The Princess Sophia leaving Victoria harbor with troops for First World War, circa 1915. (Maritime Museum of B.C./Facebook)

Headstone to honour family killed in disastrous shipwreck 100 years ago

Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed

A family of seven who died in one of the worst nautical disasters in the history of the West Coast will have its final resting place marked in Vancouver, 100 years later.

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is installing a headstone for the O’Brien family members, who were among more than 350 people killed in the sinking of the SS Princess Sophia, at Mountain View Cemetery today.

READ MORE: Maritime Museum marks 100th anniversary of the ‘Unknown Titanic of the West Coast’

The passengers and crew were stranded aboard the steamship for two full days after it struck the Vanderbilt reef, 50 kilometres northwest of Juneau, Alaska, on Oct. 23, 1918.

Nearby rescue crews were unable to reach the vessel and when high tides and strong winds dislodged it from its perch, the ship sank, killing all those aboard.

The museum’s executive director David Leverton says that despite its high death toll, news of the shipwreck was overshadowed by the First World War armistice on Nov. 11, the same day a ship carrying the bodies of the victims arrived in the Port of Vancouver.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Crooner classics past and present in spotlight, courtesy of Ken Lavigne

Vancouver Island tenor prepares for upcoming concert tour of Let Me Be Frank!

It’s here: tackling opioid addiction in Ladysmith

Nine overdose deaths in two years “pretty alarming considering this is a small town”

Vancouver Island man celebrates 50th year by running 50 km race — monthly

Ultrarunner hopes Deep 50 Challenge will raise $5,000 for Help Fill A Dream

Alternative paths to health: How one Vancouver Island woman is taking control of her cancer treatments

Many Canadians try at least one form of complementary treatment during their cancer journey

Editorial: Plenty of alternatives to plastic straws

Plastics have their place in our society, but right now there are far too many of them

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

VIDEO: Vancouver Island fish farmers launch $30-million vessel to treat farmed salmon for sea lice

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Most Read