Alaska waters rich but filled with danger

Ocean waters in and around Alaska are filled with treasure. They are also treacherous, subject to high winds, shifting currents, icebergs and extreme cold. They have claimed many ships and many lives over the years. Historically, the month of October has seen the deadliest shipwreck, the most successful rescue and one of the most spectacular maritime disasters. The most tragic was the wreck of the steamship Princess Sophia on Oct. 24, 1918. It resulted in the greatest loss of life of any sinking off Alaska. Although several smaller vessels were standing by, severe weather conditions caused the captain of the ship to wait rather than risk transfer of his passengers. In the end, all 350 aboard were lost in the icy waters of Lynn Canal.