Ship Number
Vessel Type
Passenger Ship
Slip Number
Launch Date
11 September 1897
17 February 1898
F. Leyland & Co. Ltd
6833 grt
BP Length
481-6 feet
52 feet
No. of Screws
Speed (approx)
13 knots
Triple expansion constructed in Belfast
Official No.


The Winefreda made her last voyage for her original owners in June 1898, on the London to New York route for which she had been designed. She made her first two roundtrips for the Atlantic Transport Line under her original name, and was then renamed. Mesaba is recorded in the Morton Allan Directory of European Passenger Steamship Arrivals making 104 voyages to New York for the Atlantic Transport Line between November 1898 and March 1914 (and none under her original name), making her one of the line's busiest passenger ships.
On October 4, 1900 the New York Times reported "Mesaba in Collision Again." She had struck the Zeta; leaving New York at the outset of her voyage she had been in collision with the Wilson Line ship Martello. Mesaba sustained only slight damage, but Martello was so badly damaged that she had to return for repairs in dry dock. The Mesaba was under the command of Captain Seagrave at the time. Her call letters were "MMV."
In 1909, when the new Minnewaska entered service on the London to New York route, the Mesaba became the reserve steamer for that service, standing in for the Minnehaha for example while that ship was being repaired after running aground on the Scilly Isles in 1910. Famously, the Mesaba, sailing as a freighter, was one of the ships to warn the Titanic about the presence of ice, but tragically her information never reached the doomed liner's bridge.
The Mesaba made three Antwerp to Boston and Philadelphia sailings for the Red Star Line between 1912 and 1914, before returning to Atlantic Transport Line service in June 1915. She was torpedoed by UB 118 on September 1, 1918, and sank in St. George's Channel 21 miles from Tuskar Rock, while making a convoy voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia in ballast. Twenty lives were lost, including that of the ship' commander.