The Cruise Ship Princess Kathleen was built in Glasgow in 1924 and went through the Panama Canal in 1925 on route to her “triangle service” between Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria. The King and Queen traveled aboard Princess Kathleen en route to Victoria in 1939.
In 1949 she started her Inside Passage runs and was the preferred cruise ship that could carry 1800 passengers and 30 automobiles.
Unfortunately on September 7, 1952 the Princess Kathleen ran aground at Lena Point in Alaska’s Lynn Canal at low tide; it was later determined that radar was not operational at the time of the grounding. The United States Coast Guard was alerted two hours later and a rescue cutter arrived at 0630. The crew tried to reverse off Lena Point, however as the tide rose, her stern became swamped. All passengers and crew were transferred to lifeboats and ashore as she slid into deeper water and then sank.
The wreck of Princess Kathleen sits in approximately 50 ft -100 ft of water and is accessible to divers, however, tides and currents in the vicinity of Lena Point are strong. The wreck contains approximately 155,000 US gallons of Number 6 fuel oil and in April 2010 crews began operations to salvage the fuel in advance of a possible catastrophic leak.