.1’ x 17.6’ Steel hull 1708gt 1022rt She was powered by a 2-125ihp triple expansion engine 2 x 3cyl 15kts by Hawthorne Leslie & Co., Newcastle UK twin screw. In 1905 she was rebuilt by the BC Maritime Company as 1717gt and 150 berths.


Hating (Photo courtesy of MMBC.)

Built as the Mei Shih (a China coaster), she was renamed as Cass; then Arthur; then Ningchow; then as Hating; then Princess May. In 1888 she was owned by the Formosa Trading Corporation. In 1894 she was sold to the Government of Formosa. In 1896 she was transferred to the Government of China. In 1899 she was sold to Marty & D’Abbadie of Haiphong Viet Nam. In 1901 she was sold to Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship Services. In 1919 she was sold to the Princess May Steamship Co. In 1919 she was managed by the Standard Fruit Co. for Caribbean freight and fruit service. In 1931 she was owned by Di Georgio & Co. Ltd., Port Maria Jamaica BWI. In 1930 she was scuttled from Kingston Jamaica.

On August 5, 1910 she went ashore on Sentinel Island. Her salvage and repair cost her owners $115,000. She was repaired and went back into service on the Skagway run having been converted to an oil-burner in the process.

Princess May

Princess May (Photo courtesy of MMBC.)

Considered as one of the most spectacular ship wrecks in nautical history, on August 5th, 1910 the Princess May went aground on Sentinel Island AK. Steaming southbound from Skagway with 100 passengers and a crew of 68 under Captain John McLeod in a heavily fog– shrouded Lynn Canal. The photo of her at low tide was turned into a postcard that was widely reproduced as a postcard.

Her stranding on Sentinel Island left her high and dry at low tide with her bow high in the air at a 23° angle. The rescue vessels Georgia and Rustler took the Princess May’s passengers to Juneau. The US wrecking steamer Santa Cruz (Captain W.H. Logan) and the BC salvage tug William Jolliffe eventually pulled the vessel off the reef. Her salvage cost $115,000. After costly repairs were made to her hull, she was returned to service. In 1911 she was converted to oil fuel.

Princess May

Magazine advertisement in the Pacific Marine Digest for passages on the Princess May. (Photo from the Nauticapedia collection. )

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) The Wreck(s) of the Princess May ex–Hating. 2017.


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