The SS Princess Sophia sank on Oct. 25, 1918, with estimates of the death toll ranging up to 367. Nobody on board survived, save one pet dog who swam to shore. The ship was one of four coastal liners operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, all named for princesses. The Princess Sophia had departed Skagway, Alaska, on Oct. 23, 1918, with stops planned in Juneau, Wrangell and Ketchikan before going to Prince Rupert, Alert Bay and eventually Vancouver. The following day at 2 a.m., south of Skagway and 40 miles north of Juneau, the Princess Sophia struck a reef. Slightly off course in bad weather of fog and snow, it was going full steam, rode up onto the rocks and struck aground. The great ship remained stuck for 40 hours, enough time for rescue boats to arrive. But stormy conditions and high tides made it too risky to abandon ship. Rescue boat crews chose to return to port and come back the following day, the 26th, when weather was expected to improve. But in the meantime, the Princess Sophia was lifted off the reef and sank, leaving no survivors. The bad weather had not only caused the wreck, but prevented the rescue.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices