There is something fascinating about photographs of wrecked or stranded ships (especially when you know that no one was hurt or injured). This month’s featured photograph was taken almost exactly 101 years ago, when the C.P.R.’s Princess May was stranded off of Alaska on August 5, 1910.
The Princess May was one of the coastwise ships that the C.P.R. used in the British Columbia Steamship Service. The Princess ships carried passengers and cargo along the “triangle route” of Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle, and also offered transportation up the coast to Alaska. It was on this route that the Princess May came into the predicament you see above. She ran aground on Sentinel Island after departing from Skagway. All the passengers and crew were safely evacuated in lifeboats, and a shipment of gold which was onboard was also removed for safekeeping. Naturally, the dramatic angle of the boat made for a great photo opportunity, and a number of views of this incident are available in the Chung Collection. The Princess May was successfully salvaged and later sold.