Daily Event for December 16

December 16, 1906 the Prinzessin Victoria Luise was wrecked on the rocks near Plumb Point Lighthouse, Port Royal, Jamaica. Built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg in 1900, she was intended for cruising the Mediterranean carrying wealthy passengers who wanted to spend time at sea in luxury. More of a luxury yacht with a beautiful clipper bow, she was 408 feet long with a beam of 47 feet.

Although intended for cruising her owners, the Hamburg-America Line, had underestimated how much capacity they would need on the north Atlantic and therefore she was placed on the Hamburg to New York route when  necessary. She made her first crossing on Jan. 5, 1901. She made six round trips on this route between 1901 and 1906 and spent the rest of the time cruising.

Her final cruise began in New York on Dec. 6 with Jamaica as her destination. After departing Kingstown on the 16th the ship, sailing without the aid of a pilot, ran aground. Panic broke out among the passengers because they believed the ship was about to sink. The crew managed to calm them and the next morning the passengers and crew were removed from the ship.

This left only one man on board, Capt. Brunswig. The captain, who believed the wreck was due to the course that he plotted, withdrew to his cabin and shot himself in the head. He was the only casualty. Later in the day a storm hit the coast of Jamaica and destroyed the ship.

© 2005 Michael W. Pocock

Prinzessin Victoria Luise aground in Jamaica