Launched from the Panmure yard of Dundee Shipbuilders on 28th April 1899 the steel steamship Sandanha da Gama measured 170.0′ x 26.7′ x 12.0′ and weighed 522 gross tons, 278 net tons. She was powered by a triple expansion steam engine by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co Ltd, Sunderland delivering 97 net horse power. She was ordered by Protectora Indusrtia Pastoril of Para, Brazil and entered service for them later that year. Owned and operated by various Brazilian owners she was purchased for war service by the Admiralty during World War One. In late 1917 the Admiralty sold her to Eirinn Steamers of Glasgow who renamed her Fedelma. She operated for ten years in the UK for various owners before being sold to Latvian company Kugniecibas Sabiedriba Marss of Libau in 1927 who renamed her Mars. In 1936 she was acquired by her final owners Sabredriba Tvaikonis of Liepaja, Latvia for whom she continued to operate on various North Sea routes.
Early in the morning of 19th May 1936, Mars was en route in ballast from Ballina in Ireland to Methil where she was to fill her coal bunkers when she was enveloped in thick fog in the Firth of Forth. She had a crew of thirteen men aboard. Without warning the ship ran aground on North Ness, May Island and stuck fast. Her distress messages were picked up by the coastguard who immediately called out the Anstruther lifeboat Nettie and Charlie which was launched at 5.55am and raced to the scene. The found the Mars stranded with her stem lying dry.
At first the captain asked the lifeboat to stand by until the tide rose hoping that they might be able to float off but when this failed to materialise ten of the thirteen crew were taken aboard the lifeboat. The captain, mate and one of the crew remained aboard hoping that the ship could be saved. The Leith Salvage Company tug Herwit arrived on site the following day However, during a strong north easterly gale on night of 21st the ship broke her back and became a total wreck quickly breaking up as the swell ground her against the rocks over the next three days.
The remaining wreckage of the Mars lies scattered in 18 metres among the rocks and kelp off North Ness in approximate position 55 56° 11.583’N, 002° 33.867’W.