A Long, Dangerous Coastline

On September 8, 1923, seven US Navy destroyers rammed into jagged rocks on the California coast. Twenty-three sailors died that night. Five years earlier, the Canadian Pacific passenger ship Princess Sophia steamed into Vanderbilt Reef in Alaska’s Lynn Canal. When she sank, she took 353 people to their deaths. From San Francisco’s fog-bound Golden Gate to the stormy Inside Passage of British Columbia and Alaska, the magnificent west coast of North America has taken a deadly toll. Here are the dramatic tales of ships that met their ends on this treacherous coastline—including Princess Sophia, Benevolence, Queen of the North and others.