Canadian-Pacific steamer SS ISLANDER sank after striking an iceberg departing Skagway, Alaska.
The SS Islander was a 1519-ton, 240-foot (73 m) steel hull, schooner-rigged twin-screw steamer, built in Scotland in 1888, and owned and operated by the Canadian-Pacific Navigation Company.
She was built especially for the Inside Passage to Alaska and was reputedly the most luxurious steamer engaged on that run. As a consequence, she was favoured by many wealthy businessmen, speculators, bankers, railroad tycoons and the like who had a stake in the lucrative Klondike gold fields.
On 14 August 1901, Islander departed Skagway, Alaska for Victoria, British Columbia, filled to capacity with passengers and carrying a cargo of gold bullion valued at over $6,000,000 in 1901 dollars. Sometime after 2:00 am on 15 August 1901 while sailing down the narrow Lynn Canal south of Juneau, she struck what was reported to be an iceberg that stove a large hole in her forward port quarter.
Attempts to steer the foundering vessel ashore on nearby Douglas Island were in vain; within five minutes, the tremendous weight of the water filling the ship's forward compartments had forced her bow underwater and her stern, rudder and propellers completely out of the water.
After drifting for about 15 minutes in a strong southerly outbound tide, Islander began her final plunge to the bottom and sank quickly.
She was reported to have carried 107 passengers and a crew of 61 during the last voyage. In total, 40 lives were lost, including the wife and daughter of politician James Hamilton Ross