SS Maine

SS Maine
The propeller from Maine at Kingsteignton, Devon.
  • Sierra Blanca (1904–13)
  • Maine (1913–17)
  • Sierra Shipping Co. Ltd (1904–13)
  • Atlantic Transport Co. Ltd (1913–17)
  • Thomas, Anderson & Co. (1905–13)
  • Atlantic Transport Co. Ltd (1913–17)
Port of registryUnited Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Liverpool, United Kingdom
Launched19 November 1904
CompletedJanuary 1904
Out of service23 March 1917
FateTorpedoed and sunk
General characteristics
Tonnage3,616 GRT, 2,338 NRT
Length361 feet (110.03 m)
Beam46 feet 2 inches (14.07 m)
Installed powerTriple expansion steam engine
PropulsionSingle screw propeller
Speed13 knots (24 km/h)

Maine was a British steamship launched in 1904 as Sierra Blanca for the Sierra Shipping Co. Ltd. She was sold to the Atlantic Transport Co. Ltd. in 1913 and renamed Maine. She was torpedoed and sunk in March 1917 by UC-17.


The ship was 361 feet (110.03 m) long, with a beam of 46 feet 2 inches (14.07 m). She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine which drove a single screw propeller. It could propel her at 13 knots (24 km/h).[1]


Sierra Blanca was build by D. & W. Henderson & Co., Glasgow for the Sierra Shipping Co. Ltd. She was launched on 19 November 1904 and completed in January 1905. Her port of registry was Liverpool and she was operated under the management of Thomson, Anderson & Co.[1] Her maiden voyage was to Mobile, Alabama, United States, at which port she arrived on 26 January 1905.[2] On 26 July 1908, Sierra Blanca ran aground on the South Lyconia Reef. She was refloated after jettisoning 300 tons of cargo and put in to Manila, Philippines in a severely damaged condition on 31 July.[3]

In 1913, Sierra Blanca was sold to the Atlantic Transport Co. Ltd. and was renamed Maine.[1] On 23 March 1917, Maine was torpedoed and sunk in the English Channel 9.5 nautical miles (17.6 km) off Berry Head, Devon (50°12′N 3°52′W / 50.200°N 3.867°W / 50.200; -3.867) by UC-17.[4] Maine was on a voyage from London to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.[1] There were no casualties. She was carrying chalk and general cargo.[4] She sank "gracefully, upright and on an even keel"[citation needed] and sits on shingle 36 metres (118 ft) deep at 50°12.750′N 3°50.955′W / 50.212500°N 3.849250°W / 50.212500; -3.849250.

The Torbay British Sub-Aqua Club bought the wreck for £100 in 1962 and salvaged the bronze propeller, selling it for £800.[citation needed]

The propeller was proudly displayed on a plinth outside the Safeway supermarket in Paignton town centre, until the redevelopment of the site in the early 2000s. The propeller was being sold for scrap,[citation needed] but was rescued by a farmer and now is in a field in Kingsteignton.


  1. ^ a b c d "Sierra Blanca". Shipping and Shipbuilding Research Trust. Retrieved 6 February 2024.
  2. ^ "Mail and Shipping Intelligence". The Times. No. 37614. London. 26 January 1905. col C-D, p. 10.
  3. ^ "The Marine Insurance Market". The Times. No. 38714. London. 1 August 1908. col F, p. 16.
  4. ^ a b "Maine". Retrieved 6 February 2024.