|Death: ||Oct. 25, 1918|
C.P.R. Steamer is Lost – All aboard Perish Princess Sophia Dashed across Reef by Terrific Storm - - Crew of 75 and 268 Passengers Perish
Tempest So Tremendous that Steamers which had gone to rescue of Stranded Ship were Powerless to Rescue Single Person
Victoria, B.C., Oct. 27 – Pounded by mountainous waves and driven before a wind of terrible severity, the Canadian Pacific steamship Princess Sophia slid from the comparative safety of Vanderbilt reef, in Lynn Canada, midway between Skagway and Juneau, early Friday evening and carried 343 persons, passengers and crew, men, women and children, to their death in the raging northern waters. There were no survivors from the ship.
Stranded During Blizzard
The Sophia left Skagway Wednesday evening last for Vancouver with a passenger list made up largely of Dawson people and Alaskans from interior points, eager to get "outside" for the winter. Four hours out she ran into a blinding snowstorm, in which, it is supposed, she got out of her course slightly and piled up on the reef, where she rested for more that forty hours in what was thought to be a position of no danger. Lighthouse tenders and gas boats responded to the wireless call for assistance and the Princess Alice was dispatched from Vancouver to take over the passengers. Even though the seas were running too high to permit of the transference of the passengers on board Friday, no alarm was felt. Captain F.L. Lockem, of Victoria, a veteran seaman of the northern coast, on the night of the disaster had wirelessed his office here that the ship was hard and fast on the reef with her bottom badly damaged, but she was not taking water and the passengers were normal. It is evident that he believed the Sophia was planted so firmly on the rocks as to be secured from the severity of the storm which continued to rage.
Efforts at Rescue Fall
Friday morning the United States lighthouse tender Cedar had got within 400 yards of the Sophia, but her anchors would not hold on the rocky sea bottom and the seas forced her back. The waves were such that life boats could not have lived. When night shut down the Sophia was still on the reef. The wind increased and the air was filled with snow. At 8 o'clock the Cedar picked up the last wireless from the Sophia. The Sophia was sinking. She had been driven across the reef into deep water, in which her shattered bottom offered no support, and she filled quickly and went down. The Cedar rushed to the vicinity, but could see nothing of the Sophia. When morning broke her foremast was visible above the water. There was no sign of life, no wreckage and the bodies had scattered if they had not gone down with the ship.
It was not until late Saturday afternoon that word of the disaster came out. Details have come through slowly.
Ten Bodies Recovered
The body of one woman was picked up with four overturned boats on Lincoln Island Sunday morning. Reports to the Canadian Pacific railway officials in Victoria today announce the recovery of nine other bodies, eight of them women and all so far unidentified. Four bodies were on one of the Sophia's collapsible rafts. The message added that there was no sign of life and no hope of any survivors. Vanderbilt reef, it is pointed out, is three and one-half miles from the nearest point where boats would drift ashore, and it was impossible that rafts or lifeboats or passengers with life belts could have survived for such a distance in the huge seas which prevailed Friday night. The search for bodies is being maintained.
Dawson Hard Hit
The passenger list was cabled from Skagway Saturday night and shows that 285 passengers sailed on the Sophia, of whom 230 were men, 37 women and 18 children. The crew comprised 61 persons, including one woman – Miss H. Browning of Vancouver, the stewardess. According to these figures there were 246 persons aboard – 290 men, 38 women and 18 children. The passenger list gave the names only, and it has not been possible to identify all of them.
The Sophia is reported from Dawson to have carried a gold worth a million dollars or more. She had a score or two of horse, otherwise little cargo. She was a steel screw ship of 2,320 tons gross and 1,466 tons net register and was built in Paisley in 1912.
The White Pass & Yukon Railway Company, which operates steamships and rail lines in Yukon and Alaska, have issued a list of eighty-four of their employees lost on the Sophia, three of them accompanied by their wives. Most of the eighty-seven men and women were Canadians. The following comprised the crew of the Sophia:
Capt. R. Locke, Victoria, Captain
Jerry Shaw, Victoria, First Officer
J. G. Gosse, Victoria, Second Officer
A. Murphy, Victoria, Third officer
C. B. Beadle, Victoria, Purser
C. J. Black, Campbell, Ont., Assistant Purser
D. M. Robinson, Vancouver, Wireless operator
Charles H. Wallace, Vancouver, Chief engineer
Duncan Ross, Vancouver, Second Engineer
J. M. Macy, Vancouver, Third Engineer
L. Wood, Vancouver, Barber
M. Doris, Fireman
J. L. Apierre, Fireman
N. E. Dibble, Fireman
J. Carson, Vancouver, Fireman
J. Evans, Oiler
E. Dougherty, Oiler
J. King, Vancouver, Chief Steward
A. Cartwright, Vancouver, Second Steward
Miss. H. Browning, Vancouver, Stewardess
W. McDernell, Vancouver, Waiter
J. C. Doppins, Vancouver, Waiter
C. King, Vancouver, Waiter
O. M. Phillips, Vancouver, Waiter
J. Morrison, Vancouver, Waiter
V. Whitecross, Vancouver, Waiter
D. Templeman, Vancouver, Waiter
P. Burnham, Stevedore,
G. Walker, Seaman
H. Simpson, Seaman
G. H. Irish, Seaman
G. Roney, Seaman
G. Parker, Seaman
W. Griffiths, Seaman
H. Slattery, Seaman
H. Darling, Seaman
V. Herb, Seaman
S. W. Macey, Seaman
G. Clarke, Seaman
P. Gaynor, Seaman
M. Walsh, Seaman
W. D. Goynegan, Seaman
F. Verburggen, Seaman
T. Park, Seaman
H. D. Park, Seaman
A. Munro, Seaman
A. Dallas, Seaman
11 Chinese crewmen on board also perished.
The Princess Sophia was ordered in May of 1911 and built by Bow, McLachlan & Company of Paisley Scotland. Her length was 245 ft. width 44 ft. and was 2300 gt. with single screw triple expansion steam engine, and was launched Nov. 8, 1911. She did 14 knots on her sea trials in early 1912, and sailed from Scotland on February 19, 1912, arriving in Victoria three months later.
Princess Sophia, was built for the Alaska run, and made her maiden voyage on June 7, 1912. She was not a fancy ship, her hull was short and had high freeboard, but she had comfortable accommodation for about 250 passengers in first and second class.
The bell of the Princess Sophia has been presented to the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
Note: Killed in the sinking of the steamer Princess Sophia.
Mountain View Cemetery
Greater Vancouver Regional District
British Columbia, Canada
Created by: Dan Scott
Record added: Sep 01, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15572603
For all of those lost, rest well your home now.|
Added: Oct. 28, 2006